Can you believe that Spring is already upon us once again? If we weren’t following along in our planners, we’d swear it was just New Years Eve. Alas, we’re over three months into this new year, and we’re already feeling ready for a fresh start.
That’s a pretty normal feeling. It’s easy to get bogged down by the idea that January 1st is the only time of year we can start over. The reality, of course, is that every day of the year can be a fresh start. And the start of Spring is as good a time as any to take a good look at the last three months—a good look at your life—do some spring cleaning and start fresh once again!
So that’s what we’re going to do today. Are you with us?
Here are five fun ways to spring clean your life and start fresh today . . . or any day of the year:
1. Review Your Priorities + Goals
If you set goals at the beginning of the year, take a look at them now. And then think through these questions: Even if you didn’t set specific goals, consider the last three months—what have been your priorities? What have you been working to accomplish (even if unconsciously)? Whether you already had priorities and goals in mind or not, are they still working for you? Is it time to change direction?
The beauty of goals—and spring cleaning your life!—is that they can change. If something is no longer working for you, okay. If that particular goal or area of your life is no longer a priority, no problem! Or maybe your priorities and goals are still right on target, and you just need to revisit them and recommit yourself to their achievement.
That’s the whole point of this exercise: no matter what you discover, you’re getting clear and re-committing. You’re starting fresh with the priorities and goals that make the most sense for you right now.
2. Spruce Up Your Schedule
Isn’t it funny how, on January 1st, it seems like we have so much available time ahead of us? A whole year to fill with trips and projects and connections and . . . life! So why is it that by the time April rolls around it feels like (once again) there are never enough hours in the day?
The thing is we always have the same hours available to us—on January 1st and every other day of the year. But it’s easy to let it slip away; to start seeing our hours and our days fill with obligations and appointments and meetings . . . and then wonder why we never have any time to do the things we really want to do.
Why not start fresh with your time, too? Sure, you likely can’t wipe your calendar completely clean, but when’s the last time you took a look at your schedule and identified what absolutely has to be done and what can go? When’s the last time you spruced up your schedule and made a little time for yourself?
Take out your planner and review your days over the last few weeks—or even months. What can you spring clean from your schedule? Where can you make more time and space for what you really want to do . . . even if that’s doing nothing at all? Spruce up your schedule and make space for your life!
3. Eliminate Those Emails
Ah, email—so helpful and so hurtful all at the same time! While they’re an important and useful form of communication, emails can also become another sort of clutter in your life. They clutter up your inbox (your digital home) and they often seep into your head—cluttering up your brain, too.
Raise your hand if you check email on your phone right when you wake up—and perhaps right before you go to bed, too? Email is only helpful it’s allowing us to communicate well and live productively. But if your inbox is overflowing with unread emails (or worse, emails you have read and just haven’t responded to), subscriptions, spam, and more—it’s most certainly not helping you at all.
Start spring cleaning your life right now by overhauling your email inbox and eliminating what’s unnecessary. Set aside time to review your subscriptions, unsubscribing from what you don’t really need to receive. (Hint: Unroll.me makes this process super easy!) Then archive or delete emails that you no longer need, and respond to those you’ve been putting off. If you’re feeling really brave, you might even select every single email and archive them all—truly starting fresh with “inbox zero”.
How you eliminate your overflowing email inbox is up to you; just give yourself the fresh start (and the peace of mind) that comes from scrubbing it clean.
4. Reevaluate Your Relationships
Relationships are one of the more important components of our lives—and yet, it’s so easy to let them fall by the wayside. We don’t often give them the same conscious maintenance that we do for our careers, our health, or even our car.
This Spring, reevaluate your relationships, starting with those that are your top priority. Are you tending to them the way that you should? Are you showing up the way you want to be? Are you receiving what you need? Are there important conversations that you’ve been putting off?
Go through a similar mental inventory for all of the important relationships in your life: relationships with your extended family, your friends, your colleagues. You might even consider the more periphery relationships in your life—the acquaintances or the random Facebook friends whose thoughts and lives still show up regularly in your feed.
It’s helpful to do this on a regular basis: to check in on the health of your relationships—giving more where you need to and cutting out what (and who) is no longer an integral part of your life. Start fresh this spring and all of your relationships will flourish—even (and especially) the oldest ones.
5. Unclutter Your Environment
You knew this one was coming, right? This may be the most obvious sort of “spring cleaning,” but that’s because it works! Go through your environment—the different rooms of your home, your car, your desk at the office—and unclutter. Throw away what you don’t need, organize what you keep. Make your space fresh, clean, and open.
Then do the same thing with your own mind. You know all of those thoughts and worries and to-dos and ahas floating around up there? Give them somewhere else to live. You might write a massive braindump of everything in your head or put different things in different places—all of your to-dos on a project list, all of your doubts and fears in a journal, and so on. Just get it all out of your head and let it live somewhere else.
Remember that your mind, your body, your home, your office—these are the environments you spend the majority of your time in and they have an effect on you. They can affect your mood, your mindset, your motivation—why not spring clean them all and set yourself up for the best possible experience . . . in each of these environments and in your life?
* * *
Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be another to-do on your list; it can be a great (and dare we say it, fun?) opportunity to get clear on what matters most to you and start fresh in every area of your life.