Start the New Year with a clean slate

Clean SlateJanuary 1. Dreaming. Hoping. Noodling. Planning. Opportune-ing. .

The end of the December lights, music, and festivities. A chance to decide what we want to do. Who we want to be. How we want to walk through the world.

It’s a yummy day.

One that I prefer to spend in my pajamas, watching feel-good movies, and getting plenty of rest after the hustle of the last month.

All of the ideas and dreams for the New Year float around in my mind, but the motivation to get them on paper hasn’t yet struck.

January 4. Time to get back into the swing of things. Embrace routine. Pack lunches. Layer clothing. Fix hair. And step back into the world.

The thought occurs that now would be a good time to get some of those ideas for the New Year written down somewhere.

So, here it comes – my journal. I open it up to a blank page and get my pen ready…

But immediately feel let down. The wind is sucked out of my sails and I’m feeling miserable and defeated before I make the first ink spot on the page.

This is not exciting. These pages are not getting me jazzed anymore.

Something just happened at a subconscious level when I opened the pages that I’ve kept for the last year. The energy of the words that I’ve put there just left me drained. Sad. Feeling alone.

2015 was a tough year for me. I left a job I loved, a home where I felt cozy and safe. Not to mention all of the people I adore in Tallahassee.

Other crap happened too, to people I care about. Cancer. Suicide. Loss.

All of this stuff is in those page. And that journal is now a sacred space that stores all that I felt and thought and needed to process last year.

And some of it was just too heavy to bring into the energy of the New Year. I want to leave it behind.

I need a clean slate.

A New Year itself is a clean slate, a chance to make changes in your life, let go of that which does not serve you, and start down a different path.

But it’s an idea. A concept that in theory moves us into action and and sparks our creativity to implement changes.

The theory, though, is just that: theory. If we want to put theory into practice, we need tools and support that help us.

Change takes energy and focus. It requires attention, love, and a space to be in the sunlight.

If I’m writing about my changes in a book with pages that are covered in shadow, it will be hard for the changes to flourish, both on the page and in my life.

Simple solution of course – get a new journal. Boom! There it is, my clean slate.

No need to feel guilty about the blank pages in last year’s journal. I can use them to write my 2015 summary, all the things I’m grateful for(there are dozens and dozens of these), or what I learned from the year.

They can also get ripped out and put in my kids paper scrap bin or used for grocery lists.

After blessing and putting away 2015, thankful for all I’ve lived and experienced that year, I cracked open my new journal and answered these questions:
1. What was awesome about 2015?
2. What do I want to change for 2016?
3. What did I do with my time in 2015 that I do not want to repeat in 2016?
4. How do I want to feel before I go to bed the majority of days in 2016?
5. What will have to be different for 2016 to be a great year for me?

My clean slate is already working to keep the New Year vibe alive.

Is a clean slate what you need to jump into this year too?

Like this article? Please feel free to use it on your own blog or newsletter. I simply ask that you please include this blurb:
Sara Marchessault is a coach, writer, and mom who helps busy women use journaling to create more space in their life for being productive without feeling overwhelmed. To learn more about Sara and her work in the world, please visit joyfulbydesign.com or saramarchessault.com.

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