With an item (or pile of items) in front of them, master organizer and Netflix star Marie Kondo asks a simple question of her clients: does this item spark joy for you? If the answer is no, Kondo insists that the item be removed from their life, because they don’t really need it and it’s serving no purpose for them.
While this strategy is most often applied to ridding your home of your grandmother’s antiques and stacks of old CDs, you can also use this idea to rid your entire life of excess—mentally and physically.
Think about the quality of the people in your life.
No, we’re not saying to cut your friends list from 15 to 5, but it is a good idea to seriously consider the energy you surround yourself with. If more than half of your friends feel like you’re just going through the motions of a relationship without getting anything in return, it’s probably time to (at the very least) have a discussion about it.
How happy are you at work?
It’s cliché, but the more you genuinely enjoy what you do for a living, the less it feels like work and the more it feels like a hobby. And who doesn’t want to live out their hobby every day and get paid for it? If your job isn’t making you happy, think about the reasons why. Maybe it’s just because of the negative environment, or your daily responsibilities don’t match what you envision yourself doing. Either way, come up with a plan to make sure this time next year you can say that you truly enjoy what you do.
Do you bring joy to yourself?
As a society, we’re pretty good at beating ourselves up. External forces at play don’t help, but once we get inside our heads about the way we look or the way we go through life, it can be pretty hard to shake those negative thoughts. It’s crucial to take time for yourself and think about who it is you really want to be. You’ll never be comfortable in your own skin until you do.
How much joy do you bring to others?
This ties in to how much joy you bring to yourself more than you might think, but when it comes down to it, when we have a negative self-image, it can make us negative toward those we love. People want to feel appreciated and accepted, and if you aren’t making the people in your life feel that way, how can you expect them to do it in return? Take steps to be more conscious about how you treat the people around you, and you’ll be surprised the positive energy you get back.