Lots of people we know (maybe even including ourselves) are counting down the next six days until we start a better life. First thing this morning I heard from a lady who strikes sugar from her diet in six days. Yesterday my nephew mentioned he’s cutting back on caffeine in six days. My in-laws want to go out to dinner on New Year’s Eve for one last calorie fest before starting healthy eating/weight loss plans in six days.
Inspired by my decision to declare a moratorium on the Christmas-hating I’ve decided to hold my tongue on Resolution-hating as well. I’m smiling and nodding and offering words of encouragement instead of my regular annual harangues. I wish everyone well. I mean it. I hope YOU mean it. I’m devoting the energy I would have spent hissing and spitting to providing something constructive for us to do while we coast toward all our respective clean slates. My rolling eyes and heavy sighs weren’t really helping anyway.
I had to break my yoga streak on Christmas Day. I can’t be sure what happened. When I went to bed on Christmas Eve I felt fine. On Christmas morning I woke up with gremlins chewing on my back. It hurt so much I had to rest it—even restorative yoga was too much. My steak ended at 14 days. I’ll give it another recovery day and then start a new streak. By the time January 1st gets here I will have already made a new beginning. New Year’s Day will be like shifting into a higher gear rather than a cold start. Why not join me?
If you are waiting six days for a better life to start, join me in filling that time with an exercise in making space for all the benefits of your better life. For every holiday gift you received this year, eliminate one item of surplus from your old life. Give it away, throw it away, recycle it, or find some fun way to return it to nature (hello, fire pit!). It’s not complicated. For every gift you opened and kept this past weekend, make one thing go away. Start with clothes that don’t fit or anything sitting in storage that you never use. Move on to things you don’t really like but felt obligated to keep. Extras, back-ups, stuff that’s been put away for so long you’ve forgotten you own it. Kiss it goodbye. Cut the cord. Set it free. Let it go.
Anyone tallying up your haul from Christmas morning and suddenly wishing you’d gotten fewer gifts? I know. Try thinking of it as a reverse treasure hunt. Go on a junk hunt. Once you’ve got the number of items to find, pick a room or a closet or a drawer and hunt down something that needs to be released back into the wild.
I received four personal gifts for Yule/Christmas. The household received two gifts (given for use by the entire family). I did not count consumables—food, candy, goodies, etc. because they will be digested and flushed away. So for me that’s four items in and four items out, plus two more for the household in general:
- The Zombie gave me a new writing journal.
- I’m giving away an extra 2017 calendar I don’t need. See how easy that was?
- The Chef gave me a new headlamp.
- I got rid of a hat I haven’t worn in two years.
- I got some cozy booties to keep my feet warm.
- I ditched an old running jacket because I have four more of them. No one needs five running jackets of the same weight that all fit the same.
- My dad gave me new yoga pants.
- I eliminated a box of empty photo frames.
- The household received an outdoor space heater for our back patio.
- Goodbye old chair with the cracked seat I’m never going to repair.
- We also received an accessory for the outdoor cooktop.
- Fare thee well incense burner that has never held a single gram of incense.
It’s not rocket science. There doesn’t need to be any relation between the gift received and the item reduced; just root out the waste and release it. Think of it as a gesture of gratitude for every gift you received, like clearing out old crap to give your new gifts a place of honor. If the stuff no longer adds value to your life, stop wasting your valuable life on it. You don’t even have to do it all in one day. You’ve got six days if you need them. Love the feeling you get from one week (almost) of editing crap out of your life? Keep going. See how much you can purge that no longer serves you.
Like my yoga re-start, by the time January 1st gets here you will have already made a new beginning. Already have changed your perspective. Already brought new energy and new motivation to whatever your big six-day shift might be. Why wait? Start today.
— Foxy Fay Spaid
(six day payoff)