Before one embarks on any major change or transition in life, it’s important to make space for the possibility by clearing the clutter. “Stuff” has the capacity to keep us stuck where we are, regardless of whether or not we’re happy with it. And I’m not just talking about physical stuff, but mental and emotional stuff.
The first step in moving forward in any direction is to cleanse your life of the stuff that no longer serves you. Accept that letting go is an integral part of the process, so you can move forward in a more fulfilling direction with greater ease.
Start by taking an honest look at your current lifestyle and examine those areas that seem to hold you back, whether it be your home or work environment, your health, relationships, or finances.
It’s important to start by taking note of where and when you feel stress, overwhelm, and lacking in energy. Even though they’re negative feelings, you can thank them for bringing awareness to areas that may need to change.
The following are some common areas that keep people stuck where they are. If any of them resonate with you, make an action plan to clear the clutter and create space for new possibilities.
Maybe you’ve heard before that your external environment reflects your internal world. Excess clutter has the potential to clutter the mind, making it difficult to cultivate any meaningful change. The first place to start making space for possibility is to physically clear out the stuff you no longer need or use. Start with one of these ideas:
- Do you have stacks of papers that you haven’t even looked at for months cluttering your desk at work? File it or get rid of it.
- Is your email inbox out of control with subscriptions you don’t even click on? Unsubscribe.
A clean workspace and a clean slate declutters the mind, so you can think clearly about necessary steps toward your next achievement.
Health – Nutrition
Say you recently had an epiphany and said, “This is the year I’ll get my health on track. I’ll eat the right foods and exercise at home for 20 minutes a day.” Ambitious goals, but it can be done if you just create the space.
- Your home environment may need a cleanse if you want a healthy life. Kitchen cabinets and refrigerators have a tendency to collect stuff over time. Have some fun and throw out all the junk and processed food that’s most definitely expired or just plain bad for you.
- Then have even more fun filling that space with fruits and veggies, proteins and essentially nutritious, non-processed items. You’ll feel lighter when you do and motivated to make healthy meals. Even better, you won’t be tempted by the Oreos… Need help? Ask a health coach!
Health – Exercise
You also decided to work out at home, but where?
- Pick an area of the house that might currently be cluttered, but unused space. It’s just a storage area for stuff you don’t need. Clear that space and create your own personal workout room with whatever equipment you’ll need to stick to your routine.
- Decorate it if you need extra motivation and transform it into a place you surprisingly want to be.
How many instances during a week do you say, “I don’t have the time!”? Well, I don’t believe that’s true. What it really means is you may be overcommitting or hesitating out of fear.
What activities in your life magically take up valuable time without you noticing? “Netflix and chill”, anyone? (And don’t get me started on social media.) Of course, relaxing on the couch may be necessary for self-care when you’ve had a rough day, but notice how often you make that excuse. Is it really true? The hard part is learning where the line is between self-care and excuses. Some of our favorite ways to audit our schedules are:
- Taking a look at your schedule and think about the commitments you make. Are they contributing in any meaningful way to your bigger picture goals? If not, you can probably let those go to make time for more important things.
- Give yourself some compassion and let go of the guilt you may feel when saying “no.” It can be a powerful word.
I know, no one really wants to talk about their finances. What you may not know is that statistics show that 55% of Americans are “financially coping.” It’s actually a lot more common than you would think. If you struggle to manage money and budgets, it’s best to simplify your financial life. I find it most effective to:
- Organize all of your financial documents in easy to find folders and shred or delete any documents you no longer need.
- Reduce the number of open accounts you have and consolidate debt.
- Automate payment on all of your bills and consistently monitor your bank accounts.
Simplifying your financial life will also save you valuable time.
Are there people in your life that seem to live in a perpetual state of negativity? Do you notice that you have less energy when you’re with them? Do they have you second-guessing your potential? Ask yourself if these relationships are serving you in any way. You most likely won’t be able to cut the cord on every draining relationship. However, you do have the choice to:
- Spend less time with them, or ask them to adjust their attitude when you do spend time together.
- Seek out and spend more time with people who believe in what’s possible for you.
Having relationships that build you up is essential. They will lift you up when you feel you’re not making much progress, encouraging you to keep going. They want to see you succeed. Success in any endeavor is more likely to occur when one is surrounded by supportive relationships.
Sometimes it’s your own mind that’s the culprit in holding you back. You may think you’re not ready to move forward or that you don’t deserve to achieve your goals. However, the root of these thoughts is fear, and it’s time to prove yourself wrong. Next time you feel the negativity creeping up on you:
- Catch yourself when the negative thoughts appear and make the conscious choice not to believe them.
- When you think, “I’m not ready,” turn the thought on its head and say, “I am ready!”
Cleanse your mind of the negativity to create space for positive reflection on what’s truly possible for you. Then take action and watch the progress unfold.
We covered a lot in a fairly short blog post. In fact, you may be feeling overwhelmed just thinking about making space. I want you to know that it’s ok! Any number of ways exist to clear the clutter from your life, but if you’re struggling to come up with a plan that makes the most sense in support of your goals and want to talk it through with a coach, you can book time with me here.
Letting go of all that no longer serves and supports us will widen the path towards success if we just create the space for possibility.