A friend of my mum’s used to have a ‘one in, one out’ approach to her wardrobe, which meant if she bought anything new, she had to throw something else out.
An impressive piece of discipline that allowed her to constantly be aware of what she had, what she needed, and what no longer made the cut.
Each Christmas, when we receive something new, how many of us think to make space for it by doing a bit of a clear-out? Probably not that many. And how many of us set ourselves the New Year’s resolution to cook more, learn a language or drink less, but forget to consider what we might have to stop doing in order to make those resolutions work?
In life, it is nigh on impossible to learn or start something new without first letting go of something else; to cook more might mean sacrificing that 30 minutes when you get in the door mindlessly scrolling through Instagram; learning a language may mean spending on lessons, and so cutting back on other expenses; and to drink less you might need to ditch the habit of reaching for a glass of wine at the end of the day.
Unlearning behaviours and breaking habits can be hard – and it is so often the hidden part of why learning to do something differently can be frustrating. So try this – next time you take on a new challenge, or try to learn a new way of working, ask yourself: what do I need to put aside for this? What learned behaviours or habits might get in my way? Once you’ve identified them, they can be much easier to let go of.
Oh, and if you ever find the secret to maintaining a ‘one in, one out’ wardrobe, let me know…