A New Year with Less Clutter
A new year. A fresh start. It seems January is the one month of the year we all agree to set ourselves up for success in the year ahead. We wipe the slate clean and energetically jump into the new year with resolutions and goals to achieve.
That energy? It doesn’t last long. The clutter we tried to manage in the prior year somehow finds its way into the new year. Before we know it, we’re back to doing everything the way we used to, the way that feels comfortable and easy. It’s also the way that doesn’t help us achieve what it is we most want in life.
Clutter comes in many forms. It can be physical, digital, spiritual, mental, and/or emotional. It is the result of postponed decisions. We tell ourselves we’ll clean out the closet someday. That overflowing email inbox? We’ll organize it when we’ve got some extra time in our schedule. And that person who did us wrong way back when? Forgiveness may come one day but not yet. Even the negative stories we play on auto-repeat in our minds contribute to the clutter we carry around with us every day. It’s like a weighted blanket. It feels good at first, but as time goes by, the burden of that weight becomes difficult to manage.
Time and time again, we postpone the decision to clear the clutter from our lives. We think having more will lead us to happiness. More clothes, more social media scrolling, more scheduled appointments on our calendars, more relationships (even the ones that bring us far more harm than good). In reality, that desire often perpetuates a feeling of overwhelm, and the clutter itself prevents us from accomplishing what we know we’re capable of.
The Consequences of Clutter
In a recent coaching session, a client described it as playing dress up like she did as a young girl. She’s a successful CEO and has an impressive track record as a strong leader. She goes out into the world and to her office every day looking polished and sharp. What the outside world doesn’t know, though, is that her mornings typically go something like this: she sorts through the clothes on her closet floor to choose her outfit for the day; rummages through the stacks of papers on her dining room table to find the field trip permission slip that was due yesterday; searches for the email from her doctor’s office so she knows when her appointment is (It IS sometime this week, right?); and carries with her every day the guilt of the mistake she made that caused her to lose her best friend six months ago.
On the outside, she’s the epitome of a woman who’s got it all. On the inside, though, she feels she’s falling apart. She’s playing dress up. Every day. The world sees her in dress-up mode, but she sees herself as a mess who’s just trying to get by each day.
The quality of our life is determined by the decisions we make, and we know clutter has a profound effect on our mood and self-esteem.
How Do We Rewrite Our Stories?
I am blessed to coach successful, polished, and prosperous women. I call them powerhouse women! On the outside, it appears they have it all figured out. On the inside, though, they feel stressed, overwhelmed, and not good enough. They hire me to help them clear that clutter and reset their stories so their internal perception matches their external perception. Stay tuned over the next several months, and we’ll clear that clutter together one step at a time. No more playing dress up every day. We’re playing real life. And we’re killing it!
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