Clean Out the Clutter

Did you know that studies show most people abandon their resolutions within 14 days of the New Year? I contend that we could turn many of those resolutions into reality if we take the time to clean out the clutter before the end of the year. While "Clean Out the Clutter" is the fourth principle in my book, Divine Wisdom at Work, it is almost always the first principle readers say they start with because accomplishing that gives them the clarity and energy to do anything else. It’s also the first step in my most popular Working with Wisdom program, CRAVE Your Goals!

When most people hear "clutter," they think of the physical clutter on our desks, in our drawers, in our closets and right there on our floors. That’s always a good place to start.

This month, however, I challenge you to go deeper than that and consider the other kinds of clutter in your life that also distract and confuse you, drain your energy and keep you from achieving what’s most important. The universal law states, "The universe abhors a vacuum." By clearing out that space, you invite the universe to fill it with what serves your highest good.

Choose one or two from this list and, when you accomplish that, choose another. Before you know it, you’ll be ringing in the New Year clean and clear and ready to embrace everything you desire and deserve.

  • Emotional Clutter: What regrets and resentments are you willing to release? Are feelings of unworthiness getting in the way? Is it time to forgive yourself or someone else and move on? Are some of the goals on your list really someone else’s goals–perhaps the wishes of a parent or spouse or even your own old goals that don’t fit who you are now? No wonder you’ve never achieved them. If your resolution list is cluttered with "should" goals, it’s time to revise or retire them.
  • Technical Clutter: How many e-newsletters and daily email reminders do you subscribe to? Five, fifteen, fifty? And how many do you read? Unsubscribe to the rest and you’ll already begin to feel lighter.
  • Commitment Clutter: Make a list of all the business and social groups you’re involved with and rank them on a scale of one to ten in terms of your satisfaction. How well does each group support your goals, whether that goal is making valuable contacts that turn into clients or enjoying the company and conversation of like-minded people. Is it worth the time, money and energy to maintain your membership? Consider dropping out of any group that scores less than a seven.
  • News Clutter: The news media relies on fear and lack for its survival. Bad news sells and it can also debilitate us. While we can feel for the victims of murderers, diseases and natural disasters, is it in our best interests to watch and read all about it? Is there any benefit to us to learn the latest mess Britney Spears has gotten into? If you tend to fall asleep with the evening TV news, that’s a good place to cut back. As you continue your news diet, fill that time by reading inspirational books and magazines. Seek out good news. Visit YouTube, search for "inspirational stories" and get to know a young man named Patrick Henry Hughes. See what one woman created when she decided to "Show the World What’s Possible" at Each time you find yourself confronted with news, whether it’s the "if it bleeds, it leads" TV news or the gossip at the water cooler, ask yourself, "Does this serve me?" If the answer is no, just choose to walk away.

Share how you are winning the war on clutter.

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