Well here we are my friend. 2019.
A clean slate!
A wide open pasture!
The world is your oyster!
Exciting right? And slightly intimidating. But that’s all good because we’re going to blaze some trails together.
You and me.
Each and every week here in your inbox and through other cool and fun ways both in person and through these here interwebs.
It’s kinda exciting to think of yourself as a trailblazer, isn’t it? I mean, it’s so bad ass.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary a trailblazer is “a person who makes, does, or discovers something new and makes it acceptable or popular; a person who marks or prepares a trail … for other people to follow.”
While that may sound like a tall order, think of it this way: When you make your goals a priority and adjust your life accordingly, you become a role model for others by default.
You doing you inspires them to do them.
All you have to worry about is looking ahead and clearing the way.
As you do, you’ll come across debris that needs to be bushwhacked. This debris is the clutter that stands in the way of your vision and it comes in forms that might surprise you.
It can be stacks of paperwork that taunt you every day to handle them. Those stacks might exhaust you and validate the story you tell yourself that you’re not to be trusted with important things.
It can be a closet overflowing with clothes you haven’t worn in months or years and that no longer represent who you are. It can deflate you as you choose the same uniform that allows you to fade into the background of life.
It can be an old belief that’s been playing in your mind since you were a child telling you that you don’t have what it takes to get it done or that others’ needs must come first.
It can be a draining relationship — romantic or otherwise — that exhausts you and makes you feel shitty about yourself.
It can be a lack of knowledge on how to even take the next step.
And as overwhelming as all of that sounds, none of it — and I mean NONE of it — has the power to stop you in your tracks. Pull that machete out from your waistband and start swinging (figuratively, of course)!
How you approach your clutter makes all the difference. Sure, your goal can be to have clean and clear spaces in your home and mind, but even more important is listening to what stubborn clutter is trying to tell you.
If that stack of paperwork has been sitting there for a while, what chatter comes up for you when you think about tackling it? There’s a good chance your initial thoughts will be something like “It’s gonna take forever,” or “I don’t have any place to put it,” or “I don’t even want to look at that bill.”
Your resistance is up and she’s scared. She’s looking for you to take her hand and lead the charge. The more you do, the more she’ll trust you, and the less she’ll get in your way in the future.
The number one way to do this is by using what I call “stupid small steps.” Anything other than this approach and you’ll feel overwhelmed.
I know how tempting it is to look for a shortcut to the finish line. I get it. I face it every day. When I find myself spiraling in a “magic solution” search, I stop and ask, “What is one small step I can take right now that will help me make progress?” And if I still feel resistant to that step, I break it down further.
“What is one small step I can take toward that step?”
I do this until I reach that “stupid small step” — the action that is so easy it would be harder to resist it than to do it.
These stupid small steps can quickly accumulate. I’m always surprised by how much progress I make in a short time when I bushwhack my clutter in this way. Because yes, your resistance is in itself clutter, and these small steps are a loving way to guide her out of her comfort zone.
It’s time to redefine “clutter.” I want you to see it simply as a catch-all term that represents anything that gets in the way of you making your goals a reality. Clutter doesn’t mean you’re lazy or disorganized or bad. It just means your soul needs your attention. It needs you to clear a path in a safe and compassionate way because no long-standing change ever comes from a self-punitive place.
Let 2019 be your year of love and kindness to yourself because when you do, you’ll be blazing trails and inspiring others left and right.
And I’m honored to be walking beside you as you do.
Happy New Year.