How Making Micro Changes Can Help You Start a New Chapter of Your Life
If you look at many of the environments that make up your life, what you’ll frequently find are things that tether you to the past:
- Clothes from another chapter
- Books from another chapter
- Online profiles that reflect your past more than your present or future
I noticed this because I had a Facebook profile photo that was from a dark chapter of my life. I changed my photo and wondered what else in my environment was tethering me to the past.
My Linkedin profile has jobs that I worked at 10 years ago, ones that I wasn’t at for very long, and some of which I got fired from. But if I deleted them I would just be a Penguin author as opposed to somebody with a resume of failures.
A few months ago I went through my closet and got rid of all that clothes from previous chapters of my life. I ordered new pairs of jeans and new shirts.
I have a pair of bedsheets that I bought when I lived in an apartment I hated. 20 bucks that I lose for tossing them out is a small price to pay for ridding myself of the association to that place and time.
We struggle to change our behavior because our environments are designed to be a constant reminder of who we once were as opposed to who we want to be.
Buy a new wallet
Buy a new coffee mug
Get new bedsheets
Buy new socks
Buy a new pen to write with
Delete the phone numbers of people you’ve not talked to in 2 years.
Delete apps you haven’t used in 3 months from your phone
Think about all the small items that you use on a daily basis and ask yourself if they’re somehow connected to parts of your past that you don’t have positive memories of. These might seem inconsequential, but all of them eventually add up. As Jim Bunch once said to me, you can’t upgrade one environment and not have it send a ripple through all the other environments.
While the items from our past might not take up noticeable space, they are subconscious representations of the past. To make space for the present, and unwritten future, we have to rid ourselves of the links we have to our past. Otherwise, we run the risk of continually cluttering our future with our past.