I know that Chinese New Year is a ways off. But January 1 is not far away. So my thoughts are turning to summing up, potential resolutions, and in general pulling myself together, given this convenient time marker.
Our New Year often focuses on creating resolutions for improved behavior. But Chinese New Year has a different angle. Chinese people focus on cleaning things up before the New Year. Specifically, they make great efforts to pay off debts before the end of the year. Moving into a New Year with a revolving credit card balance or an open loan to Uncle Theodore, how gross!
What I like about this is the cleansing, preparing, sweeping-clean, DECLUTTERING aspect of this. Instead of preparing specific plans for different behaviors or goals, what if I focused instead on preparing the way for good things to happen?
My personal take on this at this moment in my life is not money but instead email. Not so inspiring but I'm sure some of you will relate. Right now in my Entourage (the Mac equivalent of Outlook), I have any number of flagged emails – items about which I'm supposed to something but haven't yet managed to deal with. Undone things. Unexecuted tasks. Unfulfilled responsibilities. I'm not eager to deal with these – there's a reason I put things off. Considering going through this pile, I feel a minor sense of exhaustion, underscored by boredom and a faint feeling of dread. And these are the things I remember! Surely I have other to-do's that I've neglected to mark.
Do I really want to carry these over into the next year? No!
So I'm going to spend a good part of the next ten days plowing through this stuff and getting it off me. This means doing some of them and, crucially, making a conscious choice to blow others off. New client agreement? Time to wrap it up. Taking an online intelligence tool for a coach friend? I'm gonna take that off the list. (Sorry, Trish, maybe another time.) Etc.
Clearing things out and being realistic about what I actually intend to do does involve some loss. There are emails I won't respond to, links I won't click on, options I won't explore. But until I get rid of all this crap I am limited in my abilities to go after cool things in the New Year that I can't even grasp yet. There's an element of faith to decluttering.
Stay tuned! And feel free to send me your own e-decluttering tales.