Decluttering Your Life: A No-Go List for 2024
This article was originally published on Women in Print Alliance, by guest writer Meaghan Ziemba.
There were a lot of ups and downs, both professionally and personally, in 2023, and I’ve come to realize the importance of intentional living. Life is way too short to be weighed down by unnecessary baggage, be it physical or emotional. With this newfound wisdom, I’ve compiled my No-Go List for 2024–a set of resolutions aimed at decluttering my life and creating space for what truly matters
Here’s my No-Go List for 2024 that will help me declutter my life:
Saying 'Yes' to Everything
One of my biggest mistakes in 2023 was saying “yes” to everything. I eventually found myself stretched thin, constantly juggling commitments that left me with little time for self-care, personal pursuits, and time with my kiddos.
By the time November came around, I found it extremely difficult to get out of bed and maintain my daily routines. I was burnt out, and with that came a lot of tears, a lot of doubt, and a lot of missed deadlines.
The word “no” will become my personal ally in 2024. Instead of spreading myself too thin, I’ll focus on saying “yes” to the things that align with my goals, values, and well-being.
Skipping Gym Days
Anyone who knows me knows my ridiculous schedule for gym time. Yes, I get up at 3:30 a.m. to hit the gym by 4:00 a.m.
Last year, there were many days I skipped the gym to maintain a busy schedule. BIG mistake. Not going to the gym only added to my downward spiral of depression and burnout, which, in turn, negatively affected my productivity.
Whatever your self-care routine is, stick with it. Set healthy boundaries so you make time for yourself to reset, unwind, and relax. Our bodies and brains need the breaks to remain consistent. If we’re not healthy, then we’re no good to anyone, including our families.
Doing Everything by Myself
I don’t know what it is with women being scared to ask for help when needed, but I know I will not do that again in 2024.
Independence is definitely a virtue, but there’s strength in seeking support when needed. I’m letting go of the belief I have to handle everything on my own. Whether I’m delegating tasks at work or seeking assistance in my personal life, collaboration is essential to efficiency and growth, so I will be more intentional in reaching out to my tribes for feedback, advice, and assistance.
Comparing Myself to Others
With technology in the palm of our hands, it’s easy to get caught up in all the highlight reels of others and start the self-comparisons. STOP IT!
Embrace your uniqueness and understand that everyone’s journey is different. The only person you should be competing with is the person you were yesterday.
It’s too easy to get caught up in all of the vanity metrics. Many of us validate who we are by the number of followers we have, but really, what we should focus on is the impact we’re driving. Strive for continuous self-improvement rather than measuring up to external standards, bringing me to my next No-Go of 2024.
Despite evidence of competence, the nagging feeling of being a fraud is a phenomenon many of us face (even men). This year, tell that imposter syndrome to kick rocks and embrace your achievements (no matter how big or small) with pride.
Recognizing my worth and capabilities has already been paramount in navigating both my personal and professional challenges, so I am not losing sight of it in 2024.
Journaling is one thing that helps me. Keep track of your daily wins and what you want to achieve the following day. Note the obstacles in your way and potential remedies to help you get over those hurdles. When you can see what’s ahead of you, it’s easier to hit those milestones.
In 2023, I had way too many meetings. It was connected with my fear of saying “no.”
While collaboration is essential, not all meetings are created equal. As 2024 starts today, I am re-evaluating the necessity of daily meetings that often lead to a productivity drain. I am setting up boundaries and creating time blocks for productivity, and under no conditions (unless it’s an emergency) will I sacrifice those blocks for meetings that can be scheduled at a different time.
Opting for more efficient communication channels and purposeful gatherings will free up valuable time for meaningful work and personal endeavors.
Working with A**holes
As much as I would like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, not everyone in life is nice, nor do they have your best interest in mind. I learned the hard way that some people are just out for themselves and will do what it takes to get ahead in life.
This year, I’m making the conscious decision to distance myself from negative influences and toxic relationships. Collaborations should be uplifting and constructive, not draining and demoralizing.
As I embark on this journey of decluttering my life, I’m aware that change is a gradual process. Each step, no matter how small, contributes to the overall transformation.
Let’s all make this year more intentional, where our actions align with our values and our focus remains on what truly matters.
Cheers to a more fulfilling year ahead!
Meaghan Ziemba is an industrial tech writer, brand storyteller, and marketer for manufacturers. She has a B.A. and M.A. in Professional and Technical Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has been writing for manufacturing since 2008.
Meaghan also hosts a live video broadcast series called Mavens of Manufacturing. The series focuses on women in the sector. Its mission is to attract younger generations to join manufacturing or engineering career pathways to help close the skills and gender gaps. Meaghan is a proud mother of three. She enjoys cooking, CrossFit, and a great cup of coffee or glass of whiskey.