2022 is here, along with new hopes and dreams as well! I think all of us would like a better life in 2022. Who wouldn’t, right? Some of us will look back next year at this time with a satisfaction and fulfillment. Some will not. The difference maker will be for those who found the new way forward, because change doesn’t happen on its own.
Often, we think the best way to make improvements is to add in the new behaviors or techniques that will help us reach our goal. “I’ll go to the gym. I’ll spend more time with my spouse and kids. I’ll finish the book I’ve been writing. I’ll… “ While we must certainly add in to get the new result we want, often things don’t get done because we couldn’t find our way through the current clutter.
I would suggest the best first step is to figure out what to stop doing, in order to have the time and energy to clearly see how to implement and live out the new desired systems and goals.
Simply put, shed and simplify.
Where to start
Figuring out when and where to start is usually the largest obstacle to what we want. Here are a few suggestions.
Literally, what sucks energy and depletes your motivation?
Perhaps it’s your physical space, and it’s time to declutter so that you can move about more freely rather than literally stepping over or moving things out of the way to do want to do in that moment.
You may not need to get rid of it (but again, you might). You may need to just pack it up and put it in a closet or an attic for now so you can focus on the new.
Perhaps it’s your financial space that needs some attention. For instance, do you know how much money you spend on monthly subscriptions? Or on Amazon? (I just hit my own sensitive nerve with that one.) I don’t know anyone that doesn’t enjoy saving money. This might be an area to help free up some more emotional energy and reduce financial pressure to help you move forward effectively this year.
I’ve saved what I think is the most important space for last. What about your time space? This has nothing to do with the time space continuum, whatever that is. It’s about how you spend your most precious commodity. What about your commitments? It’s impossible to add something in your schedule without crowding or eliminating something else. Yeah, you can try sleeping less until your body mutinies. Too often we continue to say “yes” until we become overwhelmed, depressed or resentful. There’s no sin or crime in saying, “I’m sorry, that won’t work for me.”
Think about this. For every “yes” that you speak, it dilutes your other yeses. For every “no” that you speak, it protects your other yeses. Protecting your important yeses is a very good thing.
Shed and simplify, and there will be more energy, more time, and more resources to allocate to the things you have already prioritized or that you want to add in for 2022.
Let me warn you. If you decide to shed and simplify, that will mean some things that you are currently doing will go undone. This may be extremely uncomfortable and unfamiliar! That does not mean it isn’t healthy. Someone else will chair that committee. Someone else will volunteer for that event. It is not up to you to keep everyone else happy. It’s also not necessary to have everything in your home be just perfect. Do what matters most. Stop when you start to cheat yourself or the people that are most important to you.
Proverbs 4:23 says “guard your heart”. No one can do it for you but you.
A voice I respect, Shane Parrish with Farnam Street, posted recently, “Do less but do better.” Well said.
Shed and simplify in 2022, and there will be room to grow and fulfill some of the dreams that have yet to come to fruition.
Rev. Greg Griffin is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and Forgiveness Coach in private practice in Marietta, GA. His specialty is relationship repair and rescue- helping partners, spouses, and parents and their adolescents. He’s also the author of Dungeon Times Survival Guide, and Vital Faith.