You’ve done well. Now enjoy.

With the new year quickly approaching, I want to remind you of a few things:

1. You’ve done well. You’ve done well this year. You’ve pushed through things, overcome some and are still working on others. But you’ve done well so give yourself some credit.

2. You’ve done a lot more than you think you have. Looking back at the year as a whole, it can feel like only a few things stand out. We easily forget all the little things we have done, which often add up the most.

3. You deserve to relax and enjoy yourself. And don’t tell yourself otherwise. Relaxation and happiness are not things we need to earn. You don’t need to reach some quota before you’re allowed to have fun. Waiting to reward yourself after you complete a goal is great, but too often we hold out until the big goal is accomplished, before letting ourselves enjoy even the tiniest rewards. Reward yourself for the small steps you’ve taken. Or just reward yourself because you’re wonderful and you deserve it, no matter what you’ve accomplished today. (See points 1 and 2.)

Relaxing and enjoying are different from splurging. Enjoy freely. Splurge occasionally. (tweet that)

4. You have the power to decide how you feel next year. How did you feel this year? What were your predominant emotions? Were you mostly stressed, happy, bored? Of course we experience a range but if one feeling stands out to you, is that feeling something you want to feel again this next year? If not, what needs to change?

5. Everything is a choice. This is something that really hit hard for me this year. I found myself committing to things because “I had to”, only to realize that I actually could have said no. “But I didn’t have a choice,” I found myself thinking. It was when I had that exact thought that I realized, “No. I completely, 100% had a choice. And I always have a choice.” And so do you.

Next year is filled with so many possibilities. Whatever limitations are coming to your mind right now, challenge them. Ask yourself if they must be so, or if you have a choice. You can make next year whatever you want it to be. For that matter, you can make the remaining days of this year whatever you want them to be.

You can.

Now enjoy.

Decluttering my life has brought me peace of mind and relief from the world around me. There’s nothing like walking into the space you created and knowing you have nothing more than what you need. I write articles to help others create that same feeling for themselves.

Only a few things really matter

I started re-reading Essentialism this week. Essentialism is a book by Greg McKeown about simplifying your life in all areas and prioritizing “the vital few” over “the trivial many”. It’s been recommended by The Minimalists and many others, and was given to me by a close friend.

About a third of the way through is the Essentialist principle “Only a few things really matter.” When I read that again last night, I right away thought about something I’m currently going through. I’m debating keeping one of my multiple jobs, because it’s turned out to not be an ideal fit. My hesitancy to leave comes, I think, from the idea that quitting would be wrong or somehow taking the easy way out. I know the right choice is for me to leave so I can pursue something that’s a better fit, but I haven’t been listening to myself. Instead, I’ve been making it a big deal in my mind and going back and forth.

Reading that only a few things really matter, I instantly realized that neither this job nor the stress I’m feeling about leaving this job are things that really matter. I like to look at the big scheme of things and think, “a year from now, will this even matter?” Usually when I ask myself that, the answer is no. That makes my decision a lot easier. (tweet that)

What are you making into a big deal in your life that doesn’t really matter?

Decluttering my life has brought me peace of mind and relief from the world around me. There’s nothing like walking into the space you created and knowing you have nothing more than what you need. I write articles to help others create that same feeling for themselves.

You don’t have to finish that book that sucks

Have you ever found yourself reading a book that you really aren’t into, but you feel like it would be wrong to stop reading it? You give it chapter after chapter of “it might improve” but it still sucks. And it’s sucking away your time.

I’ve had books that I’ve started, hated, put down, but kept in the chance that “maybe when I’m older I’ll appreciate it more”. Then years later I’ve opened them with renewed patience, only to nearly bore myself to sleep with it a second time. It’s laughable but true that I’ve even done this a third time with some books.

Why should we continue doing something — anything — that does not bring us joy? (tweet that)

If a book sucks, donate it. If a movie is awful, turn it off. Don’t waste any more time on it.

If the IT person you’re on the phone with is in a bad mood, hang up right now and call again to get a different person. (Real-life advice I was given just this week! Bye, Felicia.) Your time is precious and limited. Those minutes or hours are ones you won’t get back.

I think we have been conditioned from being in school, where we had to finish a book for an assignment, that no matter how much we dislike something, the point isn’t to like it, it’s to finish it. What backwards thinking.

If you buy something and change your mind, return it. If the tags are already off, give it to a friend or donate it. But don’t let it sit in your home taking up your precious space and your precious mental energy to look at it every day.

It’s only when we start valuing our time and our energy that we will see how much of it we’ve wasted in the past. (tweet that)

And on that note, I’ll let you get on with your day. How do you want to spend it?

 

Decluttering my life has brought me peace of mind and relief from the world around me. There’s nothing like walking into the space you created and knowing you have nothing more than what you need. I write articles to help others create that same feeling for themselves.