New Year: The Beautiful Minimalism of a Blank Slate

By Leo Babauta

We have a new year upon us, and while “January 1” is just an arbitrary date, for most of us, it feels like a new beginning.

And there’s something beautifully minimalist about this new beginning — it’s a blank slate, where we can do anything, imagine possibilities, become a new person.

In fact, this is available to us in any moment: each new second is a fresh beginning, a new opportunity, a chance to start over, a blank canvas to be filled with whatever art we are moved to create.

Let’s imagine this new year as a blank slate. It’s like an empty house: what would we like to put in it?

This is a kind of minimalism. We can start afresh, tossing out everything and only placing in this empty house what we find most important, and nothing more.

What would you like to do with the minimalist blank slate of this new year?

Ask yourself:

  • Do you want to fill it with distractions, or keep only the most important work, relationships, commitments?
  • Do you want to be constantly checking social media, or would you like to read long-form writing and books, perhaps create something new?
  • Do you want to be more mindful? More compassionate? More whole-hearted in your relationships?
  • Do you want to be more active, eat more healthy, nourishing food? Get outdoors more, find more solitude?
  • Do you want to have greater focus for your meaningful work? Be more organized?
  • Simplify your life? Get your finances in order?

Pick just a handful. Spread them out over the year. Don’t overfill the year with a list of 20 things you want to do — savor the space of your blank slate.

It’s a beautiful time to reimagine your life.

If you’d like to work on some of your changes with me and hundreds of other members in my Sea Change habit-changing program … check out our lineup of monthly challenges. We’ll be working on:

  • Mindfulness/meditation
  • Exercise/fitness
  • Diet/healthy eating
  • Productivity/procrastination
  • Simplifying life
  • and more

Join Sea Change today, and get support for the changes you’d like to make.

If you’re looking to train in the uncertainty that comes with meaningful work, I’ve also created the Fearless Training Program, which I highly recommend if you’re willing to shift your habitual patterns of procrastination and more.