Spring has officially arrived (on the calendar at least) and Daylight Savings Time means more hours of sunshine in the evenings. For me, this inspires “Spring Cleaning” mode, a time to clear out the closets and the cabinet under the bathroom sink (scary!) to make room for change.
As I was tossing expired sunscreen and discovering shirts I had forgotten about, I realized how important these seasonal rituals are to our happiness in life. New Year’s resolutions, Spring Cleaning, summer vacation and Back-to-School are great reminders to slow down, take stock and re-focus to ensure that life is moving in the direction we intend.
When life is moving at warp speed, it is easy to fall into a pattern of “doing” that feels productive, but isn’t moving us toward our goals. In previous blogs, I have referred to this as “active laziness” or “clutter” (i.e., filling up life with tasks that make us feel needed and productive, but in reality enable us to avoid those possibly more challenging tasks that move us toward our true dreams).
Even though I hate to slow down, forcing myself to reflect helps me ensure that I am actually moving in the direction that most aligns with what I want in life. Here are two basic questions that can improve everything:
What is one thing I can STOP doing today that will have a significant impact on my life?
What is one thing I can START doing today that will have a significant impact on my life?
When I did this exercise for New Year’s, I decided to: 1) STOP drinking alcohol and 2) START keeping a gratitude journal each night. With the kick-off of Spring, I am evaluating these actions, which I have worked hard to make regular habits (Telling others has helped me to stay accountable). Giving up wine has allowed me to be more productive in starting my business and the gratitude journal reminds me of what is truly important so that I don’t stress over the small stuff.
Currently, I am in the process of figuring out what my new START/STOP actions will be for Spring (and am 90% sure that flossing is going to be my “start” action, uh…errr….again). What about you? What simple action can you start or stop today that will significantly improve your life? How can you hold yourself accountable?
Every day is a chance for a new beginning. What will yours be?
It is inspiring to hear what others choose for START/STOP actions, so please leave a comment.