You hit the gym on the first of January with everyone else, you’ve long packed away all of your Christmas decorations, and you’ve sorted out your epic goals for 2018 (well kinda), so what’s next? I like to start January afresh with a total de-clutter, clear out and refresh of my living space. Knowing where everything is and having everything nicely organised for the New Year helps me to get super excited for all of my goals and plans for the year! It also helps to beat any overwhelm and creates space (physical and mental!) for any important new goals or routines that I want to start. Clearing out the clutter; be it mental, physical, digital or otherwise will help you get 2018 off to a great start! Here are ten ways that you can physiologically create that ‘clean slate’ for the new year!
Take some time out for some quiet reflection about the past year. Visit somewhere peaceful and green-filled or create a beautiful quiet space within your own home with some cushions, plants and candles. Silently reflect on the past year (it might also help to have a journal handy to jot down any thoughts and ideas). What went really well for you in 2017? What did you achieve? What challenges did you face and hopefully overcome? There really is no failure because every single challenging experience that we go through gives us more opportunities for self-improvement, growth and learning. Think about any growth, development and progress that you made towards your ultimate life vision. Take some time out to celebrate any successes that you made – however small. Developing a beautiful relationship with ourselves means that we can regularly look back, pat ourselves on the back and be positive about any progress that we have made in important life areas. Sometimes you might be the only person in your life who does this! But it is really important! Develop that grateful, positive mindset and let go of the ‘negativity-bias’ that often causes you to self-reflect in a more negative way. When you achieve an important goal for yourself – reward yourself. Bake yourself a yummy vegan chocolate cake, get a massage, or go out for a hike by yourself.
2. WRAP UP UNRESOLVED TASKS:
Is there anything still unresolved from last year? Are there any conversations that need to be had? Projects to be finished? Goals from 2017 that still need a small job to be completed? Take an honest look at all of your time commitments in 2017 and clear your schedule of anything that no longer is serving you. All of your projects and things to remember to take up mental space. Having a clear mind is really what helps to build that mental strength that can help you to stay focused and achieve all of those new plans/goals. An easy way to ‘check in’ to what is constantly ‘running’ through your head or what you are worried or stressed about is ‘Morning Pages’. Each morning when you first wake up set your timer for five minutes and just write whatever comes to mind in the moment. Any to do’s, worries, fears, dreams, or plans. Hopefully, after you do this consistently you will be able to exactly pinpoint anything in your life that is unresolved which you might want to put some time into taking care of.
3. IS YOUR WHEEL RUNNING SMOOTHLY?
All of the different parts of our lives are important and make up a wheel. If we give too much attention and focus to only one area of our life we may succeed and do really well in that area but all other life areas may fall apart. It is important that we try and stay somewhat balanced in all life areas. Don’t aim for perfection because it will never happen! Regular self-reflection and check-ins can enable you to see imbalances in your ‘life wheel’ before they become real problems. I first learnt about this exercise in ‘Mood Mapping’ by Dr Liz Miller and I was unable to find her method online, however, the below is a really simple and easy version from Mallika Chopra (the daughter of Deepak Chopra). She developed the balance wheel below after struggling to balance the sometimes challenging journey of entrepreneurship, marriage and motherhood and decided that she needed to return to basics!
(Source: ‘Living with Intent’ by Mallika Chopra)
Simply assess and rate each area of your wheel out of ten and determine whether you are suffering, surviving or thriving! The results may surprise you! When I did this last year I realised that I had pretty much replaced any kind of hobby or relaxation activity with my entrepreneurial baby – this startup! (Probably as expected). The idea is to work towards creating a more balanced, intentional and purposeful life. When you achieve satisfaction or are thriving in all life areas your wheel runs smoothly and your life and any future growth will be able to flow and develop much better. If you complete this exercise and realise that you are imbalanced in any one area you can simply brainstorm some ways to fix it! They can then help to determine your yearly goals for 2018.
4. COMPLETE A DIGITAL DETOX:
January is a great time to do a bit of a digital detox and spend less time offline and more time connecting with friends and family in person without all of the constant notifications. Lately, I have been leaving my phone at home more often when I head out to exercise or have lunch with my family. You could also try having set times when you put your phone in flight mode so that you can disconnect – try the hour before you go to bed or the hour after you wake up. The first hour of the day is really ‘golden time’ that you want to use for exercise, self-reflection or meditation! You could also try having set times throughout the day where you check your phone and try to stay off it during other times. Say 9 am, 12 pm, 3 pm – figure out a system that works for you! Constant distractions really mess with our ability to hold attention and focus on a task and can slowly add up to being huge timewasters. Don’t neglect any digital clutter! Clear out any old apps or photos off your phone, clear out your email inbox, and unsubscribe to any email lists that you no longer need to be on.
