It’s Time for a Life Edit—Here’s a Step-by-Step Guide

Like many, I spent a good part of the pandemic feeling out of control. With my work hours cut, my rental house being put up for sale, and the consistent state of languishing, I was overwhelmed by the unfamiliar chaos of my life. I held on to whatever predictability I could depend on. But with perfectly aligned timing, manifestation found its way into my life. I first learned about the concept from my social media feeds. Alongside influencers and the wellness elite, I saw posts from friends sharing the magic of manifestation.

As I dove into the practice, I found myself wanting a little more support in designing the life of my dreams. An annual life edit helped me create clarity and carve out space to attract what I really wanted. Read on–the results are worth it! 

 

What is a life edit?

I learned about the concept from one of my favorite podcasts, Almost 30. In Ep. 296, co-host Krista Williams shares how a life edit gave her more clarity and mental peace. As a key step in manifesting your dream life, a thorough edit is intended to help you see every part of your life in its current state. Take a deep dive into all facets of your life: digital, home, finance, wellness, mental health, and social. By doing this, you give yourself the opportunity to spend significant time sifting through the “clutter” and clearing space for what you want to manifest.

For me, a life edit was the missing piece that helped me lean into manifestation. While manifesting is about turning your thoughts into reality, the reality you want doesn’t simply come about by wishing for it. Instead, manifestation is a matter of intentional alignment. Essentially, you’re learning to shift your actions, beliefs, and habits to support the life you want for yourself. But of course, you can’t change what you’re not yet aware of. And that, dear readers, is where a life edit comes in.

Think of a life edit as a re-evaluation. It’s an opportunity to take stock and get a pulse on where your life is right now. The best way to clean a space is to (painstakingly) take everything out and only put back what you really want. That’s exactly what we’re doing with a life edit, but it isn’t just your physical stuff. By slowing down and observing our lives, we can see what to let go of and what we ultimately want to welcome in. The space between our dreams and reality becomes so much closer. Let’s go through the six areas you’ll focus on, plus tips and tricks to ensure you’re getting the most from your life edit.

 

 

How to do a life edit

Step 1: Reflect

While I’m one to jump into things before I know how to succeed, I’m trying to break that habit by taking intentional pauses. So, while a life edit sounds exciting (spoiler: it is), the best way to ensure you get what you need is to get quiet and spend some time with your journal. Not a fan of journaling? Think of it this way: Putting our thoughts into words gives them permanency that keeping beliefs in our heads can’t. It’s a bit like creating a roadmap for yourself, and people who swear by their morning pages can attest: It’s one of the best ways to find a little much-needed clarity. 

In your journal, designate six different sections where you can reflect on the following areas of your life: Digital, home, financial, wellness, mental health, and social life. From there, respond to the following questions:

  • What do I want more of in this area of my life?
  • What feels overwhelming?
  • Do I feel any blocks keeping me from achieving my goals?
  • What do I want to introduce more of? 
  • What can I release?
  • How would it look to feel a greater sense of peace?

 

Step 2: Accept that this will be a challenging process

Before diving in, I want you to know that this part of your life edit can take a while. There’s no set timeline, but you want to be sure not to rush the process. Be patient and give yourself grace. We often don’t give ourselves enough credit for how challenging it can be to let go of objects or say goodbye to relationships that no longer serve us. And coming face to face with the reality of our financial lives can be a hard pill to swallow.

Initially, these truths kept me from acting on what I’d written in my journal. I wanted to start saving more money but seeing my spending habits brought on a whole bout of shame. And while I no longer wanted to feel obligated to pour effort into a relationship, my fear of conflict kept me from standing up for myself. The best thing you can do is move forward. It will be difficult and uncomfortable, but nothing is more challenging than staying stuck.

 

 

Step 3: Take action

Once you’ve spent enough time reflecting and journaling, identify the area of your life you want to focus on first. (Pro tip: Start with what feels like will be the easiest and build momentum from there.) With your journal responses as guidance, take the time to sift and sort through everything that relates to this part of your life. So if you’re starting with your digital life, focus on your devices and online presence. Spend time with your phone and computer to delete old texts, re-evaluate contacts, and clear your inbox. Unsubscribe from emails that cause you stress, and make sure you’re not signed up for subscriptions you no longer use. Do you want to spend less time on social media? Do you need to let go of a few profiles that leave you feeling drained? Consider the steps that will help you reach your goals. 

Personally, I had the most fun Marie Kondo-ing my apartment. It gave me the opportunity to separate my things into keep, donate, and trash piles. (The closet purge was the most satisfying part.) Remember: No life edit looks the same. This will be a deeply personal and emotional process that might cause you stress in certain areas where others will feel completely calm. That’s perfectly fine! One thing that’s consistent across all life edits? You’ll feel more aligned and confident about where you’re giving your focus, attention, and energy as you step into this next season of life.

 

I finished. Now what?

While I like to do a life edit on a yearly basis, there’s nothing stopping you from doing one as often as you’d like. The purpose is to notice when you’re feeling overwhelmed and to lean into a life edit to bring you greater clarity. And yes, it feels amazing to make your way through the process. However, it’s important to remember that it’s an ongoing journey. The ever-elusive concept of balance isn’t something we’re meant to achieve and maintain at all times. We meet new people, embrace new goals, and welcome new objects into our lives every day. By viewing a life edit as a perennial practice, you can trust you have what you need to create the life that you want.

 

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