Detox Your Life in 10 Steps

I am a big believer in fresh starts. They can come at the start of a new year, a new month or a new season of Grand Designs, and over time I've managed to whittle the process of self-reinvention down to a precise art. However, if I gave you the full game plan in one go we'd be here all day so I thought that in the spirit of the #cleaneating #raw #vegan #juicecleanse society in which we exist, I would focus primarily on ridding your life of toxins, negativity & anything that might be weighing you down.

Basically, think of this as a life detox that clears the way for you to build the New You on as clean a slate as possible.

1. Set yourself a timeframe
I once gave myself an entire month, but that was because I was working on some major game plans as well as using the time as a break from various commitments. You shouldn't need anywhere near that long, but you will need to find a stretch of a few days when you don't have anything major scheduled and can really concentrate on the task at hand. I feel like a weekend would be enough for a minor reset, and up to a full week if you're feeling particularly weighed down by whatever kind of mess you've managed to get yourself into. Setting a timeframe acts as motivation, as well as providing a designated end point to make the whole thing seem more achievable.

2. Make your lists
List making is an essential part of any reinvention (slash any undertaking just generally speaking in life), and the five most vital lists that I would suggest you make quite early on in the piece are as follows:

Habits or tendencies that you would like to get rid of.
This can be anything from putting off work until 3am to obsessing over a particular guy or talking yourself out of things you want to do. Phrasing these goals as things you want to stop, rather than things you need to start, makes them seem less daunting so you're more likely to actually get them done.

Things you'd like to achieve.
Feel free to make this as broad or specific as you want, it really just acts as a way to balance out the first list and give you perspective on why it is that you need to get rid of your negative habits and unnecessary baggage.

People who bring out the best in you.
Pretty self explanatory. These don't need to be saintly individuals who study 24/7 and only eat meals directly off a plant, they just need to be people who make you feel happy, confident, energised and capable when you're around them.

People who bring you down.
Basically the opposite of the last one. Anybody who puts you down, ignores you, makes you doubt yourself or just leaves you feeling not so great when they've been around. Be very honest with yourself on this one.

Things you want to introduce into your daily/weekly/monthly routine.
Anything that you've wanted to do but just haven't gotten around to, from juicing to family dinners to elaborate paper-based crafts - decide what you want to prioritise and give it a frequency. If you want to find time to read more, chuck it in there daily or weekly. Feel better when you get the shit kicked out of you by your osteopath? Set aside time to make an appointment every month.
These aren't goals, they're just things that the New You does.

3. Evaluate your relationships
Use your two lists to honestly examine the impact different people are having on your life. If you surround yourself with people who think you're great and leave you feeling energised and positive you are going to feel so much more capable of achieving your goals than if you spend your time with people who constantly second guess you and make you feel insecure. Not everybody you know has to be on either of the lists - there are obviously going to be some in the middle - but try and be aware of who fits where.

When you're done, the people on the positive list are people you're going to start actively making an effort to see more often. The people on the negative list need to go. Obviously it's not always as simple as just cutting these people out of your life, especially if they're in your family or immediate social circle, but if you're aware of their negative impact you can at least make a conscious effort to avoid them as thoroughly as possible and stop wasting your energy. If you're struggling with this, I very conveniently happen to have written a post on how to know you should give up on a friendship, which you can experience here.

4. Cull the clutter
It is ridiculous how much power physical possessions have to weigh you down and tie you to a certain mindset or period without you even realising. Beyond that, living in clutter is just going to make you feel shit, and having a fresh, organised living space will give you room to grow. Get a bunch of garbage bags and systematically attack every corner of your living space. You don't have to throw out everything you own and begin your new life as a born-again minimalist, just get rid of things you don't use or need. Be brutal. Not only does this free up space and make things feel a lot more organised, but it also brings attention back to the things you really like that might have been buried under a bunch of old textbooks you haven't used since 2007.

5. Refine your wardrobe
Exactly the same approach but with your clothes. Anything you've outgrown, destroyed or just don't particularly like can go. In my experience, when you get rid of the things you don't really use you actually end up feeling like you have more options than when you started because everything you see when you open your closet is something that you would actually wear. Plus everyone knows that outfits are key to any kind of personal renaissance, and once you've cut the crap you can see what you're missing. (Hashtag great life advice overall amirite xx) (I also have a whole post on this. God I'm good.)

6. Make a symbolic tangible change
By this I mean just do something relatively significant that you can physically see on the reg and be motivated by to keep going. For me this is often buying new bedding, for you it might be hanging up a bunch of new pictures on your wall or shaving the sides of your hair off like Skrillex. I'm not here to judge, do whatever feels right to you.

7. Be less tech obsessed
I am not going to tell you to lock your computer in a cupboard and resign yourself to a life of board games, but good god I did not realise how addicted I was to twitter until I deleted it from my phone. I was literally composing tweets in my head for probably the first three days, but after that it started to taper off, and while I do still love me a witty quip or two (follow me @madz0rs #plug) I always feel better having taken time off. My friends and I also like to play millennial jenga when we go out for drinks, where we stack our phones in the middle of the table so you can see when a notification comes up but you're only allowed to actually check it three times over the course of the night or you have to shout a full round. Needless to say, we are all much more social on these occasions. How you carry out this point is up to you, but I definitely suggest you include it.

8. Sort out your insides
This is where a traditional detox would come into play. I don't mean to say that you should consume nothing but pressed juices for five days (longest I've lasted is 3 and I felt really smug but would have stabbed someone for a cracker), but do something to kick your ass into gear and set the tone for a more balanced lifestyle. Everybody's different and you may already be living a frighteningly nutritious life, so just have a little ponder about what you could do to make yourself feel a bit better and do it.

9. Give yourself an aesthetic sabbatical
Basically just give your skin and hair a break from anything you might be subjecting them to on a regular basis.

10. Rebuild
The whole point of the life detox is to give you a fresh canvas upon which to paint the masterpiece that is your future. Take advantage of your decluttered life and the lists you made. Designate an area for productivity and put your goals somewhere you can see them. Make plans to see the people who bring out the best in you. Keep building on the momentum you started during the detox and CRAFT YOSELF A MAGICAL DANG LIFE. YA WELCOME.