Do you know that feeling you get when you’re about to leave a place – somewhere you’re not coming back to – and feel the need to just pause for a second to look back and take it all in? As if once you get in that cab, that plane, that train…you’ll not only leave the place, but also the person that you are at that very moment in time.
That’s sort of how it feels to be leaving this year behind. We’re on the very last sprint of a crazy year, and as we get ready to step into a new decade, I feel the need to take a minute to look back and reflect. It’s like the cab is waiting right in front of me, but I need to unpack before I get in.
Sometimes it’s necessary, just to learn to let go of things that no longer serve us, so that we can step into the new year lighter, fresher, and with renewed energy.
The same way we change wardrobes between seasons and clear out our closets, we should also get used to decluttering our lives every now and then. So here are 5 decluttering tips for you to consider before you step into your next trip around the sun.
Whether that is against another or yourself.
Sometimes we don’t even realize we are still resentful about a past circumstance with someone, or even more so, something that we are still blaming ourselves for. Life is too short to be at war with yourself or hold grudges. And although the ego has a way of convincing us that holding a grudge is a protective shield to prevent us from getting hurt in the future, the truth is, while you remain resentful, you never really stop hurting.
Holding a grudge and being bitter about past events can become a serious blocker to our peace and happiness. They weigh us down and have the power to make us miserable, which in turn, can also negatively affect other people in our life.
You can choose to accept, forgive and let go. People don’t like to hear this, but the truth is, forgiveness is a choice. However, it must come from us truthfully and intentionally.
And yes, often times, forgiveness will requires hard emotional work and practicing acceptance. But in turn, it will take the weight off of you and set you free. And don’t you think that you deserve peace?
You owe that to yourself at least. So make sure you are walking into the new year free of grudges and no chips on your shoulder. Healing the past through acceptance can set you free and make space to attract better things into your life instead.
2. Beliefs and mindset
Every result that we create in our lives through one behavior or another is coming from a certain belief. When we are struggling to act in alignment with our values, it’s because deep down, there are rooted beliefs that we don’t want to accept or that we fail to identify, which is why this is a good time to do a mindset assessment and run a check on the things you truly value and prioritize.
Think for yourself, what things are you still doing, which behaviors are you still keeping, that are in alignment with some outdated beliefs of yours? Whatever they might be, don’t bring them along with you onto your new year.
First, identify them, and next, trash them. If you’re not sure how to go about this process, journaling can actually be a great practice to identify deep-rooted beliefs that are no longer serving you and declutter your mind from them.
Related post: “5 reasons to start journaling this year“
This one is equally tricky and impactful, but if you sense people within your circle who are:
- overly needy and dependent
- don’t support you
- don’t have your best interest at heart
- or are influencing you to do things that are not in alignment with what you say you want and how you want to show up to the world
… they need to go.
As drastic as that sounds, people around us directly impact who we are and who we become. Every person that we have around us is either helping us become a better version of ourselves and lifting us up, or notably blocking our progress and pushing us down against our natural flow. When you distance yourself from the latter and make space for healthy connections and people who help you grow instead, you’ll experience a magic shift.
This is why it’s so important to curate the people that you are letting into your life. They say we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so make sure you surround yourself with people who inspire you and treat you with kindness and respect.
Whoever doesn’t tick those boxes… you guessed it. They need to be decluttered. As soon as you stop investing your time in relationships that are sucking your energy and not helping you thrive, you’ll make more room for those who are.
Don’t settle for less.
I am not just referring to professional projects. I am referring to anything with an end-goal in which you are currently working on, whether that is trying to help someone through a tough situation, something that you are trying to get done at your house, something you volunteered for at work, something you are trying to change or build, an idea you are trying to bring to life… Whatever those projects might be for you, they are taking up space and are most likely using three of your most valuable currencies: time, energy and money. So it’s time to assess and purge them.
Take a moment to think: What projects am I currently working on that I don’t want to be investing my time and energy on anymore? Which projects do I naturally gravitate towards? Which projects give me energy and which projects drain me? Am I really as committed as I’d like to be with this project? Am I gaining something valuable out of this project? Am I really invested in this project or do I just like the idea of it? Am I working on this for myself or am I trying to make a point for someone else?
Run a quick check on these things, and use your honest answers to declutter. Sometimes we are spread too thin because our focus drifts away in too many directions, which staggers our progress on the things that we really care for.
Related read: “Being a polymath and how to deal with it“
By getting really honest about what deserves your attention and commitment, and decluttering anything that doesn’t, you’ll be able to better prioritize and make more time for those things that truly fulfill you and align with your values.
Together with the people who are part of our lives, habits are one of the things that can shape us most. They can make or break your year, and therefore, it becomes important to periodically take inventory of them and reevaluate them.
Because most of the time it’s not one single great deed that pushes us to achieve success (whatever that might look like to you), it’s our small daily actions and micro-decisions which take us there and have the transformational power to generate real and sustainable shifts in our lives.
So what are the habits that you want to declutter and leave behind before you step into the new year? And contrarily, which are the habits you’d like to build and that will help you get closer to the lifestyle you want?
For instance, when you wake up in the morning, what habits do you have? Is it scrolling through your phone endlessly, or getting your mind and body ready to tackle the day? Do you have the habit of eating wholesome and nutritious foods or do you regularly shove trash down your throat which later crashes your energy levels? Do you complain or do you practice gratitude? Do you have a healthy sleeping schedule or do you survive through sleep deprivation like a zombie?
I’ve personally struggled with inconsistency in the past. I always started things with great intentions, but the motivation to follow through usually wore off after some time. This year, however, I have managed to build four new habits and (surprisingly) stick to them.
The reason I am sharing this is because, along the process, I came across what for me has been the secret sauce of habit-building: Falling in love with the habit itself, before falling in love with the result that comes with it.
That is where true consistency lies. So when you evaluate and declutter your habits, be sure to also dig deep into the true motivation behind them and try to come up with ways that will make you enjoy the journey aside from achieving the pursued outcome alone.
It’s the tiny actions that we repeatedly practice that will eventually take us exactly where we want to be.
If you also want to have a crack on building new habits that will support you in your personal growth journey, below👇 you can find the worksheets and method I implemented to consistently stick to these new habits myself.
These worksheets will help you build an intention-based system for long-term transformation rather than just momentary change.
What’s next? That’s only up to you.
You, as well, can choose to unpack. You can choose to hit the “restart” button. You can choose to leave behind anything that doesn’t serve you, in order to make room for the things that will bring you more joy, peace and abundance instead.
I would love to hear about your personal decluttering process: how you are decluttering, what you are decluttering, or what are the things you have discovered about yourself along the way. All that good stuff. So feel free to leave a comment down below, write directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact me through social media – you know where to find me.
Let’s get rid of anything that no longer serves us and make room for what does in 2023 together 🤎