Spring Clean Your Life


by Kathy Gates, Professional Life Coach

Our minds are much like our homes. They both get cluttered with old ideas, old attitudes, old conversations, old hurts. Both need a routine cleaning out of stuff that we collected for one reason, and are holding onto out of habit, neglect, or just sheer willfulness.

Pursuing a simple, sustainable, flexible, happier lifestyle means that you have to choose it. And that means choosing to lose some other things. It means getting rid of things that no longer work for you, it means updating the way you do things, it means freeing up some space for new and exciting opportunities and challenges.

Just like cleaning your home, a mental Spring Cleaning takes a dedicated effort, a conscious choice to make changes in your mind the same way you make changes in your d├ęcor.

Here are some ideas to get you started on a Spring Cleaning for your Life:

1. Clean out the anger, hatred, jealousy, and self doubt. If you need to apologize, bit the bullet and do it. If you're still angry and waiting on an apology from someone who won't or can't give you one, decide to let it go. It's not contributing to your life -- in fact it's contaminating it -- so it needs to go to the junk heap at the curb. Only then can you put something POSITIVE in it's place. Make some room for happiness.

2. Wash away delay and procrastination. Delay and procrastination set you up for frustration after frustration. You'll find yourself constantly in the past, trying to catch up, scrambling around trying not to get caught. Is that really how you want to live? Get into the present! You're missing your life by living yesterday over and over.

3. Dust off your attitude, and put on a fresh coat of positive. A positive attitude begins with gratitude. For just one day, practice giving instead of taking, practice sharing as much love, help, care, concern, and gratitude as possible. It'll change your perspective.

4. Throw out misunderstanding, and lack of patience. Sweep out the dirt of gossip or lies. Open the shades and let in the warmth of friendship. True friendships, take work, time, energy, thoughtfulness. True friendships require forgiveness, require understanding. You don't want to be a doormat to anyone, but you do want to find relationships that are equal and reciprocal. The results are certainly worth it.

5. Lighten up your thoughts with humor and fun. Yes life is difficult and the world can be a scary, tiresome place. But in your own world, you are in charge of every day. You decide what to think about. You decide when to laugh, you decide what to read, what to listen to, what to think about. Choose to insert laughter into each day; choose to have a little fun every day.

6. Open the windows of your mind to new ideas and a fresh perspective on living a happier, better, easier life. Change takes action. There's no silver bullet, no magic pill. But if you'll open your mind to some different ways of doing things, if you'll try some new habits, if you'll work your mind muscles and your organizational skills in a different way, you'll find that you'll create the life that you truly want, not just the one that you end up with.

7. Enjoy the person you are. If you don't like yourself, find out why, and start working on becoming a person you do enjoy and that others will enjoy also. The returns will be worth it.

Life Coach Kathy Gates specializes in helping people who are ready to create a simpler, less stressful, more joyful and meaningful lifestyle. Visit www.reallifecoach.com to learn more and sign up for her newsletter.

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