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 a step challenge or dry January and think you might give it a go too. But before you do, you’ll need to consider what your goals are, based on what’s important to you, rather than going along with what you hear from others. Sometimes though, you might not know where to start.

book with goals-Simply Shine

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.  

1. De-Clutter

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 

  • mindset
  • physical clutter around the house and/or your office
  • technology


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?

Physical Clutter

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. 

Read more: Practical Tips to Reduce Clutter in Your Life Now


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).   

start the year afresh-Simply Shine

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 enjoy journal prompts, join Reflect and Glow for 3 journal prompts sent to you each week. Find the details here.  

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 so we can share ideas. 

About Tina Russell

Tina Russell is a Mindset and Wellbeing Blogger and Coach who helps busy women to calm the chaos in their mind and life, prioritise themselves and shine in all they choose to do. After years of not valuing herself and being a perfectionist, Tina suffered from anxiety and exhaustion and knew something had to change. She set about retraining her brain and getting her shine back, making self-care and self-development her passions. Now happier in her life, Tina uses her coaching and influencing skills from her corporate HR career, and years of experience in making positive changes to her life, to inspire and motivate other women to do the same.


  1. Nice website!

    1. Thanks!

  2. Thank you! Some great, productive ideas which I definitely need to implement. I’ve made a start on a couple but need to keep up the momentum now.

    1. In that case, you’ll find next week’s post useful

  3. Love that this is really practical advice, I’ve started my Tech declutter and have been watching The Marie Kindo show on Netflix so hopefully I’ll start the physical declutter too!

    1. I really must watch that show. I loved the book.

  4. I loved this, and its exactly what I needed! I have started a journal this year to help me maintain focus and will be doing these questions later! Subscribed x

    1. Amazing! So pleased my post has added value. I use Daily Greatness Journal to keep myself accountable. I look forward to providing much more content for you

  5. Great advise its hard to know what to do for best this time of the year xx

    1. I hope this helps

  6. Such a great post! I love the start of a new year as well. I love your decluttering tips. I haven’t thought about the tech aspect. Thanks!

    1. Hope the tech declutter goes well

  7. like your idea of journaling to get in touch with the areas that need improving. I should try this out. Very good tips on succeeding in the new year.

    1. Thank you!

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