While most people start their year off with a long list of resolutions and goals, I’m starting this one with a nice clean slate. I will then decide what I have, what I will keep, what I will consciously leave behind, and what I will create space for in 2022.
There are always opportunities to start afresh. For me the year’s end is a perfect time to to draw a line in the sand, when considering what I want gone, and what I want to make space for.
There is no timeframe to do this, it doesn’t have to occur on the stroke of midnight on the 31st. This is a process you can take your time with. Maybe do at Chinese New Year, or any other day in January, when it feels right.
This strips away the need to make promises that may be forgotten by February. It gives us space and an opportunity to simply say goodbye to what is no longer right for us, and leave it behind.
It can be helpful to look at your life area by area. Ask yourself, what serves me and what doesn’t? How do I best begin this year, in a way that is most resonant with who I am today?
Start by looking at your day to day life, remember your clean slate?
What parts of your daily life are no longer working for you? Remember add what you love and need (the need to’s are important) and leave the rest behind.
It might be spending too much time on your phone or clearing e-mails, being in a rush every morning or not getting enough sleep.
Make a decision to leave the morning rush or late nights behind, and in doing so create new space to do things in a more gentle way.
If you are spending too much time on messages or e-mails, make a choice to say goodbye to anything over 30 minutes a day (or whatever is a reasonable timeframe for you), and allow that extra space to be dedicated to earlier nights, or a better paced morning. More importantly other activities that sooth your soul.
In fact, if you want better sleep stay off devices an hour before bed and for an hour after you get up. Dedicate this time to pampering you, in a way that is conducive to a good night’s sleep and a great start to your day.
What about the people in your life?
Who is essential in your life? Who in your world are excited to talk to or see? They can stay!
What about people who don’t really set your heart on fire? Can you limit your time with these people?
What about those who drive you crazy, or you dread having contact with? Can any of them be left in the past? If yes, then do that.
Life is too short for wasting your time (you never get it back) or giving time away to people who you don’t feel inspired to be around.
Make some room for the people you really care about, by letting go of some of those you just don’t feel close to.
While you are there, it’s also worth looking at any behaviours that may stand in your way of better relationships with others. And say goodbye to them while you are having a clean out.
Remember all relationships are a two way street, you cannot expect to take and not give, you cannot expect others to be present when you can’t be bothered, you cannot expect others to open up if you don’t. So before you take the suggestions above, check in. Is it them or you?
How about your work (paid or unpaid), how you spend your time?
While not everyone has the luxury to pick and choose how they spend their hours, sometimes small adjustments can give back time for other things that matter.
It may be cutting back a few hours a week to make some room to study what you really love. Or, play the instrument you’ve had sitting there for 3 years waiting for “the right time”.
It may be realising that your whole career or calling needs to shift. Having the courage, and being prepared to let go of what is no longer working, allows something more aligned to come in to your life.
What money habits or spending patterns are you ready to leave behind?
Being an energy, money is an area of your life that also requires change at times.
Maybe 2021 was the year you shopped with retailers that no longer resonate, and this year it’s time to spend with businesses that you feel aligned with?
Have you been so busy working and saving. That you haven’t had any time to indulge? Or maybe you’ve been indulging a little too much and it’s time to consider your long term goals.
Whatever it is that is no longer feels right for you, recognise it, and leave it in the past.
What about self-talk and how you treat yourself?
Have you spent 2021 being unkind to yourself or doubting your abilities? Neglecting your self care?
Or maybe the opposite, not being able to look at yourself clearly and acknowledge what needs to be acknowledged, those not so nice aspects.
Why not make a pact with yourself to let go of any unhelpful self-talk and self-doubt?
Why not leave hiding from self-truths, that when acknowledged and cleared could bring you incredible rewards, where they belong, in the past.
Now, keep doing this which each aspect of your life…remember this is your clean slate!
Whether it’s the second coffee or glass of wine, the hours scrolling Instagram admiring others while your own life waits, or the cupboards full of things you no longer need. Let it all go.
Make an agreement with yourself to leave anything that no longer serves you in 2021.
You are not the same person you were 12 months ago. And you will not be the same person in 12 months’ time. It is ok to honour you.
If you are wondering what to do with all of this new space, this clean slate, you have created in your life for 2022. My next post will give you some great ideas on how to set your vision for the coming year.
Here’s to starting the year lighter and with space for everything to come.
Happy New Year!