The New Year always brings a desire to simplify – to eliminate. An attitude of cleaning out. And while many think of just cleaning out drawers and closets, there are so many other areas in life to take into consideration for a fresh start.
5 things to eliminate in the New Year
1. Clutter. I know, I know. It’s a buzz word these days. Start the new year organized. Get rid of what you don’t need or use. Simplify, simplify, simplify.
I saw a post on Instagram (are we connected over there?) over the holidays where Lisa posted she had added reorganizing furniture in her home to the holiday madness surrounding her. She’s not alone. I found myself re-arranging furniture in my head the week before Christmas. As I told her, I think it’s because I start to feel so overwhelmed and cluttered with all the extra “stuff” … this time of year. I crave a change.
And I do. I think the turning of the calendar, coming out of the season full of STUFF, STUFF, STUFF – leaves us yearning for LESS, LESS, LESS.
So, as you are still recovering from the mayhem, think of what you can eliminate around your home. Extra linens, dishes, clothes, sit-arounds and knick-knacks (AKA dust collectors). And toys. Y’all. The T.O.Y.S. (Who else could open their own toy store these days?)
2. Less than stellar habits. I hesitate to call them “bad habits” because let’s face it – they aren’t all B.A.D. But less than great? Yes. Maybe you want to have a healthier sleep schedule. Or avoid the junk food binges that we all know at different times. Or maybe eliminate caffeine from your day. Maybe you want to give more to a cause or quit smoking. Whatever it is – write it down. Write down all the reasons why you want to kick that less than stellar habit and what you will replace it with. Carrots versus chips. A regular nighttime routine that leads to a healthy bed time versus losing track of time and falling into bed. You get the picture. And then write the benefits you know you will reap from it. Truly understand why you want to make such changes – and when you are tempted to fall back into your old ways? Read that list and remember the WHY in the decision you made.
The magic key to kick a bad habit is the WANT. You can have cheerleaders lining the block cheering you on, but only you can make the decision to make it happen. (If you are on a journey to making a change in your life, tell me in the comments or shoot me an email. I want to be one of your cheerleaders.)
3. Unnecessary expenses. This time of year also brings about the I am going to get out of debt once and for all mentality. Hello? Isn’t it funny that it’s always on the heels of the season when people spend more than they should because it’s what is “expected”? Call it buyer’s remorse or whatever you will. But (overall) Americans have proved over the years that’s it’s all about the moment. It’s all about the right now. It’s all about what is expected and about what looks good. (Or we think does.) It’s too often of times about keeping up with the Jones’. When truth be told – the Jones’ are (or should be) living on a budget too.
So, if you are serious about getting financially right in 2016? Cut unnecessary expenses. Whatever that looks like for your family. It may be reducing your grocery budget 25%. It may be cancelling cable. It may be becoming friends with public transportation. It may be simply shopping new car insurance for lower rates. Somewhere – there is money for your family to save.
4. People. What?! I know, I know. You can’t purge all people in your life. Some of them live with you. (wink) I am referring to toxic people. People who don’t push you to be more. People who suck the energy right out of you. People whose lives don’t align with your spiritual walk. Can you still love on them? You better believe it. I don’t at all think we should just “hang around” people who are just like us. But rather love them from a distance. But people whose morals and core beliefs don’t align with yours? They should never be who is speaking into your life.
I am also not referring to purging people whom you may just disagree with on an issue. I disagree most with some of my strongest accountability partners sometimes. Hello? Don’t they know I AM RIGHT? (I jest.) But I need them. We need each other. Iron sharpens iron, my friends.
True friendships take work. They take time and energy. And let’s face it – we all only have so much to give. For me, my pecking order for my time and energy is to The Lord, to my immediate family, and to my business and my closest friends. The rest of it will just come as it may. Some of it may eventually come – and some of it won’t. And that’s ok.
5. Commitments. This pretty much goes hand-in-hand with #4. Re-evaluate where your time is spent. Are you running from here to there and never home at night because you are “helping others”? At the end of the day – how much is that helping you? Are you worn out and ragged? Are you taking too much time away from your family to serve on another committee at church or community event? Think about it. We all need to be involved in something. But not everything. And if getting more quality sleep is on your to-do list, you may need to be doing even less.
This list isn’t by any means comprehensive. There are so many more areas of life that should be considered – that I should consider for my own life.
What would you add?