5. START MEDITATING DAILY
Set aside around 10 minutes each morning to meditate when you first get up. Consistent meditation like ‘Morning Pages’ really just helps you to clear out what is constantly ‘running’ through your head. Negative thoughts, self-limiting beliefs, leave them all in 2017 – because 2018 has simply no use for them! All of the thoughts that we think about ourselves right now are creating our future reality. Keep your thoughts at the up-most and the highest. The thoughts that we think about others also affects how we connect with and respond to others. Regular meditation over time can also help to reshape your brain creating higher level focus, attention, peace, compassion and resilience to stress.
6. AVOID DRAMA!
This is hard and something that you have to constantly self-reflect on but work hard to keep all conversations ‘high level’ – think goals, dreams, plans, what are you working on, what are you excited about? Share it with other like-minded individuals. Leave drama back in 2017. If you are in a conversation with someone and they are talking about others chances are when they are with other people they will be talking about you. So focus on yourself and all of the beautiful new things that you want for yourself in 2018. Leave drama back in 2017! We all have our own struggles! When we think negative thoughts about others or talk negatively about others, it has a negative impact on our mind and bodies. So keep all conversations high level – no gossip allowed in 2018!
7. DECLUTTER YOUR SPACE
Start the year off with a fresh slate and a clear desk. Clear everything off your desk and only keep a few gorgeous photos or some plants and flowers on there. In your kitchen be sure to clear out any old or expired food. Your fridge signifies abundance in Feng Shui. For the most abundant, magical 2018 you want to try and keep your fridge clear of any old, smelly or unused food! Houseplants bring life and living energy into your space. Go around your house and check all of your houseplants. Ideally, you want all plants in your living space to be absolutely vibrant, green and well! Remove any half dead or diseased plants from your living space because for 2018 you only want to be surrounded by fresh, vibrant and alive energy.
8 PAY ATTENTION TO OLD PAPERWORK!
Work to completely clear any paperwork from 2017 that is still hanging around your house. Go around your house and grab up any old paperwork from each and every room. I’m talking old receipts, kids artwork, instruction manuals, etc. Compile any paperwork from 2017 (or earlier!) in one big pile and go through it. Make one pile for ‘needs action’ and one for filing. Try and file the least amount of things as possible! Digitally file everything that you can. The less paperwork you keep the less need for a complicated filing system. Schedule some time on your calendar to take care of any outstanding paperwork so that you are all up to date! In ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ by Marie Kondo she recommends throwing all paperwork out and keeping only the absolutely necessary items. No paperwork means no need for a filing system! Having paperwork and clutter pile up often means that you are deferring your decision making until a later time. Work towards making better decisions ‘in the moment’.
9. SET YOURSELF A 30 DAY CHALLENGE:
Begin really small with adding new habits into your year. Attempting to change a whole bunch of things all at once is a surefire recipe for disaster! An easy way to incorporate a new habit into your existing routine is to make it super easy and only commit to it for 30 days. You know that there is an endpoint and you don’t have to stick to it forever! However, committing to do it for thirty days increases your chances of sticking to it when your days are up. You can even print off a checklist for your fridge for the visual satisfaction of checking off each day. Each month you could work to eliminate one ‘not so healthy’ habit and instead replace it with a healthier habit. For example, instead of watching t.v. in the evening you could go for a walk instead. You could read for half an hour before you go to bed instead of being on your phone. You could get up early and exercise or meditate instead of sleeping in. If you want to work on your eating habits start with one easy meal like breakfast. Switch out what you usually eat for a green smoothie, a homemade fruit salad, or some avocado toast topped with tomatoes and sprouts. Any of those breakfast ideas are going to boost your energy and your mood and get you off to a great start! Then stick to it for thirty days and cross each day off on your chart. My goal for this year is to get up at 5 am most days so I have plenty of time to fit in self-care, exercise, a fantastic breakfast and also some self-development each morning.
10. CREATE A ‘100 DREAMS’ LIST FOR 2018:
Stuck with goal ideas? Write out a list of 100 dreams that you would like to achieve in 2018. Some of them may be super small like get your nails done, buy yourself flowers or visit a new restaurant that you have always wanted to try. Some of them might be things that you also might like to plan with your family like checking out a new foodie market, visiting a new bike track, getting up early and watching the sunrise somewhere special, or simply doing some baking together. Sometimes it is just the little things that can end up being the most special and remembered moments. Try planning out all of your holidays for the year, a year in advance so that you have some exciting plans to work towards and look forward to. Your dreams don’t need to be expensive and magnificent sometimes they can simply just be making time for something tiny that you have always wanted to try, do or be.
What is one of your dreams for 2018? Please share below in the comments ♥
(Photo: Annie Spratt)