Starting 2014 With A Clean Slate … uh … Inbox

by on December 26, 2013

We’re nearly at the end of 2013 …
and despite the surge of frenzied energy as we rev up for the festive season,
there’s another, more primal pull
toward solitude
and introspection.

Between baking my world-famous shortbread
and wrapping gifts,
I find myself yearning for a few solitary hours
at my local coffee shop
buried in lattes and Leonie Dawson’s 2014 Create Your Amazing Year workbook.2014 Create Your Amazing Year

Sidenote – As I write this, I’m waiting on Santa to bring the pre-printed copy I asked for (because, you know, I’ve been very very good)
so I’m kind of pre-paving with pages from the digital edition
available free in the Academy.

Because I have to do this.
The pull to reflect will not be denied, it seems.

Along with all the inner-work I’ve done over the past year
I’ve been re-examining my business under a new lens …
focused on how I want to feel when doing it
as much as where I want to go.

The second half of 2013 has been very ‘noisy’ for me …
I’ve been doing courses and webinars,
launching my own Radical Re-Labeling program,
facilitating and contributing to various groups and forums,
going to San Diega for a conference …

all of which have been mind-bending and utterly divine
but I now find myself yearning
for still-ness.

I feel I need to turn down the volume on ‘outside’ voices
just for a while,
so I can hear the promptings of my inner GPS.

I want to start 2014 with a clean slate.

So yesterday, I started with my email inbox –
the greatest source of ‘noise’ in my online life.

It happened somewhat spontaneously …
like most good things do.

I opened my inbox …
and realized that there were more than 200 emails in there


Things to buy,
things to learn,
things that remind me that I’m not yet where I want to be,
things that I’ve bought and not used.

an overwhelming desire for the breathing room
of a clean page.

I started at the top …

Scanning each one,
I intuitively and instantly decided whether to archive
or unsubscribe.

Anybody selling anything = unsubscribe
(I’ll tell you more about why in the next post)

Anybody pushing my buttons or triggering my fear-of-success = unsubscribe.

(Mini Rant – scrumptious one, be aware that
some marketers specialize in triggering your fears …
they’re very, very good at it.

They are masters at making you feel completely useless without them.

Don’t fall for that, sweetie.
You already know more than enough to get going.
You could be a hero to someone … right this very minute.

As I went along,
I created new categories for my emails …
blogging, coaching, reference, etc …
to organize the ones I want to keep.

If I came across a useful article,
I used Evernote to ‘remember’ the article
and then deleted the email.

(I’m using hotmail, but I believe gmail makes this a whole lot easier, btw)

This morning I did the same thing with today’s influx …

Open and decide –
Keep and act upon immediately (file, reply, etc)
or Unsubscribe.

I’ve decided to do this for 30 minutes every morning
until my inbox only receives
those messages that uplift and support me,
that whisper to my knowing
rather than amplify my fears.

In the fresh, vulnerable light of the new year,
I want to be able to see …
who I am now,
where I’ve come from,
and what brilliant horizons beckon.

So this is my urging for you, angelface.

Give yourself some peace this solstice season.

Give yourself room to ruminate,
to wrap-up and release.

Give yourself stillness so you can hear your own wisdom.

Because you are stronger, more brilliant, more capable of dream-building
than you think you are, and besides,
no-one knows your life/business/heart the way you do.

Give yourself the gift of a clean slate, sweetpea.

I can’t wait to see what you write on it.



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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Suzie Cheel December 27, 2013 at 10:27 pm

love your post Jacqui and I started today on getting my inbox to zero and keeping it that way in 2014. I have started using unroll me to. I am off to wrap and release , thanks
Suzie Cheel´s last blog post ..What To Do When The Radical Self-Love Angel Comes Knocking!


Jacqueline Gates December 31, 2013 at 11:19 am

‘Wrap and release’ … love that!!


Lisa December 27, 2013 at 10:57 pm

As I was reading this, I was thinking if my in box is a reflection of the state of my inner self, I’d probably want to create some space. Thanks for the inspiration to do something about my electronic clutter that’s taking up way too much head space everyday.


Jacqueline Gates December 31, 2013 at 11:18 am

Lisa, my inbox is not usually where I begin my un-cluttering … but the prompting wouldn’t be denied this time. And it feels sooooo good.


Monna Ellithorpe December 28, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Hi Jacqui,

Great post. Exactly what I am doing “starting the new year with a clean slate.”

I wish you great success and happiness in 2014.

Have a great day, Monna
Monna Ellithorpe´s last blog post ..Make 2014 Your Best Year – No Excuses


Jacqueline Gates December 31, 2013 at 11:17 am

Monna, it’s ah-mazing how the clean-slate feeling suits this time of year, right? Kinda like an early spring.


Kathy December 31, 2013 at 8:05 am

My goals for 2014 are: write more, work harder and be more creative! Slating my inbox involves all three of them!


Pau January 1, 2014 at 3:33 am

I can definitely understand wanting to clean and unburden your life by taking care of your inbox. I once in a while get the same urge, with the house, the computer files, emails etc. Over time, better and better systems are devised to keep things clean and organized on the go, saving a lot of time.

It seems most people like having noise in their lives. It keeps them distracted to the things that matter, distracted from looking within themselves, facing things, moving forward. Where so many like to party or be social on events such as New Year’s eve, I’d rather go into solitude and introspect so that I can begin the new year in the most balanced, centered, and purposeful way.
Pau´s last blog post ..Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs


Jacqueline Gates January 4, 2014 at 8:33 pm

I’m not sure that people ‘like’ the noise in their lives. I think it’s more that they get used to it and don’t even think that it can be changed. Happy New Year, Pau.


Rey January 4, 2014 at 5:16 am

Hi Jacqueline, I always feel that you think quite differently. And let me tell you, you prove me right almost every time (laughs). Starting the new year with introspection is one of the best things to do. It gives you a chance to look back at your mistakes and plan not to repeat them in future. Thanks for such a great idea.
Rey´s last blog post ..Kids Celebrating New Years Eve


Jacqueline Gates January 4, 2014 at 8:32 pm

Yup, that’s me … different!

Glad you liked the post, Rey.


Jacob January 10, 2014 at 12:42 am

Another year gone by, but my I still have a long list of thing I never have achieved. I guess I have to take a few of your tips.. I think I need more time to give myself to ruminate.
Whew! Great blog!
Jacob´s last blog post ..How Do You Make Your Website Win in a Crowded Market?


Scott Nissenbaum January 29, 2014 at 2:47 am

Nice one… you have a very nice article.


Recruitment Notification February 7, 2014 at 12:26 am

Hi Jacqueline, nice post. I started my New Year with a new resolution to write. I will write at least one post everyday on my blog. This is such a cool idea, no? This will improve my writing skills and definitely my English.
Recruitment Notification´s last blog post ..Feature of the week: Your Gravatar profile picture on BibSonomy


Alex Vercheski February 10, 2014 at 10:53 am

I wish that I had the guts to attempt to tackle my inbox. I have like 5 different email accounts all chuck full of crap email, bank statements, and all sorts of useless junk that I will never see again but I keep it in there for the “just in cases”. Kudos!


Jacqueline Gates February 10, 2014 at 11:03 am

Alex, the quickest method I’ve found is to create a file called Archives and move EVERYTHING in your inbox into there.
Result … an empty inbox AND security for the ‘just-in-case’s. Ta daaaaa!

And then follow this little recipe to keep that inbox space sacred and serene.


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