How to Create a Clean Slate: Rhythms for January

How to create a clean slate – January is all about newness. It is a new year, a new month. We have the opportunity to come in with a completely fresh start, a new plan for the new year. It’s exciting, isn’t it? To think of the newness, and have the opportunity to dream a bit. But, it can also be overwhelming with all the change you want to see in your life.

While there is a lot that you want to add to your life – who doesn’t start the new year with an idea of a new habit or rhythm to implement – there may be things that you also need to take away in order to feel successful.

That is where we are going to start today. How to create a clean slate is one of those questions that is going to be answered differently for everyone. However, as you take stock of the rhythms and plans around you, you will see that you too can have a clean slate and move ahead with your ideas and plans for the year ahead.

How to Create a Clean Slate: Evaluate

You may think we are too late in the year already to be evaluating your life, but I believe that the process of self-evaluation is ongoing. There are going to be little tweaks you want to make throughout the weeks, months, years, regardless of how you feel about your life. There is always going to be improvement to be made. Having that growth mindset is a great first step!

In order to evaluate your life as a whole, you need to do a little dreaming. But, you also need to be realistic about the time that you have available to you. I have some tools to help with this. First, refer back to my last post about taking inventory of your life. Beyond that, really sit with the information that you discover from taking inventory of your life. That is going to help you figure out how to create a clean slate. It will give you permission to let go of some of the baggage you have been holding onto in favor of making forward progress in your life and in your goals!

Planning as a force of Change

Planning can mean a lot of different things to different people. It can be the general day-to-day to-do lists of life, it can also be the schedule you want to keep. But, for our purposes, we are going to look at planning as a way to encourage a particular feeling, or feelings, in our home.

When you take the time to plan ahead of time, you are removing decision fatigue while also having the opportunity to engage in habits and rhythms that you want for your family. Planning does not mean that you have every second of your day time-blocked with a to-do list for that specific period. Instead, it allows you to have margin in your days, to spend time on the things that matter most to you and your family.

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Sally Clarkson talks about this a lot in chapter 1 of her book The Life-giving Home. Taking stock of your life, and understanding where you need to make improvements. But also taking the time to understand the amount of information coming into your home. Both good and bad. Where are the places that you can reduce some of this emotional “stuff” from entering your home?

Typically this decluttering of the mind, if you will, helps lead you to want to declutter other parts of your life – perhaps the number of activities you are involved in, or for me the number of items I keep from my kids’ baby years.

How to Create a Clean Slate: Reset

As I have shared my goals over the many years of having this little corner of the internet, you may have noticed a theme. I almost always share my goals mid-January. Why is that? I realized, many years ago, that I need more time to figure out exactly what I am working towards in a new year. I like to take December as a month completely off from “working” on goals and lean into tradition. And then in January, slowly move into a new year.

Remember, there is nothing special about January 1st. There are so many goal gurus out there that tell you to just get started, get going, make some progress. And yes, that is great information in general! But, you have to evaluate your life before you get to that point. You need to make sure that you aren’t making choices because you see someone else making those choices. Finding out your true why for change is important.

That is one of the biggest reasons for a clean slate. Let go of the past, and start to move towards the future.

Take this time that you have and reset your life. Let go of the past and move forward with what is most important to you. You can start with the mental clutter – journaling always helps me to let go. Or, you can start with the physical clutter – getting rid of visual clutter can be a huge help in being able to take steps forwards. Finally, you can start with what I call planning clutter – the areas in your life that you have said yes too many times that it now weighs you down.

Evaluate those three areas. Figure out where you are committing where you don’t want to be. Understand that it is OK that you haven’t made as much progress as you wanted. And reduce the visual clutter in your life so that you don’t feel paralyzed when the opportunity to make progress on *something* comes to you.

When you think about how to create a clean slate, the easy part is understanding where you need to let go and move forward. The harder work is in actually letting go of some of those things that are weighing you down. It is challenging work, but it is worth it!

If you are interested in take a deeper dive into these topics, I would love for you to come over and check out my membership community.

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