The New Year is here, and you know what that means – New Year’s Resolutions and goals for the future. Whether or not you’re a believer in New Year’s Resolutions, you’ve probably set some goals for yourself for the coming year. At least I hope you have! To paraphrase Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland – “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”
I digress. Back to your closet . . . your mental closet. You’ve got to clean out that closet. Think about it for a minute. If you’re making resolutions and setting goals every year, you should also be constantly reviewing those goals and resolutions to determine which ones are worth keeping. We can’t continuously add to our “to do” lists without assessing where we are and removing things that are no longer relevant. I’ve heard the phrase “To Don’t List” before, and I love it. You must know what you DON’T want (or need) to do before you set to doing what you DO want to do.
I’ve made a conscious effort to meditate every day, even if just for 10 minutes. The benefits of meditation are many, and more than I could fit into one blog post. But I realized that in order to make time for meditation, I had to be much more effective in how I spent my time during the day. This forced me to “clean my closet” to determine what I was doing that just wasn’t worth doing. If you identify even one thing that you can let go, I think you’ll find this exercise tremendously liberating. Cleaning your closet will help you make room for the truly important things in life.
If you’d like to learn more about meditation and how to use it to improve your mind, your life, and your practice, I highly recommend the audio book: Meditations to Change Your Brain, by Rick Hanson, a neuropsychologist, and Rick Mendius, a board certified neurologist. It is a fascinating exploration of just how malleable our brains are and how we can grow and change our brains regardless of where we are in life. I also recommend the app Calm for your smart phone. It provides an excellent introduction to meditation and includes guided meditations as short as two minutes.
Now, I’ve got to get back to cleaning my closet. I’ve got some goals for 2014 that I want to make room for.
Happy New Year!