The New Year has arrived. Once again, the old calendar gets tossed and a new, pristine, clean, unused, unmarked one takes its place. A reminder that just like the year, other things have an expiration date. A reminder that things change and we should acknowledge and embrace change as a necessary force to become better, have better, and develop better.

“Out with the old and in with the new” is oft repeated and we can see why. New Year’s resolutions are made for a reason; there are often aspects of one’s life that need changing: habits to give up and habits to instill, friendships to nurture and ones to end. Some, not all, recognize how healthy it can be to clear out the clutter that infiltrates various aspects of our life. To empty a linen closet and dispose of expired health remedies and threadbare towels not only provides a sense of accomplishment but reminds us of the items we use/need/should discard. It’s also cathartic, though, to figuratively de-clutter our life of emotional baggage is as well. Perhaps we’re forcing a friendship whose shelf life has long since expired. Or we carry the figurative scars of a previous wrongdoing rather than forgiving ourselves or others. Ridding ourselves of these can prove just as healthy and energizing.

So how to begin? It begins with being truly honest. Ask yourself , “What do I want? What don’t I want? What has been my ball and chain and what do I envision as uplifting and motivating?” It’s as much the emotional as it is the physical baggage that we drag along.

Allow the new calendar year to be one of progress. Rid yourself of the chaos and confusion that impedes creativity and growth and embrace the urge to purge.