Spring Clean Your Life

Note: This article was originally published in ‘Haywards Heath Matters’ in March 2013
Spring is here.  The weather is improving and there are daffodils, crocusses and primroses on the verges.  Now is the time when many people feel the urge to have a good clean-up of the house and the garden.  A real spring clean.
Whether or not that is true for you, the lighter evenings and the prospect of warmer weather can be quite motivating and sometimes it’s not just our physical surroundings that need a good de-clutter. Why not take the opportunity to have a look at making your life easier, tidier and more peaceful. Just putting pen to paper and making a few lists can be a good way to start.  So find yourself somewhere pleasant to sit, get a pen and a nice notebook and off you go!

‘Pledge’ to make a new start
The first step is the decision.  Make a promise to yourself that you will only have in your life those things that you really love and care about.  That goes for people, places, career, health and lifestyle. Write the promise down now.  It can be as simple statement, a poem, or maybe a quote that rings true for you. Start to think about how you can gently let go of these things.

Get rid of the cobwebs
Make a list of the things that have held you back or worried you in the past.  Are there people you have hurt or who have hurt you?  Have you taken a wrong turn in your career choices? Are you in a rut, doing the same things and saying the same things day in, day out? Do you still need to have these things in your life?  What good are they doing you? What can you do to make it easier? Draw a line under them all and promise yourself that you will move on.

Polish your trophies
No matter how things may feel at times, you have achieved a great deal in your life. It is so easy to overlook our own successes and think that we are not doing anything worthwhile.  Write down some of the things that you feel proud of.
I know that for some it can be hard to think of anything because we all underestimate the significant difference we make in our lives. Some people have genuine milestones – winning prizes, getting qualifications, promotions or creating beautiful art and craft. Every day is full of small achievements too – getting a task done at work, getting the children off to school, going for a run or a walk.  There are also things so big we don’t notice them, like having a roof over our heads, being able to put food on the table, having people who care for us.  Each of these is a blessing and an achievement.  Write them all down.  Run out of paper!

Add some sparkle
Now you are starting to have a clearer idea of the things you don’t want in your life and the things of which you can be proud, perhaps you can start to live with a greater sense of purpose.  The ideas here are just starters to get you in the mood, and by committing your thoughts to paper as I have suggested it will be harder to forget and slip back into your old ways after the dust has settled.  It is important to remember that life is there to be enjoyed.  We are lucky that we have it.  Start to live with greater awareness and enjoy simple pleasures.  Make time for yourself and your loved ones;  go on a picnic;  watch a favourite film; take a walk in the country;  go window-shopping; plan a holiday or a trip somewhere; or just live more in the moment and enjoy it, whatever you are doing.

Robert Sanders is a therapist and life coach, supporting people in their present and helping them create their future.

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