A few weeks ago, I got a new MacBook. When my new computer arrived, it was intoxicatingly empty.

The documents folder was untouched. The sticky notes were blank. The iTunes library devoid of music. Just this sparkly workspace, glossy and bright.

It was a totally clean slate.

There were no “undone” things on this computer. My obsessive sticky notes detailing a variety of To Do lists. Unfinished drafts, lists of ideas that were starting to feel like guilty obligations. There were no photos of exes, no mixes made for an outgrown time and place.

I felt… free.

So free, in fact, that I decided not to restore all the files I had archived from my previous computer. I put the files into storage so I wouldn’t sully up my fresh new start.

It reminded me of how I felt moving to a new city. No routines, no obligations, no habits yet. I felt like I was on vacation. The possibilities were endless.

And I began to realize the power of the clean slate.

So much of what we accumulate – habits, opinions, relationships, stuff – builds up after awhile. We do it because we always have. Because it’s what we were doing yesterday. We may forget to ask ourselves if it’s working, if it’s what we really want.

But a clean slate frees us from all that. It allows us to look at the world as fresh and new. We are not bogged down in regrets and obligations. We are free to choose a new path.

Sometimes that path is the same one we were on. Sometimes it’s totally different. Either way, it’s up to us.

Creating a clean slate gives us freedom of choice again.

The clean slate is invigorating, whether applied to your goals or your wardrobe. Some clean slates to try:

  • a purged email inbox with 0 messages (yes, it’s possible!)
  • a new bank account to make your financial goals happen
  • a fresh To Do list with no “undone” things
  • a blank social calendar with room for stuff that really excites you
  • an empty refrigerator ready to be stocked with your new commitment to health

Think about your life – your habits, your belongings, your goals, your relationships. Get out your journal and ask yourself:

  • Where in your life do you need a clean slate? What would that look like? How would it make you feel?
  • Where do you feel stuck or overwhelmed? How could starting fresh help you move forward?
  • Is there some area of your life that could benefit from a blank canvas?
  • How would you feel if you could just start fresh?

It’s liberating. Give it a shot.