We’re already three days into the New Year, and how many of us are already crumbling under the massive pressure of doing our best to ensure that we don’t give up on our resolutions? Or, are you a person like me, who stopped making New Year Resolutions years ago because you were wise enough to realize that you just would not be able to keep them?
Life is already so overwhelming. There’s work that has to be done, a family that has to be looked after, friends with whom time has to be spent – and add to all of that are daily nuisances like traffic and mundane chores that cannot be ignored. There are so many things that get in the way of speedy action. At home, I have a full closet. My wardrobe is spilling out clothes, yet picking out an outfit to wear is one of the most challenging tasks in my life. Sometimes, when I am spring-cleaning, I am amazed to look at the clothes I’ve bought but never worn. I also have clothes that I won’t ever wear again, and I still find reasons to hold on to them swearing I have an occasion coming up where I’ll require the same, instead of just getting rid of them from my space.
How many of you find yourselves in similar boats? Minor irritants that you face daily that keep adding up more and more with each passing moment, stressing you out and draining your energies, making it difficult for you to focus on things that truly matter? Perhaps, it is a missing button on your favourite shirt that stops you from wearing it to work or a noisy fan that is keeping you up at night. Maybe, it is the fact that your cell-phone can receive texts and emails, but not store photos anymore as it is out of space. There could be an unresolved fight that is on your mind. Even the smallest of issues and the most trivial of all unfinished things can make a dent in your willpower and drain your brain because your energy is getting diverted and divided. These brain-drainers may not seem threatening at all, but they can be…
Start wrapping up small projects in your life that look like this:
- Cluttered drawers and cupboards
- Stacks of documents and records that need sorting
- Broken mirrors, stopped clocks, lifeless TV remotes, and flickering lights
- Unpaid bills
- Broken household appliances
- Clothes that need to be collected from the dry-cleaners
You get the picture…
Once you are done addressing these, turn your attention to other areas:
- De-clutter your technology – delete read messages, useless photos, videos from concerts (you are never going to watch them!) and clean out junk mail.
- Wrap up all unresolved fights. Make peace with all that with which you cannot make amends. We’ve all been in toxic relationships and may be surrounded by people who tend to bring us down. Flush out the negative vibes from your life, and trash all those people who exhibit toxic behaviour in your space. If you don’t want to get rid of the people, talk to them and see if you can work things out. Otherwise, walk away with your head held high.
- Forgive people for all the hurt they’ve caused. Forgive yourself for holding on to the pain for so long.
- Go through your bank statements, especially your credit card bills. Make a note of necessities like groceries, rent, bills, and then look at the things you bought which you did not necessarily need. Look at all the things you’ve subscribed to but never use. Make sure you do spend on things that are fun, but organize your finances and scrub away the bad financial decisions.
- Stock your fridge with groceries that are non-processed and organic. You can treat yourself once in a while, but ensure you don’t stock your kitchen cabinets complete with junk food. Be mindful of what you eat.
- You must make time for yourself. Don’t tell me you don’t have free time. We all have that window of opportunity that we waste either watching TV shows or stalking people on social media, wondering where they find the time to lead such wonderful lives. Give up that time and use it to pursue your interests. I have always been a voracious reader, and while I’ve heard many people say that they never find time to read all the books they want, I just believe that even if you read one page a day, you will progress somewhere with your reading goals instead of doing nothing at all.
It is difficult to embark on the great project of changing the course of your career or becoming an ‘S’ from ‘XL’ when you are battling with the feeling of incompletion in other aspects of your life. Utilize the first few days of the New Year consciously looking out for irritants by walking around your home and work-space, and taking note of all pending projects and unfinished businesses, and making a promise to yourself to get each one of them sorted out one at a time.
The more you declutter your life, the more you declutter your brain. The more self-control you exercise, the better your life will be. Happy New Year!