Reinvent Yourself

Reinvent Yourself in 21 Days

Can a mop and a dust cloth bring happiness and luck?

Back in August, I picked up a book written by Mr. Mitsuhiro Masuda (in Japanese) who advocates the power of cleaning and decluttering.  He maintains that we can be happier and luckier by cleaning up our place of living.  I was a brand-new entrepreneur at that time, meaning my business was starting to attract some clients but not enough to be in full operation, so I had time and was willing to try anything to improve the situation.

Now, I know grabbing a dust cloth and reorganizing the bookshelf is as boring as it gets in personal development. But we intuitively know our environment affects our mood. When we are in a poorly-lit, cluttered room where we can’t find what we need and what we see doesn’t resonate with who we are, we feel messy, sad, frustrated, and out of place.  How can we feel bright, efficient, well-organized and be in the natural flow of energy?  Clean up!

Many people are big on decorating their place.  That is fine.  But cleaning needs to happen before decorating.  Before creating your new YOU, you need to let go of your old YOU. Physically taking care of your environment by cleaning and decluttering can stimulate letting go of your mental clutter that has been holding you in the old pattern.

The 21 Day Outside In Personal Development Program

The book came with the 21 day action plan.  It’s a good plan, but very women-oriented, so I have modified it to be helpful for everyone.  You work in one area for three days, totaling seven areas of your place of living.

Before you start, visualize who you want to be.  You are going to make your place fit for that person, your future self.  In my case, I visualized myself working happily and proudly as spiritual consultant, with many clients who appreciate my service dearly.

Ready?  Let’s begin.

Letting the fresh air cleanse and refresh the place

Day 1: Open the windows to change the air.

Day 2: Open the windows first thing in the morning and take a few deep breaths.

Day 3: Open the windows first thing in the morning, take a few deep breaths, and say “Thank you.”

You want to keep the good habit of caring for your personal space.  Changing air is the easiest and immediately-effective approach, so you are spending full three days to get this in your behavior system.  Keep doing this.  Open the windows whenever you feel stuck. And add the positive energy of gratitude.

What is your baggage literally?

Day 4: Take out everything from your wallet and throw away unnecessary items such as old receipts and coupons.  Wipe the wallet with soft cloth and put things back with gratitude.

Day 5: Do the same with your purse or bag.  Carry only what you need in an organized way.

Day 6: Check the address book in your cell phone or PDA.  Delete contacts you do not need.

You are literally taking care of your baggage.  Let go of the weight of junks and people who you know only drag you down. By making space for new things and people to come in, you are letting them in.

Bathroom: See yourself as you are to become who you want to be

Day 7: Clean the mirrors in the bathroom.

Day 8: Wipe the lights in the bathroom.

Day 9: Put away the personal care items in the cupboard and clean the vanity.

The bathroom is where you go naked and see exactly who you are, both physically and figuratively.  It may be uncomfortable to see yourself clearly as you are, but knowing who you are is the start of becoming who you want to be.

Bedroom: Energize yourself

Day 10: Move as many appliances, furniture and knickknacks out of the bedroom.  Vacuum (including the underneath of the bed).  Bring in only what is nurturing for your rest and relaxation. Other things such as electric gadgets go to your work area.

Day 11: Go through your wardrobe and throw away clothes that you don’t wear any longer.  You can donate them to Good Will if they are still in good condition, so don’t feel bad about this.

Day 12: Wash the bed linen and the clothes.

Comfortable and energetically-clean bedroom is critical to be recharged fully during your sleep.  Day 10 takes a lot of moving big items, so get help.  Then define your new self by the clothes.  This doesn’t have to mean you need to buy new clothes.  First, let go of clothes that don’t resonate with who you want to be.  They are holding you in your old roles.

Work Area: Make room for the new you

Day 13: Check your bookshelf.  Throw out books that you’ve read and don’t expect to read again, books you thought you would read someday but don’t see when that would be, along with old magazines and scraps.

Day 14: Clean up the desk drawers.  Keep only what you need in an organized way.  Other things can go to storage such as office supply box.

