Next year, I will do it differently’
Aaannnddd here we are, a year later, looking at the hundreds of daily emails piling up in our inboxes, the over-bloated closet that we mine at 20% tops, our calendar that fills us with anxiety … and it is only 7am this morning.
Having resolutions is great –keeps us focused and motivated.
Keeping them, is a whole other subject!
Truth is, life happens.
And as much as we are committed to making our world a better place, some good habits will slide, other projects will be put on the backburner; and next thing we know, we wake up one morning not knowing what to wear.
About time to do some decluttering?
Certainly, this year has invited us to be more discerning about what we are inviting into our personal spaces.
Not everything needs to go; but not everything is still welcome to stay either.
The keyword here? Making conscious choices.
Step 1: hit the pause button – what on earth is going on in here?
It all starts with that ‘a’ word: awareness.
Modern life, what have you done to us!
Always running, always behind something we fear we are missing and ending never fully satisfied, right?
In our times of fast and furious, we have forgotten that:
- not everything is an emergency, and
- are not here to solely produce.
Granted, when everyone around us is marching at that same tempo, it may be difficult to break away – and most times, it’s not even an option.
Our choice in this first step in 2 questions:
- Where am I functioning on autopilot?
- Where is automation necessary and where it has become a problem (and why?)?
Here are some indicators:
1/ when what used to be a self-care routine has become a chore
When what used to be exciting, a treat or a pleasure becomes close to a punishment – you know, that energizing gym routine is now another obligation on the cramped-out calendar – same with catching up with friends and the yearly checkup – a straight pain in the neck.
2 / when a fun distraction is now just a way to numb ourselves
The endless scrolling on social media is an obvious one – but numbing is also engaging in workaholism, much more socially acceptable and a perfect excuse not to face certain issues.
What on earth happened?
We’ve become detached from our bodies and our emotions.
We have no idea what feels good and what doesn’t.
We end up prioritizing instant gratification instead of longer-term achievements.
Not all is lost, the awareness part is the first step of shifting. This is why we needed that pause in the first place.
Step 2: hit the ctl button: lay it all out
A worthy next step because it gives us our control back; from autopilot to consciously choosing where we are focusing our attention.
Now, I am going to give you a personal advice: it’s not productive to empty all of your physical and metaphorical closets and pile up your stuff all at once; because: it’s overwhelming, which would result in either
- procrastination and defeat, or/and
- putting everything back in the junk drawer until the next time when we need something – we will figure out, for sure (eyes roll).
I did the above, it can work, but it has a mental charge that I have decided is not worth the aggravation for me.
Rather than ignoring the need for space, I would start by asking myself:
- What do I want my life to look like?
- How do I want to feel?
- And why?
From there, I can start planning the mental and physical decluttering from a place of control and wanting, rather than resentment and impatience.
I invite you to take a look at the following areas.
As always, take what works for you; disregard the rest.
- Career /job
- Relationships – personal
- Relationships – parents / close family
- Relationships – friendships/acquaintances
- Personal growth
In particular, while asking yourself
- How am I using my time, my resources, my mental, emotional and physical energy?
- Am I maximizing and monetizing all of the above?
- Where am I selling out? Where am I settling? Why? What is it costing me/preventing me from doing?
Now is the time to give the garbage bin a starring role.
Step 3: hit the delete button – was that for real?
Time to toss what is not serving you anymore and to recommit to your wellbeing first.
You know what to do. Keep, park away, toss and delete to your heart’s desire.
I would like to bring to your attention the mental biases that can be playing in the background: sunk-cost bias is a big one.
You know, that beautiful multiple inch highly expensive pair of heels worn once and that has been sitting in the back of the closet because it’s excruciating to walk with.
We keep them because of the ‘investment’ we put into them. When in reality, they are taking space, physical space and a heck of a lot of mental space too (you know, regrets…).
Let all of those uncomfortable designer heels go, no matter what other metaphorical shapes they have: the relationships that you invested emotionally in and that are going nowhere; negotiate a way out of that extra assignment that you have worked so hard to get but secretly hate, etc.
It will feel iffy at first, a bit of a heartbreak, for sure, but in the longer term, it will feel much better.
Because you have liberated mental and physical space to allow new and more aligned energies, projects, ideas and more opportunities to present themselves into your life.
Final Step: hit the shift button – decide what gifts keep on giving
One last thing! I said it before and it is worth repeating: put your well-being first. I am not talking about instant gratification, but working for yourself, what pleases you, what excites you, what makes you feel alive.
Work for your goals.
From a place of self-love and self-respect.
We all owe it to ourselves