One of the most cathartic practices when starting a new year is purging everything that is no longer serving you. As with every cycle, there needs to be a sloughing off of old outdated elements. Are you hanging on to a coat that you haven't worn in a year? Still hung up on a past relationship that did you more harm than good? The last week of 2018 is the perfect time to contemplate which things you want to keep and which ones you are better off living without.


In this age of tech-dependency, it doesn't hurt to cut back on online addictions. Think of all the time you could have spent on more productive endeavors if you cut back on mindless gaming apps. These diversions may seem harmless at first, but overtime, they impede you from living your life. Gaming can be a very addicting and isolating activity. Those consumed by it become less productive and connected with the world outside the console. Despite seeming like a dire situation, small changes can remedy such conditions.

One way to counteract digital fixation is by unfollowing accounts and people that don't add anything to your quality of life. Ex-boyfriends/girlfriends should be unfollowed immediately. Make sure that the people left on your feed add something positive to your life. Do they provide encouragement and levity when you need them the most? Do these figures inspire you to to be a better version of yourself by motivating you into action? One example is an account that posts healthy recipes. This resource saves you time, keeps you away from overpriced greasy takeout and helps you maintain a nutritious diet. If you're a designer, following artists enriches the quality of your work. Each time you consider clicking that "follow" button, take a moment to evaluate whether this account can directly improve your life.

It's time to sort through the address book in your smartphone. Delete contacts that involve toxic or superficial connections. Purging ex-partners saves you from embarrassing drunk calls or text messages. It's difficult to cut ties abruptly, but removing them from your contact list is a very powerful first step. You might also have doctors or accountants that you no longer work with. Take all these extras out. A majority of the names on your list should be people who you are in constant contact with. If you stumble upon friends that you haven't been in touch with for a while but genuinely want to keep, don't erase them just yet. Now might be a great time to give them a call and see how they are doing. This also gives you the opportunity to check whether the contact information you have is up-to-date.

The next step involves deleting apps that no longer fit into your lifestyle. Apps that lie dormant on your device screen should be removed to make room for ones that you actually use and need. Think about how you would like the upcoming year to be. Do you aspire to make more money next year? Find apps that help you achieve this goal. Perhaps, keeping Uber is a good idea if you intend on making some cash shuttling people around. If you are looking to improve your diet and consumption, swapping a restaurant app for a calorie tracking one might be a good idea. The key is to continuously curate apps that benefit you on a daily basis.

Replace games that turn you into a mindless zombie with a reading app like Overdrive. This allows you to access audio and ebooks from all public libraries. All you need is a library card to log in. It's a great way to continuously improve brain function while still entertaining yourself. People who choose books over social media gain a wider vocabulary and are able to maintain mental focus and clarity. Choosing apps with substance is like consuming foods with high nutritive value.

Recycle old gadgets for store credit or cash. Collect every single tech item that you no longer use. Stores like Best Buy and Apple give store credit for old devices that are still working. If the item is completely dead, I recommend having them properly dispose of it. If you have friends or relatives that need a phone or tablet, ask them if they would like to adopt one of your fully functional ones. If you are hanging on to these old contraptions because of precious data, move everything over to your current phone or computer. Heaps of junk take up space that should be reserved for things and tools that serve a purpose.


Christmas break is the best time to open up your closet and fish out those well-loved items that fit. Once these gems have been identified, then you can decide on how you want to purge the rest of the clothes. This is the time to be brutal. If it doesn't cater to your current size and shape, consider donating it to charity. If you don't remember buying it and have no intention of wearing it, it needs to be passed on to someone who will love it more than you do. Trendy items that may look out of place during the upcoming spring season should be purged as well. Barely used trendy clothes can be resold at a Buffalo Exchange. Poshmark is a popular mediator when it comes to reselling luxury brands. The strategy is to hone in on a specific target market which will likely pay you the highest price. Once you are finished removing the articles that you no longer need, you can now reorganize your closet. Make sure all clothes are as visible as possible. This prevents repeated accumulation of unused clothes. The KonMari method can help with that. Having a closet filled with thoughtfully chosen clothes significantly shortens the time it takes for you to get ready in the morning. It also cuts back on the daily stresses of rushing to work.


Take a good look at everything you use on your face, body and hair. Are you using expired toothpaste? Is your mascara getting crusty. Be sure to check all topical treatments in case they may have gone bad. Now is the time to fine tune and evaluate your self-care products. Is the moisturizer you're using breaking you out? Need a better shampoo to combat dryness? Everything in your collection has to benefit you in some way. If it's doing more harm than good, then it needs to be left behind along with 2018. If you have recent purchases that might work better for someone else, set those aside to give away. Once you've cleared your drawers of all the toiletries and beauty products that don't work for you, then you can determine what you might need to buy. If you desperately need a mascara replacement, choose wisely. The goal is to have a minimal yet effective regimen up and running this coming new year. The focus should always be on caring for you in the most efficient way possible.


If you find yourself surrounded by Christmas presents that don't necessarily tickle your fancy, consider keeping them for regifting next year. Write the name of the giver on a post-it note to avoid regifting it back to them or their family. Gift cards don't expire in California so hang on to those precious store credits. If they become partially used before next Christmas, you can always pay for a refill at the retailer that sells them.


This transitional period is absolutely crucial in setting the tone for the upcoming new year. Let go of everything that's holding you back to make room for new and wonderful opportunities this coming 2019. Every moment is a chance for a fresh start, but Christmas break is the optimal time to do a revamping.

Photo by: Thought Catalog & Alexandru Acea

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