10 ways to make some room in your life


I recently upgraded my iPhone’s operating system to iOS8 (bear with me – there’s a non-techy reason for me telling you this stuff) and was dismayed to discover that, in order to do so, I had to free up over 4GB on my phone.

wrecking ballLike most smartphone users, my phone’s storage is usually pretty crammed with photos, videos, music and apps, so freeing up this much space was going to prove tricky. And I was confused about why there had to be so much space, when the operating system itself was nowhere near that size.

Reader, I Googled it.

It turns out that the reason you need to have so much space free is to accommodate the old OS and a compressed file with the new OS on it, which is then unpacked to its full size before the old OS and the compressed file is deleted. Or, as the article I found more eloquently put it, “From mobile updates to updates meant for games, everything requires you to free up a great deal of space for a new beginning.”

I’ve talked about new beginnings quite a bit recently on this blog, so this piece of phone advice struck a chord:

When we ‘upgrade’ ourselves, either by changing a habit, altering a way of thinking or starting a new role in our lives, the old version of us doesn’t immediately go away.

If you have decided to stop smoking, for example, the urge doesn’t usually go away overnight (although you could get the wonderful Tracy Keet to work her magic). You will be running your old operating system of waking up and craving a cigarette for a while, whilst your new non-smoking OS is unpacked to its full size. The process would be the same if you were, say, deciding to adopt a positive body image instead of beating yourself up every time you look in a mirror.

If you have started a new job, your old operating system needs to stick around for a bit until the skills and routines are transferred over to the new version. Major changes in relationships, your environment or your health will work the same way.

In short, a big change needs big room to manoeuvre.

On my phone, it was relatively easy in the end to free up the space. Photos were uploaded onto my computer and music and apps were consigned to the Cloud for a few hours before being selectively reinstalled later.

But what about in life? Here are ten ways to free up space for your new beginning:

1. Be possessive about your time. Only say yes to invitations that you genuinely long to go to.

2. Take stock of your current commitments. Examine each one honestly and let as many go as you can. If letting go completely isn’t an option, could you take an extended break?*

3. Limit your time on social media or television. Be strict about this.

4. Declutter your living space. Chuck out as much as you can bear.

5. Journal your ideas, thoughts and feelings. Getting them down onto paper will free up space inside your head.

6. Be very clear about your work/life boundaries. Decide when you will leave or stop work before you start each day, then stick to it.

7. Get active in the fresh air at least once a day. A 10 minute walk can make a huge difference to brain space.

8. Meditate, pray, or do whatever it is you do to get connection time. Every day.

9. Go out of your way to avoid negative people.

10. Give yourself permission to stop and smell the roses.

Once you’ve upgraded and your new beginning has become your new Operating System, it’s up to you whether you reinstall some of your old ways. My guess is you’ll have become rather fond of having all that space though…


*My own family life is undergoing a big change right now, as my husband is going self-employed. This is an exciting move for us all and may mean some alterations to Straightforward Coaching too. We will definitely need some manoeuvring room whilst our upgrade is in progress. Consequently, this blog will continue but less frequently for a few months. Please bear with me, keep reading and commenting and stay in touch on Facebook and Twitter (but only in your strictly held social media time of course!)



photo credit: jessamyn via photopin cc


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