If you purge your life of random belongings, bad habits, and unsatisfying relationships you’ll be left with something scary: time and space. What you do with all the extra time and space in your life after putting these tips into action is something we can discuss in the comments.
Better yet, I’ll grab a bunch of readers and we’ll swing by your house to help you clean out this evening. Fun idea, right? Too soon? Okay. Pick one of the following and see where it takes you. It’s time to de-junk your life!
1. Say something honest every day
Lies are rubbish. You don’t need them in your life. You might find some justification to lie to others but that justification only comes after a lie to yourself about the importance of truth. What to do? Take something you were planning on talking about already and be honest in your conversation. Being honest is a lot like lying in that it gets easier with practice.
2. Make a list of 7 things you can’t replace
You can start the next meme on Facebook with this if you like. No matter what it takes to get you started, the important thing is that you take the time to figure out what stuff really matters to you. Writing down the things you’d escape a house fire with will help you look at the things you’ve surrounded yourself with in a different way. Do you really need that inflatable killer whale? Do you actually play that piano? What you do once you’ve prioritized your stuff is up to you. My experience says that you’ll probably get rid of some junk as a result.
3. Make a list of 5 people you can’t live without
This isn’t a list you should publicize unless you want to deal with hurt feelings from your greater social group. Keep it private but make your resulting actions tangible and as public as needed for them to count. If you like, continue your list with a relationship maintenance schedule. Stop kidding yourself about the value of spontaneity and make sure you’re actually keeping in touch with the people who matter to you. You already use Facebook to keep track of birthdays. No excuses.
4. Move into a smaller home
This is simple. If your couch won’t fit in the new place, you can’t take it with you. Smaller spaces have a way of reminding us that open areas actually are important and should be preserved. The moving process itself should help get rid of some of your junk. If it doesn’t, you’ll be faced with all your extra things on a daily basis until you take care of them.
5. Become a vegan for 3 months
Jump off the fast food train for a few months and try the world of vegan cuisine. I don’t suggest this because I think the world should be vegan but because I’ve seen what a dramatic change in diet can do to your perspective on life. When you avoid animal products you turn your back on a lot of the processed junk we accept as food. Give yourself a chance to discover new foods, different recipes, and find new ways to respond to feeling hungry. After 3 months? You might return to eating animal products but you’ll never be able to go back all the way. I’m glad I didn’t.
6. Quit your job
You don’t have to actually quit your job for this to work. Just pretend you’ve quit and map out your next few steps. Will you change careers, go back to school, move to a difference city, or something else? For most of us, our job is the biggest deciding factor in what we do with our lives. It’s how we make our money and what we spend most of our time doing. So what would you do if you no longer had your job? Start planning. You might be surprisingly thrilled at what you discover.
7. Train for an endurance race
I’m a chubby dude so the reality of running a 50-mile race is still quite far in the future. That doesn’t mean I don’t get a huge amount of value from the process though. With every mile I’m reminded of all the junk I once ate and am inspired to get leaner and faster. For now, it’s not about speed. It’s about picking a distance and completing it without stopping. Those successes carry over into every other part of my life as I face new challenges and make daily choices about what I’ll allow to take up my time. If you have a friend who trains regularly, ask them to tell you about the stress relief that endurance training provides. It continues to amaze me how much mental junk disappears during a workout. Try it!
What do you do to de-junk your life? Do you have a tried and true process that allows you to keep your house clear of clutter and your mind free to create? The process of de-junking can be arduous and downright scary at times. I’m still in the thick of it as I write this but I’ve got a long string of successes to look back on and remind myself that I can get through today’s challenges just as I have those in the past. Can you say the same for yourself? If not, grab one of the tips I shared or one from a commenter and see if you can create a success story for yourself. We’ll be here to celebrate your win!
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