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5 unconventional ways to a clean slate in the New Year

I love the clean-slate, fresh-start of a new year! But I also know for many years setting goals came with some big-time expectation that I was going to change overnight. My tendencies to overeat or skip workouts will magically disappear when the clock strikes midnight? Ahem… As if! You might have found yourself in the […]


I love the clean-slate, fresh-start of a new year! But I also know for many years setting goals came with some big-time expectation that I was going to change overnight. My tendencies to overeat or skip workouts will magically disappear when the clock strikes midnight?

Ahem… As if!

You might have found yourself in the same boat in years past,  you aren’t alone! According to Business Insider, 80% of new year’s resolutions are broken by mid-January.

So how do you beat the odds and set goals you actually stick to?

Well first, don’t forget the most important step! Reflect! Take time to reflect on the highs, lows and lessons learned from the previous year! This can tell you a lot about your habits for achieving goals.

Second, mentally clear your slate!

5 Unconventional ways I’m prepping for the New Year

While planning is super important, hello I have an entire course about it, I think it’s also important to physically and mentally clear the slate. While there might not be anything magical about January 1, there is something magical about decluttering, pruning back, and focusing your energy on the few most important things!


Unfollow Instagram Accounts

Ok, so this one is going to be popular in the back but I actually do some pretty major pruning to my follow list each year. Right now I sit at about 150 people I follow and probably just about 30 people who are active. Some of my closest business friends I don’t follow … and there are so many reasons why you may need to unfollow some accounts. For me that can be people in the same industry, comparison, seasons or life, or just feed overload! We have the power to filter what we let in. Don’t be shy here! Prune away.

And ps. This allows me to periodically “check in” on my friends and cheer them on while also keeping my work time decluttered and free from hours down the rabbit hole!


Clear photos off my phone and file

Each year for Christmas I make Kyle a memory book with images for the year. This has always been such a pain because 1,000s of pictures, so little time! Leaving me years scurrying to get it done before the printing cutoff or gifting him the book mid-May!

Organizing pictures is a pain in the booty (mad respect for all you photographers out there “culling” images on the regular!) but it’s such a good clean slate feeling! I download all the pictures off my phone, off Kyle’s phone and off my computer to an external hard drive. I file these by year in folders. As I’m downloading from my phone I actually sort the pictures as well … it’s easier and faster to just download them all and be done but that’s how I always found myself in the picture overload overwhelm!

In case you missed it  -> 3 Important Questions to Ask before the new year

So I actually take the time to delete all the duplicates, only keep my favorites and actually create a sub-folder of “favorites” that I will want to use in Kyle’s book or even print for our house. It’s a good 2 hours of work but SO worth it. And yes, I completely DELETE the images off our phones once they are safe and sound on the external hard drive.

(note : this year I’m actually working to move all our images to the cloud after having a hard drive crash)


Clear off “notes” app

I quite regularly use the “notes” app on my iphone. Ideas always seem to come at the most random, inopportune time and usually when I’m nowhere near my computer! So I started keeping notes of content ideas, email subject lines, gift ideas for Christmas, stuff I need to get at the grocery store (you know all the random things that pop in your head throughout the day) in my notes app.

This helps me when I have writers block on Instagram captions or email newsletters or when I need to remind my team to do something but it’s 10pm at night and we have email boundaries against that! But like all good things, without some kind of system things get cluttered and un-usable!

I found myself with 367 notes and the #overwhelm was back! So I added this task to my end of year ritual. I sort through those notes (tedious as it may be), add any ideas that need kept in either our team google drive (for business stuff), my personal google drive (for personal stuff) or Asana (our project management system). Since we have great systems and workflows for these three tools I know once I get my ideas off the “notes” app and into our content workflows they will happen! And about 80% of the notes can just be deleted anyway (like the 15 grocery lists, Christmas present lists and random tasks I give myself, etc!)


Update Net Worth Statement

Ok, so I totally just cringed thinking of this as an “unusual” practice as I think it’s one of the three MOST IMPORTANT FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS for your home and business but given that less than half of US Households maintain a budget (according to CNN and other sources) I’m assuming even less have a net worth statement.

A net worth statement is simply the difference in what you own (assets) minus what you owe (liabilities)!

In my personal finance course, Blueprint at Home, I teach all about net worth statements and how I believe it’s the most accurate indicator of wealth! If you haven’t already, sit down and track your net worth statement for this year!

I use a Google spreadsheet to keep track of our net worth each year and it’s become one of my favorite things to see the progress we’ve made over time! Oh and don’t be discouraged if you’re net worth is negative this first time around! Knowing your starting point is power. Your goal is to make it “more positive” each year!


Email Subscription Purge

Starting the week before Thanksgiving I’m in an all out find-Christmas-deals mode and sign up for all the email lists! By January that leaves me waking up to 40+ marketing emails each morning which just isn’t my jam. So I add this to my “clean slate” practice and unsubscribe from all those email lists again.

I keep my subscriber list down to 10 or less lists – some are business, most are personal. If this is the first time you’re doing the unsubscribe thing, I have heard good things about to help sift through the list faster!

Those are the main five I stick to each year.


Here are some other ideas you might like as well :

  • clean out the junk drawer
  • clean out the refrigerator (although I’m a pretty religious clean refrigerator person!), this year it’s more like clean out the freezer
  • get a haircut
  • Dump expired medications
  • Replace old makeup
  • Throw away any socks with holes

Mental clutter leads to decreased productivity! Mark off a day on your calendar and “clean your slate” for the new year! Trust me, it feels great!




I’d love for you to share in the comments below : How do you clean the slate to start the new year fresh? When have you found in the past you’ve stayed on track and accomplished your goals?

How to decrease clutter for more productivity as you head into the New Year. | Shanna Skidmore #productivity #theblueprintmodel


January 15, 2019

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