How to Start the New Year Afresh
Updated January 2020
This post isn’t about new year’s resolutions; you can read my post about that here. It is about clearing the clutter from last year so you can start the new year afresh. Embrace those new opportunities and make the most of the enthusiasm and motivation a new year brings.
I love a new year. The renewed sense of enthusiasm and the new opportunities. I am sure those opportunities would be open at any time. But there is something about a new year that means people are ready to make changes to their life. To make improvements, to start new hobbies or to stop doing things they know aren’t good for them.
You might hear someone mention they are going to take part in Red January-that sounds good. What about Dry January? These are other people’s goals and it is important to get clear on your goals and wants for the year rather than going along with what you hear from others. Sometimes though, you might not know where to start.
The New Year is a time for reflection, new starts and promises to ourselves. I’m sure you have had thoughts on what you want from this year, however big or small. Sometimes it can be overwhelming. To help you along the your way, I’ve put together a three-step process to help you shine.
One of the most important ways to start afresh in the new year, is to get rid of anything that is holding you back. You can’t properly get started on the new year until you do this. Things that might be holding you back are
- physical clutter around the house and/or your office
What unhelpful mindsets are you holding on to? Are you in need of a confidence boost? Are you keeping negative thoughts from something that happened that it would be useful to move on from now? Are you being busy but not productive? Is there anything you need to change about the way you use your time?
Clutter in your physical surroundings, will clutter your mind and spirit. Marie Kondo, famous the world over for the her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Kondo firmly believes that clearing out clutter of a room can help to clear out the metaphorical clutter of your mind.
“In addition to your room, your mind will also become tidied,” she said. “This can help with self-regard and the ways we problem solve at times.”
I know from personal experience, you feel more in control of your life and less overwhelmed. Sometimes I find it really difficult to concentrate when I have lots of things around me.
I’m usually in a hurry and save my computer documents wherever the default save option leads them to. Then, I can’t find them! It might also be that document that seemed so critical at the time, just isn’t needed now. Go through your files and delete any unnecessary documents. Organise them into folders where you can easily access them. Also, delete any applications you don’t use (on your phone, computer, tablet, etc).
2. The Reflection
Now you’ve cleared out the clutter, you are ready to start the year afresh. Step 2 is to reflect on what you want from the year ahead. I’ve developed a series of questions you can ask yourself, in order to design the year for you.
First-set yourself up for success.
If you are being interrupted or distracted, you are not going to be able to give this exercise the time and space it needs.
- So first of all schedule it in your calendar, so you know the time is protected.
- Get yourself some water and a cuppa or glass of something.
- Perhaps light a candle and put on some relaxing music.
The Writing Exercise
Grab a journal or favourite notebook and get ready to answer some questions to design a year for you
- What new habits would I like to start?
- Who do I want to spend time with in 2019?
- What would bring me more happiness?
- What self-care activities will I include daily/weekly?
- What have I always wanted to try? (exercise class, recipe, art class)
- What books do I want to read?
- What does my ideal normal day look like?
- What will I do to relax? (Reduce stress)
- What will I do for fun?
Whenever I have carried out a writing exercise like this, I find it so liberating. The ideas and thoughts are no longer flying around in my head aimlessly and instead they are starting to have some structure.
If you would like some further journal questions, you can download them here.
3. Create your Plan
3. Create your Plan
So next up is to take the answers to the questions and create your goals for the year. Remember your goals should excite you, give you things to look forward to and nourish your mind, body and soul. Most of all, bring out the best of you and make you shine!
I would love to hear how you get on with this. How did you feel before and after? Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share ideas.