Are your New Year’s Resolutions fading fast? Give yourself another chance by creating space that makes those resolutions part of your life. Chinese New Year is traditionally a time to clean out the old and set the stage for Good Luck in the New Year. How about borrowing the date and the tradition?
A great way to succeed with new beginnings is to create spaces that support new habits, routines and activities. When you have a beautiful, balanced and organized space, acting on your goals is easier and more enjoyable.
Tips from Linda for creating space for your life goals:
Clear out the old
This is more than just cleaning, you are creating space for positive changes: healthy eating, exercise, meditation, projects, better record keeping, simple self-indulgences, etc. Just as decluttering gets rid of “stuff”, it gets rid of old energy in your space, energy that makes you feel stuck in your life.
“Have I used it in the last year?” (This allows for seasons and holidays.) If “no”, then your chances of using it this coming year are low to none. Let it go.
“How do I feel when I am wearing this?” “Fantastic”, “OK” or “uncomfortable” (it doesn’t fit or I don’t feel my best). Give it away to a charity or friend who will really love it and use it.
“If I were moving instead of just cleaning, would I take this with me?” Release the old, what does not represent and support who you are now and who you want to become.
Set up space to support your resolutions:
If your goal is healthy eating, throw out or give to a food pantry all no-no foods. Get rid of temptation. Make space for the healthy foods that you want to enjoy. Put your vegetable steamer, new herbs and spices, and countertop electric grill in easy to use places. Keep those new recipes handy.
If your goal is home exercise: create a space for your workouts. Clear out a space for your yoga mat in a quiet corner. Change your treadmill from a clothes rack to ready-to-use exercise machine. For yoga or mediation set out aromatherapy candles or incense. Music – have a CD player or iPod handy – mellow for yoga or tai chi, upbeat for aerobics. Adjustable lighting (no one wants to spend time in a dark corner) – lower for mediation or yoga; brighter for more vigorous exercise. Hang an inspiring picture where you can see it. Set up a designated place for clean exercise clothes in your closet or bureau. Now you can “just do it.”
If going to a gym is part of your New Beginning, then make a handy space for your gym bag near the door. Restock it with clean clothes and fresh water every time you come home from the gym.
If your goal is making more time for projects, writing, or crafts; then create an organized space for the tools that you will need to do this. Set up a table or desk, comfortable chair, good lighting and storage for your supplies when you are not working on them. Move beyond “making do.”
Focus on your goals – While you are clearing out, cleaning and setting up, keep in mind what you want to do, how good you will feel doing them and the benefits you will get. Picture how you want the space to look. You are creating space for the new you, a new present and new future.
Clear your space – A clearing ritual can energize your new space. Try one of the traditional rituals. Open a window. Clear with a sage or cedar smudge stick. Or use incense. Scatter salt in the corners of the room. Burn candles. Or place a small bowl of water in the center of the room. Choose whichever ritual feels right for you. As you do it think of the old stale energy leaving the space. Picture your old ways of doing (or not doing) things leaving too. When you are finished, close the window.
Celebrate your new beginning! Say a prayer or intention asking for support in your new endeavors. You can place fresh flowers in the room. Take an indulgent aromatherapy bath with candles and music. Or order-in some Chinese food (from the healthy food part of the menu). Finish with a tender tangerine; a traditional Chinese New Year treat associated with good luck.
Good Luck to you and all of your New Beginnings.
photo by Kevin Hutchinson