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I was thinking back to the beginning of the pandemic when most of the world was locked down and unsure of what to do with themselves.
With most of our distractions or demands on our time removed, we were brought face-to-face with our internal “stuff.” And for most of us, it was uncomfortable to say the least.
As a result, many found new distractions like shopping online and eating more comfort foods.
Countless loaves of sourdough were baked, rooms were painted, and closets were organized.
So much clutter was being cleared that thrift stores had to stop accepting donations because they were busting at the seams.
Then the weather turned warmer and we ventured out. Nature trails were buzzing with families and dogs. People gathered — distantly — in back yards, gardens, and beaches.
Maybe this isn’t so bad after all?
Until the weather turns again.
Although we’re more than two years out from the start of the pandemic, COVID is still a reality and those of us with vulnerable loved ones need to be careful.
That may mean less time socializing than we used to do and more time at home once again.
Look out pantries and craft supplies! We’re coming for you!
Or… what if you mixed things up this time around and focused on internal clutter.
How about those emotional closets or old belief bins?
While it’s awesome to open your junk drawer and see less, well, junk, imagine what it would feel like to kick off the new year with less clutter in your mind, body, and soul.
After all, there are only so many sweaters you can donate or layers of paint you can put on a wall.
I know, I know, it’s not as much fun or as immediately gratifying, but the results are long-lasting and have a much greater impact on the overall quality of your life.
When you tend to soul clutter — things like healing old beliefs, setting some boundaries, and toning down unrealistic expectations — you open up a world of possibility.
You become empowered to make bolder moves in your life.
You trust yourself more to step outside of your comfort zone.
And you begin to finally live life on your terms.
You get to live by design instead of by default.
Give some of these a go:
- Before saying yes to requests or invitations, pause and check in with your gut. Is this something you’re excited or happy to do? If you’re not sure, use my go-to phrase — “Let me check on a couple things and I’ll get back to you.”
- Pay attention to how you talk yourself out of doing something you say you want to do. The language you use can point to some old beliefs that need revising.
- As you start your day, evaluate how much you’re hoping to get done. Is your to do list reasonable? How can you practice underpromising so you can overdeliver? (We tend to do the opposite). If anything on your list feels too massive, let your first step be to break it down into smaller steps. For things that feel particularly intimidating, keep breaking your first step down until you can complete it in less than 10 minutes.
Your time, energy, and focus are all finite, and while there are naturally some demands you must address even if you’d rather not, I bet you put more in that category than deserve to be there.
Our level of joy and happiness directly correlates to how we choose to spend the precious minutes we have each day. The more intentional you are about the thoughts, things, and people you keep in your life, the more room you have to expand into the amazing life that awaits you.