Step one to losing weight served as the foundation for dramatic change in my life. Once I had made the commitment to change that one fundamental aspect about myself, other changes followed. I’m not implying that it was easy for me to change everything, but it was simple to see that substance abuse was holding me back from achieving goals in my life.
Once you’ve freed yourself from addiction and unhealthy obsessive behaviors, you may begin to appreciate your life and yourself, therefore, you’ll begin to express respect for yourself by nourishing your body and treating yourself well.
Step two and step three followed step one because a healthier diet is much easier to follow when you are not putting chemicals into your body that cause negative side effects. Alcohol is loaded with empty calories. Exercise is an excellent form of anxiety relief, and gives you the physical outlet you need to focus and move towards health and away from dysfunction. Once you’ve succeeded at forming a new and improved healthier lifestyle, you’ll be ready to move on to the next steps towards reinvention.
In step four, I impressed upon you the importance of self-care. Once I’d become a healthier person with more self-esteem, I found the inspiration to start making other changes I hadn’t attempted before. The big one for me was to change my hair color back to its original light brown. I also began to take excellent care of my skin, finally finding the incentive to improve my complexion that had been ruined by an unhealthy lifestyle and Tuberous Sclerosis.
Step five is unique and a process I experienced after I’d rid my body of the excess weight. When you reach step five, you’ll feel the inspiration to let go of the old things in your life that are weighing you down, holding you back, and cluttering your life.
Clutter can take on many different forms, but the clutter I’m referring to here is inside and around your home. I am by nature a very tidy and organized person. By some people’s standards I may appear a bit obsessive. But, I remember the day I became inspired to rid my life of clutter. The clutter in my home may not be the type of clutter you are experiencing in yours, but it was mine and it had to go! The old stuff was taking up valuable space that I required to move comfortably into my new lifestyle.
The first thing I did was to remove all the clothing from my closets that no longer fit me well, or I was no longer interested in wearing. I gave away many dresses, blouses, slacks, and jeans. I gave thought to who would enjoy receiving those items and I delivered them to their new owners. I took many items to my local Goodwill. After I had removed all the clothing I no longer wore, it was easier to see what I really needed to add to my wardrobe. Shopping for those items was intentional and purposeful.
Next, I opened up each drawer in my home and removed all the items I no longer used and that held no sentimental value for me. Some of the items I wrapped as gifts had never even been used, so I gave them away for birthday and Christmas presents.
I gave away a lot of jewelry, lingerie, scarves, belts, purses, make-up, face and hair products, perfumes, all sorts of trinkets, books, workout DVDs, and shoes. I gave away everything I didn’t need or use, yet knew someone who could. One day, I arrived at work and had gifts to give! One of my coworkers was concerned about why I was giving so much away? She asked me if I was suicidal! I assured her that I was simply ridding my life of clutter.
When I was finished with my closets and my drawers, I moved into my home office. I cleaned out the drawers there and all the file cabinets, too. I found the experience to be liberating; similar to weight loss because when you’ve completed the goal successfully, you’ve gained extra space everywhere and everything feels lighter and seems simpler. The more organized I became, the more relaxed I was. When I was through cleaning the unnecessary clutter from my life, I knew where every single thing I owned was located.
Next, I decided to rid my life of unfinished business. Because I had gone through each file in the cabinets and drawers in my office, I was now able to organize my incomplete projects in order of priority. In order to do that successfully, my office computer needed to have old documents cleaned out and everything reorganized. I rewrote professional letters, highlighted important entries, created new folders and put each photo in its proper place. I may have the cleanest, most organized computer desktop in town! By the end of that project I had successfully ended all unfinished business, leaving my future open and ready for exciting new projects!
The point of step five is to inspire you to live differently by choosing to give up what you do not need, and learning to live with less. I believe it’s important to remove the clutter from our life because it keeps it simple and more manageable. I’ve learned that for me to achieve my goals, I can only focus on so much. By owning what I can use and maintain, focusing on less, and participating in projects I can manage, I will give myself peace of mind and eliminate the sense of urgency I once felt when surrounded by too much of everything.