Day 15: Throw away your other “someday” items.  This may include exercise kits, hobbies you thought you might try later, anything that you are holding onto just because it was cheap, or expensive, or supposed to be useful but don’t really see how it fits into your life.

That vague “someday” never comes.  If you are serious about becoming the person you want to be, you have a plan – the fact that it stays someday means you don’t really need it. Let  go of your someday stuffs and make room for the very thing you really want.

Entrance: Clear your door way for better luck

Day 16: Designate area to take off shoes.  You don’t want to bring in the dirt, literally and figuratively, from the outside into your personal space.

Day 17: Clean up the door way.  The entrance is the first place your visitors see upon coming to your place, so strive to give great first impression.  No trash sitting there, please.  This also helps you feel better yourself when you come home.

Day 18: Clean your shoes.

The entrance is your interface with the outside world. You have prepared yourself by getting well recharged, letting go of the old, and making room for the new.  Now you are ready to receive the good, and the luck comes through the doorway, symbolically and sometimes even literally.

Living and dining area: Receive the goodness with gratitude

Day 19: Clean the dining table.  As usual, no unnecessary items – just clean placemats and a flower would do.

Day 20: Clean the windows.  (Have you been opening them occasionally?)  Let the light in.

Day 21: General clean up.  If there are items that seem to be out of place, decide if you need it, and if so, decide where it goes.  Each item needs its place.  You want your place in the world, too.

Living and dining area is where you eat, relax and enjoy yourself and your loved ones.  Are you fully ready to receive the good luck?  Make your living room comfortable by first letting go of the mess.

Congratulations, you made it!  Your place must be shining, and I’m sure you are feeling so proud.  You are also clear in your thinking without all the distractions.  You are on your way to be the person you envision.

How it worked for me

In September, my business grew big time and I’ve kept several weeks worth of waiting list since.  Do you think this is just coincidence?  Maybe.  But why don’t you try this program and see for yourself?

Got a Self Improvement Question? Click Here!

About the writer: Akemi Gaines writes for Yes to Me – Spiritual Healing and Growth for Greater Success.  She is a new entrepreneur, serving people who are serious about personal and spiritual growth through her Akashic Record Reading.  You can subscribe to her blog here.

35 Responses to Reinvent Yourself in 21 Days

  1. Steve says:

    This post should be titled “How to become obsessive compulsive in 3 weeks.”

  2. Edub says:

    I think its a practical way to change your environment. You have to start somewhere why not your home.

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  4. Haha . . . I think this is pretty much common sense. Different people, different way of living, I guess.

  5. Yeah, and you spend so much time in your home that it’s critical you feel good there.

  6. This approach is very similar to the Fly Lady’s programs (for the love of God DO NOT sign up for her email list unless you’re very lonely and love spam!). Basically, the idea is that if you get your environment into some semblance of order, your inner stuff will begin to work itself out.

    I agree with it to an extent, but yeah, as Steve hints, you could become a bit OCD if you take it too far.

  7. Interesting. Now you got me interested in the Fly Lady but I guess I better stay away . . .
    Balance is important. Each person has a different point of balance — please find yours.

  8. Hi Akemi,

    I agree so much with this idea of decluttering and cleaning out the old to make way for the new.

    I’ve never really done it as a program like this, I’ll have to try this out. But it sure feels good to have a clean, ordered house, especially when you work from home…

  9. Hi Anna, good to see you here.
    I hope this 21 day program gives a solid idea of exactly what to do when someone attempts to clean up and declutter. Just saying “clean up” is not enough for some.
    But as I wrote in my post on my own blog, I doubt if anyone really do this, or even start doing this. It’s easy to just sit back and criticize, it’s harder and more scary to actually grab a dust cloth.

  10. I so agree with decluttering your space. It allows you to declutter your mind and open yourself up to “the flow” of life. You know how when you can’t go to sleep without the kitchen cleaned or you are completely bugged by the laundry in the dryer (well, some of us are like that!)? that’s the idea… you’re mind is cluttered and it makes your life cluttered.

    Thanks for writing this. It’s a great start! I may read the book to get the full picture.

  11. Hi, thanks.
    If you are picking up the book mentioned in the article, please know it’s in Japanese.
    There are a lot of great info that is not necessarily available in English. This is why I do Japanese book review occasionally on my own blog. I think the best so far was: How Ordinary People Became Millionaires.

