It's new year's resolution month! The beginning of the year is here, which means we're all making changes in the name of self-improvement. So many people have plans to weave new fitness routines or wellness habits into their lives, but TBH, carrying out all these initiatives can be a tad overwhelming for those of us who don't have anything planned. So I say, if you want to jump on the resolution bandwagon but don't know how, why not start from where you are right at this moment? Consider the things you can throw away for better health and more happiness in 2018, instead of tasking yourself with finding things to add to your current day-to-day.
See, when you rid yourself of actual material things that no longer serve you, you're better equipped to start the year off feeling fresh and clear. Think of yourself as the proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes of the unnecessary goods cluttering your space and weighing you down.
And you know what's really great about throwing things away? After you get stuff out of your space, it's gone. You're done. So while the rest of the world is struggling come the third week of January to keep their resolutions in place, you, my friend, are all set, because your negative clutter is gone, and (most of) it can't come back.
So, without further ado, here's a list of items to consider tossing in the trash, or even donating, this year.
1. Your Bathroom Scale
A classic, but I stand by this one. I haven't weighed myself, even at the doctor's office, in like, at least three years. And you know what? It feels liberating. Weighing myself always, always made feel bad about myself, no matter what the number was, and I know deep down that it's not, and will never be, a true measure of my well-being.
While everyone is entitled to their own relationship with a scale, by all means, I am a firm believer that the best gauge of your health is how you feel, and how in touch you are with habits of self-care that support you from the inside out.
2. That Hidden Pack of Cigarettes
Get rid of them. Get rid of them. Get rid of them! Smoking is just not good for you. It never has been, and it never will be. So let it go for good this year, and let it not even be the habit you sometimes have of lighting up once a week after a few beers.
3. Your Diet Soda Habit
Can I have no vices, you may ask? Of course you can. But let it not be this one, since diet soda has, indeed, been linked to dementia and strokes, among other things. Could all the bad press on diet soda simply be nasty rumors, like some people say? Maybe, y'all. But I think probably not, since it's made of a bunch of weird chemicals with names I can't pronounce.
Get yourself a nice water bottle, or invest in a SodaStream instead. Your body will be grateful for it!
4. Your Sh*t-Talking Habit
OK, so this is not an object, but merely an idea. Whether you're gossiping or you're being super hard on your own self, that negativity is not allowed to follow you into the new year. Sorry, pal.
Negative thinking has a major impact on your mental health, so whatever form it takes for you, it has to go. Try replacing it with a daily journaling habit to give your brain a chance to spill out all the junk.
5. All The Vintage Statement Pieces You Don't Wear
You keep them around because you're holding on to the idea that one day, one day, you will incorporate them into your wardrobe and change yourself into a new, super stylish, trendy person.
Will you, though? Really? Personally, I know that I have kept some vintage dresses around for literal years, waiting for the day I felt "cool" enough to wear them. I can save you some time and tell you right now, if you don't feel comfortable wearing them now, you're never going to. Only keep pieces of clothing that make you feel good from the inside out!
6. The Book You Know You Aren't Going To Read
There it is: George Eliot's Middlemarch, right in the middle of your floor. It's huge, and it's been with you since high school, and its main purpose through all these years has been to remind you that you haven't read it, and occasionally, to prop open stubborn windows. It also might very well be only producing unnecessary bad feels.
If you have objects like this lying around, ones that only produce guilt or self-judgment, simply give them away. Put them on the curb. When you're done, do the same with unfinished projects or un-listened-to records you've been planning to incorporate into your life, but never have.
You do you, and if you want to read Middlemarch someday in the future, heaven knows there will be a few copies waiting at the library when you're ready.
7. The Canvas Bags
I have a friend who clears out people's apartments and homes for a living, often people who have been living in the same place for many, many years. He says one of the first things he asks when he goes into a new house is, "Where are all the canvas bags? You get to keep three."
All those super "practical" items, like canvas bags or water bottles or reusable coffee cups, really pile up over the years, and because they're so "practical," you end up with a thousand of them. Allow yourself the opportunity to prioritize only the items that make your life easier, so they can actually do their job.
8. Old Makeup
Seriously, it's not good for your skin.
Yes, I, too, have had that tube of Clinique Black Honey since freshman year of college, and I'm still alive, but it doesn't change the fact that all forms of makeup have an expiration date, and we need to start paying more attention to them.
Now get out those trash bags, because it's time to clear out the BS and make room for happiness, y'all.