IT’S TIME TO BREAK UP.

I take pleasure in reducing clutter, disorder, bad habits, excess, and the past. Regardless of the medium, there is value gained in white space—both physical and mental. One feeds the other.

Because of that, I look at a space, a life, a habit, and so on and consider what I could break up with and perhaps find expanded joy.

Here are five breakups I challenge you to:

  • Person: When you consider your heaviest relationship(s), is there one person who jumps to mind you could detach from? And if full-on detachment isn’t impossible, circumstantially, perhaps even four and half steps back to create some perspective?
  • Email subscription: Each morning as you open your inbox, are you welcomed with one too many Lowes 10 percent off coupons, Macy’s Doorbusters and promises for overnight weightless secrets revealed? Today, consider opening just one of those, scrolling to the bottom and click unsubscribe. Perhaps it’s too overwhelming to tackle all at once — so start with one.
  • Piece of clothing: We’re each guilty of hangers of good intentions lining our closets. “I paid so much for that shirt.” “I’ll wear those jeans when I lose 14 pounds.” “I might go to the Alps one day and need those shoes.” Look in your closet and break up with one good but fruitless intention.
  • (Over) committed: When you say yes and mean no, once, it happens. When you say yes and mean no, repeatedly, overcommitment happens. What’s one yes you could revise to no going forward? Consider it.
  • Pacifier: Acceptable for kids, pacifiers remedy unpleasant feelings with quick soothing gratification. But have you recognized we’ve all found adult-pacifiers to essentially remedy the same unpleasant feelings for temporary gratification? Ice cream, Tito’s, the gym, coffee, even seemingly harmless things such as music or Netflix. Any of these (and countless others) grabbed in place of feeling our feelings is pacifying them. What’s your top go-to pacifier? What would happen if you didn’t pick it up next time? I dare you.  

-Monique Sondag