It’s fair to say that 2020 did not go the way we wanted it to. It is therefore more important that we all have a clean slate to continue our journey into 2021. My moon sign is a Capricorn, so I love order and calculation. Whether you believe in astrology or not, let this guide help you equip yourself with the tools to start the new year the way we all deserve with peace and abundance.
Disclaimer: I am in no way equipped to be a life coach or a counsellor. We are all different people on different paths so what helped me might not help you. Take the steps that strike you as useful.
- Clear and Declutter Your Space
Having a clean space to live and work is important because we are creating an environment to expand mentally and physically. This can look like an orderly desk or a made bed where we can relax from a long day. For work to be productive we need to find a place that supports us in doing so. This is why I think the first step of your end-of-year declutter mission should be to look around you and start making your living space something you are happy to spend your time in. I am well aware that this is not easy and certainly not something you can achieve within a day. As long as some intentions and goals are at play, change is happening. The beginning can be hard so I have some suggestions:
I like to start with my closet as the confinement of a closet space is a simple yet meaningful way to start decluttering. Throw out the ripped, old clothes (yes, also these old jeans that you’ve promised you would upcycle/fix for years now) and donate or sell good old clothes. Please read my 5-step guide to a sustainable wardrobe here. Now that you only have the clothes you love, it’s time to give them a good wash! While you’re at it, throw in your bed sheets as well. Imagine the feeling of wearing freshly washed clothes and sleeping in crisp sheets.
Your home overall is also important. Start at the entrance and move your way to the other parts of the house. The entrance is one of the most important spaces in any home, as it is the first thing you and whoever enters your home sees. If you’re living with your parents all of this can be applied to your bedroom entrance. First impressions count. Stand at your door and think, what could make you feel happy or relaxed when you enter the room? Picture of your loved ones? Artwork? Candles? Whatever it is, make sure to place it so it is the first thing you see when you come home. This can change how you perceive your own space.
- Clear and Declutter Your Mind
Clearing your mind can be a bit more difficult than clearing your space. That’s why it is so essential to get our physical space in order before we can truly declutter our mental chaos. For the New Year ahead, we need to work on dropping emotional baggage that’s taking up the space of new developments and energy. Here are some steps to personal growth that I like to use, especially at the end of the year:
Reflect on the past year. In a pandemic-riddled year it can be difficult to think about what you are thankful for. Try to think of at least one per month. Start with January. Note them down. A favourite memory or an achievement. Anything that comes to mind is valid. I like to do this step with friends because reminiscing on old memories together sparks wonderful conversation. You can also write down more than one point per month but it has to be at least one. Once you’ve done this, you have a great timeline of a year that might have not been the easiest. It’s a reminder that even in dark times we have the strength to make the best of our surroundings and find joy in places we didn’t expect to.
Commit to the dirty work. A true eye-opener for me was the moment I realized how crucial it is to really acknowledge the things you don’t like about yourself in order to start working on them. Maybe you hate the way you procrastinate and then stress yourself because now you only have eight hours and three cans of redbull to finish your assignment. Even though you hate pulling all-nighters, you hate yourself a little more for repeating this cycle. Maybe the problem isn’t that you don’t like the work you’re doing but some part of you doesn’t believe you deserve peaceful surroundings. I don’t think I would have been able to work on my procrastination issues if I didn’t admit my problems of self-worth. Personal growth requires uncomfortable and sometimes painful work but the only way out is through.
Set goals and make plans. BIG ONES. Writer Sarah Hagi once tweeted: “God, give me the confidence of a mediocre white dude.’ I used to find myself dismissing goals I had of becoming a writer because I thought I wasn’t good enough to achieve my dreams. When I look around me, I realize that all the people I look up to have started where I did. Even if you never achieve your goals of becoming the rich aunt who jetsets around the world, you will come a lot further believing in yourself. You only truly know if you can make it, once you have tried. You’re in university now, you haven’t even begun your professional career so I URGE you to go after your dreams. Sit down and write down your biggest goals, the ones that are so big they scare you. Try to reach for them and when you’re tired, take a break and write down more goals. If you fail that’s perfectly okay.
For 2021, write down your goals, visualise and go after them.