Decluttering our Minds and Spaces: Out with the Old, to Bring us the New

Embrace the fresh start that a new year brings with our latest blog post! As we bid farewell to the past and eagerly step into the unknown of 2024, we’ve curated a guide to kickstart your year on a positive note. Join us in a reflective journey with engaging journal prompts designed to help you navigate the aspirations and learnings of the past while paving the way for a bright future. But that’s not all – we’re sprinkling in a touch of creativity by introducing a fun and eco-friendly activity: repurposing holiday evergreen decorations. Discover how you can breathe new life into your festive adornments, infusing your space with a sense of renewal and sustainable joy. Let’s embark on this exciting adventure together, as we blend introspection and creativity to welcome the dawn of a promising new year!

Why Engaging in New Year’s Journaling Holds Significance

Even if you already maintain a regular journaling routine, dedicating a session to New Year’s journaling can guide you through contemplative questions that can shape the upcoming year. Allocating time to thoughtfully respond to a set of New Year journal prompts at the commencement of the year can prove to be a meaningful and enlightening activity.

Here are a few reasons to embrace an intentional journaling session for the New Year:

  1. Reflect on the preceding year | If you haven’t had the opportunity to reflect on the past year, a New Year’s journaling session serves as an excellent opportunity to review your achievements, lessons, thoughts, and emotions regarding the preceding year. Additional year-end journaling prompts can assist in conducting a comprehensive year-end review before embarking on the new year.
  2. Connect with your values | By pinpointing what holds utmost importance to you, your decisions for the year can be made with greater intentionality and focus.
  3. Set goals | Goal-setting is correlated with happiness, so instead of setting New Year’s resolutions in stone, articulate your goals and aspirations for the upcoming year and remember to have grace for yourself along the way.
  4. Enhance happiness and well-being | The advantages of journaling encompass stress relief, clearer intentions, improved memory, and heightened positivity. Many of these new year journal prompts are crafted to enhance your overall happiness, affecting crucial aspects such as gratitude, social connection, savoring/recognizing special moments, prioritizing movement and exercise, and goal-setting.

Journal Prompts for the New Year

We have compiled a list of journal prompts below. Read through the list and see what topics catch your interest. By no means do you need to complete every prompt listed, just expand on the questions that speak to you.

  1. How am I viewing the beginning of this year as a fresh start?
  2. What am I happy to have left behind from last year? What would I like to try to leave behind?
  3. What lessons from last year will I carry into this year?
  4. What will bring me joy and happiness this year?
  5. What new skills do I want to acquire this year?
  6. Which personal strengths do I want to utilize more this year?
  7. What adventures do I want to experience this year?
  8. What word or phrase would I like to define this year? (My personal word for this year is…peace).
  9. What new experiences do I want to try this year?
  10. How can I step out of my comfort zone this year?

We can look at this journaling process as an “internal cleaning”. We’re dusting off the corners of our minds, vacuuming up any bits that are no longer needed and wiping down the surfaces of our intentions – making it clearer to us what is helpful, what is productive and what is healthy for us in this new season.



Declutter your Mind & Your Space

As we bid adieu to the chapters of the past year, there’s a unique opportunity to infuse the promise of the new year with sustainability and creativity. Let’s embark on a journey of renewal by repurposing the remnants of last year’s holiday cheer. Those once vibrant Christmas evergreens that adorned our homes can find a new purpose as we delve into crafting an eco-friendly cleaner. This simple DIY project not only breathes fresh life into our homes but also contributes to a cleaner, greener environment. So, join me in this conscious transition from the old to the new, as we embrace the spirit of renewal and sustainability, turning festive memories into a powerful catalyst for positive change in the year ahead.

I have included an all natural cleaner below! For this recipe you can utilize evergreens from your Christmas tree, wreaths or garlands before throwing them away! As you use this cleaner you can be prompted to remember your journal entries. This can be a symbolic practice to declutter your mind as you declutter and clean your physical spaces.

Evergreen Cleaner Recipe: 

Ingredients

  • 2-3 handfuls of wild evergreen sprigs
  • 1 ½ cups of white distilled vinegar
  • 1 ¼  cups water
  • ¼ cup rubbing alcohol
  • large glass jar
  • 16 oz. spray bottle
  • Optional: include lemon or orange peels for a zesty and fresh scent!

Instructions

  • Forage for 3 handfuls of wild evergreen sprigs (or cut them from your old Christmas decor).
  • Remove needles from woody branches and pack tightly into a large glass jar.
  • Pour vinegar into the jar and place in a sunny window for 7 days. During this time the vinegar will extract the oils and anti-microbial properties of pine into the vinegar. This is when you could also add citrus peels if you’d like an extra hint of freshness.
  • After 7 days remove all plant/organic material from the vinegar by straining it out. 
  • Fill a 16 oz. spray bottle half full with the wild pine vinegar extraction solution.
  • Add ¼ cup rubbing alcohol to the spray bottle, then fill the remainder of the bottle with water.

As we conclude this exploration of embracing the new year with intentionality and creativity, we invite you to reflect on the profound journey we’ve undertaken together. As we say farewell to the chapters of the past, let’s carry forward the lessons, aspirations, and the joyous spirit of positive change into the future. Now, as we venture into crafting an eco-friendly cleaner using the remnants of last year’s holiday evergreens, let this hands-on activity symbolize a holistic decluttering—both of our physical spaces and our minds. The Pine Needle Cleaner, infused with the essence of evergreens, not only breathes new life into our homes but also echoes the promise of a cleaner, greener future. Thank you for joining us on this journey of reflection, creativity, and mindful transition. Here’s to a year filled with renewed purpose, sustainable choices, and the continuous growth of positive change.

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