Scheduling this post is becoming something of a yearly tradition. I first wrote it in 2010, reposted it on New Year’s day of 2011 and, well, here we are again. But it’s one of my favorite posts and – I don’t know about you – but I could certainly use a yearly reminder to freshen up.
1. Get rid of the clothes you don’t love and don’t wear
Now, you should know that getting rid of things? It’s, like, my second favorite hobby. But cleaning out your closet and getting rid of the things that don’t fit you, suit you or please you anymore – it’s a great thing. I promise you’ll feel so much better once your closet is pared down to things that look great on you and bring a smile to your face. You can even make a few bucks off your old clothes at a consignment shop!
2. Clean out your car
Goodbye empty Cheetos bags, two extra ice scrapers and orphaned mitten. Vacuum out the sand left over from this summer, splash out on the $8 automated car wash that includes a wax and switch to a new air freshener.
3. Organize your email/photos/online profiles
Do you have email folders? Dude, you need to. Even if those folders just consist of ‘friends,’ ‘work,’ ‘misc. important’ and ‘funny pictures of cats’ I promise you will feel so clean and smug when your inbox is not 254 emails deep with spam and emails about Christmas presents.
Spend a bit of time organizing your various online haunts. Maybe weed out a few Facebook friends, adjust your privacy settings, delete your Myspace account, print out your favorite photos. Again, you’ll feel all clean and smug, I promise.
4. Change up your fitness routine
I’m talking to you, self. Sure, 30 minutes on the stair climber listening to Ke$ha is awesome – and better than nothing – but how about a ballet class? Or aqua aerobics? kettle balls? hot yoga? You’ll work different muscles, meet new people and probably have heaps of fun wearing that awesome flowered swimming cap.
5. Reevaluate the relationships in your life
This is something that I don’t think we do enough. Are you happy with your partner? Are you headed in the same direction? When you look at them, do you think “How’d I get the best one?” Is everything pretty good, but a bit boring? Take stock of what’s working and what’s not. Think about ways that you can spice things up and re-connect. Have adventures. Try something new together. Have Big Important conversations.
And what about your friends? Do they inspire you and support you? Are they full of life and fun? Do you look up to them and respect them? We all know people that drain us and suck the joy out of any interaction. Maybe it’s time to let those friendships go? I’m not suggesting some epic break-up conversation, but maybe limit yourself to hanging out with them in groups, or allow them to initiate plans for once.
How about those people that you’ve met and would like to be better friends with? Make it happen! I’m totally the girl who will meet a person once, recognize a kindred spirit, and announce to them that we will now commence being friends. Really. And you’d be amazed how often this works! If you meet someone you like – tell them! Friend them on Facebook and suggest an adventure! The worse they could do is ignore you.
6. Clean out your cupboards and fridge
Not unlike your closet, you surely have things wallowing in the depths of your fridge and cupboards that are never going to see the light of day. Canned beets, anyone? Commit to eating them up, toss them or donate them to a food shelf. Give everything a good wipe down and then stock up on yummy, nutritious food that you love – feta! nutella! mandarins!
7. Update your resume
When you have a job, it’s easy to let your resume rot in the depths of your hard drive, but why not spend a few hours spicing it up? Update it with new skills you’ve learned at your current job, experiment with different fonts and layouts, make sure that all the dates, emails and phone numbers are current. You never know when you’ll need it!
8. Clean out your bathroom cabinet
I won’t bore you with those statistics about how makeup’s shelf life is supposedly 3 weeks or some such, but why not toss those old prescriptions, the frosted lipstick and that shampoo that makes your hair weird. Give everything a wipe down, wash out your makeup brushes and buy yourself a few new products you’ve been meaning to try.
10. Change out your ringtone/alarm/screen saver
Yes. Download something new and fun. Wade through the gillions of gorgeous photos on Flickr and find something new for your screen saver.
11. Try a new scent
Aroma therapy is for real. Why not try a completely new scent for your home? Or a perfume that’s completely outside of what you normally go for? I’m usually all over what I call ‘cougar scents’ – musky, spicy things that make me smell like a 50 year old woman who flies first class, drinks too many martinis and pinches the bums of stewards. But I’m going to give something light and floral a try!
12. Switch up your surroundings
You don’t need to engage in an extreme home makeover to get the feeling of a new space. Switch out the shams on your pillow cases, put some different pictures in those frames, put something different in that decorative bowl, replace the Venetian blinds with some thrifted curtains, paint an accent wall a color you love. You don’t need to break the bank to see a huge difference.
13. Make a list of new things you want to try
I’m in the process of trying 34 new things before I turn 34, but you can try any number of new things. And they don’t need to be epic, expensive, life changing things. ‘Cook something with lemongrass,’ ‘Watch Citizen Kane,’ and ‘Try Hip Hop Karaoke’ are all equally valid. It’s just important to try new things!
What fresh starts are you making this year? Leave your ideas in the comments!
original image (without text on top) by maybe sparrow’s place, for sale here.