  12. Nadine says:

    I think I will take on this challenge. But I’ll need something to substitute for opening windows. It’s 28 below here and I doubt that I could get them open even if I wanted to! Any ideas?

    For those who would find this too much a challenge, I too would recommend the fly lady program. The emails aren’t that bad, just delete all those you don’t have time to read.

    Another thought, this is a good symbolic program for this time of the year when we are tidying up for Christmas or introducing good habits for the new year.

  13. Hi Nadine,

    Cool, you go girl. Regarding the windows — you don’t have to keep them open. Even in cold weather, I think there is a point in changing the air occasionally.

    And yes, that was the intention of this post. We have less than 21 days before the New Year, but I think this is a great way to prepare ourselves for the coming year.

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  15. Sandra says:

    Sign up for Flylady but set your calendar to unsubscribe in one month. You will be ready to do so then, if not before.

  16. Marelisa says:

    I love this outside-in approach. And steps like cleaning out your wallet, decluttering your closet, and opening the windows can seem small, but they make space for the new and allow stagnant energy to circulate.

  17. Hi Marelisa,
    Sounds like you know because you’ve done it!

  18. Francis Chin says:

    Akemi, you overlook one more important point: cleaning and uncluttering have to be repeated, at least once a month, or even once a fortnight. Aand it can get very tiring.

    I live in hot, humid Singapore. After 15 minutes handling the vacuum cleaner, I am dripping with sweat, and my clothes are completely wet. The feeling of having cleaned the house is euphoric, but to achieve it, I need to spend almost an hour of depressing, sweaty housework. And I have to do it once every 2 weeks. (My wife does the washing and ironing.)

  19. Nadine says:

    I’d highly recommend giving a try. She considers doing your housework in a 2 hour session to be a form of perfectionism which holds you back. Instead of vacuuming in one session, you can do just the middles of the room once a week and detailed vacuuming in the current zone once a week. So you shouldn’t be using the vacuum cleaner more than 10 minutes at a time and can avoid getting sweaty that way. I don’t do my vacuuming precisely like this since I’ve adapted to suit myself, but that is the general idea.
    – Nadine

  20. Hi,Francis and Nadine,
    Well, I don’t want to dictate exactly how you should vacuum, I trust each person to be smart enough to figure that out. But even in hot weather, I don’t think it’s a good idea to never clean up your place. And you can take a shower afterward.

  21. Nadine says:

    Woops, I didn’t mean to speak in absolutes in my response, please replace the word “shouldn’t” with “need not”. Personally, I vacuum between 5 to 15 minutes at a time.

  22. Ruth says:

    There’s definitely something to be said for the mental freedom that comes with clearing clutter. Until I read Your Spacious Self by Stephanie Bennett Vogt, I never really mad the connection between clutter clearing and personal development. It was just chore to be done, but this book has shown me that you really can’t have success at the one without doing the other.

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  25. That sounds like a facinating book. I find cleaning to be so therapeutic. If I’m feeling overwhelmed because my mind is cluttered I find that organizing my outside world does wonders. It’s amazing how much a filing break does for my mind set.

    I find that cleaning floors helps me solidify my foundation, that cleaning windows helps me have a better view about life, and that purging helps me get rid of thoughts that no longer serve me.

  26. Leisa,
    You sense the clearing effect on yourself very well! Great job.
    Our energy body expands far bigger than our physical body, so it makes so much sense to clean up the environment.

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  28. Should be made into a book: Martha Stewart’s OCD for the Holidays….

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  31. Great ideas! A lot of these are tips that I overlook. Especially tips as simple as cleaning the mirror in the bathroom and the area around the doorway.

    We become so “immune” to our place when we walk in that we don’t see what others see when coming home. We don’t smell what others smell when we come home.

    Most importantly, by doing this were telling ourselves, (our minds) that we are important and that we deserve a better space around us and subconsciously we end up feeling better about ourselves.

    Great post, keep up the great work!

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  33. Susanhewitt1954 says:

    Absolutely brilliant, I felt lost but your ideas are excellent.  Sue

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