Melissa Howell: Spring clean your life
Spring is here and warmer temperatures are on the way! More sunshine and more time spent outside inhaling fresh air and fresh possibilities! Now that’s something to get excited about. At least, I am getting excited about that.
When spring rolls around, most people think of spring cleaning their homes or cars or garages. Or maybe a building that you have storage excess items in over the winter months. But have you ever thought about spring cleaning your life? When I say “spring clean your life” what comes to mind for you? When you hear “spring clean your life” what do you think, see, feel or even imagine? I’d like you to take a few minutes here to really think about what spring clean your life means to you and may look like for you.
When we are worrying or feeling powerless in situations taking actions, of any kind, helps us feel more in control and helps us tap into our own personal power. This in turn helps reduce our fear and worry. Taking positive action can also be a healthy distraction from the chaos and unknown.
I’m going to take you through how to spring clean your life and share some pondering questions while we are “retreating for wellness.”(That’s my new saying by the way. We are no longer quarantined, we are simply “retreating for wellness.” I didn’t actually come up with that, I saw it on a page a follow. But I LOVE IT!) So now, I want to take your focus from the unknown and refocus it towards you, shifting your mindset a little while providing you with inspiration and motivation.
When I think of “spring clean my life” and what it means, I believe it means clearing out the clutter. And not just the physical clutter, the emotional clutter, the internal clutter, the negative thoughts and feelings that keep us stuck. The “critter brain” or “inner critic” that continues to show up and present us with thoughts or feelings that don’t really serve us and that, by the way, are just not true.
Eliminating or distancing myself from negative people or from negative behavior or thinking. Continuing to expand my circle of greatness, gratefulness and positivity. Spring cleaning my life in a way that makes me feel empowered and inspired. That’s what it means to me. So, what does it mean to you? Remember, spring clean your life is going to mean something to different to everyone and that’s okay.
Now that you have an idea of what spring clean your life means to you, let’s dive a little deeper. What area of your life might you like to spring clean right now? Or what area of your life could use an upgrade or some tweaking?
In my coaching practice, I like to use a tool known as “The Wheel of Life” with my clients. The wheel shows multiple areas of life that might need spring cleaning or upgraded or even tweaked in some capacity. The wheel allows the client to look at all aspects of their life and decide which areas they are most happy or satisfied with and which areas are a little flat or they are dissatisfied with.
Let’s take a look at those areas. We have Health, Exercise/Movement, Finances, Personal Growth/Education, Family/Friends/Relationships, Spirituality, Career, Creativity, Home Cooking, Fun/Leisure/Joy, Social, and Home Environment. Now there are lots of variations of The Wheels of Life on the internet, but they all lead to the same concept. Which is, what areas of your life could use spring cleaning or an upgrade or some tweaking.
Okay, now that you know what spring clean your life means to you, it’s time to select an area (or areas) that you want to start Spring Cleaning (or upgrading or tweaking). Once you select the area (or areas) that you want to focus on for the next few days, I have another step for you. We’re doing some deep diving here and focusing on you right now.
Here’s the questions to ask yourself once you have selected the area you want to spring clean:
- What could I stop doing?
- What could I do less of?
- What could I do more of?
- What could I continue doing?
- What could I start doing?
For each question, you want to try and come up with five things or actions to list under each one. And remember, we’re just brainstorming here so it doesn’t mean you have to complete all of them right now. If you want, you certainly can.
I’ll give you an example of mine. I selected Exercise/Movement. (Now I did not fully do this activity just yet but want to make sure I give you an example, just the same.)
What could I stop doing? Making excuses….it’s raining, it’s too cold, I’m tried, I have other things to do, etc.
What could I do less of? Procrastinating! Holla! (I think a lot of us fall under this.) Remembering the 5 Second Rule…5, 4, 3, 2, 1-GO!
What could I do more of? Using my stair stepper downstairs and continuing to increase my laps around the driveway while the dogs are exploring the outside.
What can I continue doing? Walking up and down the stairs. (Since I’m working home these days, my office is upstairs. This means to go outside, get water or food, I must go up and down the stairs multiple times per day—I average about 15 to 20 trips, up and down.)
What can I start doing? I have this huge, open field across from my house. We let the farmers use the grass for hay, but we keep a path mowed for the kids to ride their gators and bikes. It also makes a great walking trial. Four laps around the field equals ONE mile. So, I can start walking four laps around the field daily. (I really need to commit to this one, by the way.)
Alright, now that you know what “spring clean your life” means to you and you’ve selected the area you want to start spring cleaning and you wrote down your answers to all five questions, it time to select or circle the actions on your list that would feel the greatest for you to complete in the next few days. You want to pick actions that are the most inspiring to you and would make you feel a huge sense of accomplishment. Then, jump on the wagon and get moving! I’m rooting for you and I know that you can accomplish great things!
Yay, you have just started the process to spring cleaning your life! I am curious to hear your thoughts or comments about this. Happy spring cleaning!