Spring is a time for renewal. It's a sweeping out of the old to make way for new life, making it an ideal prompt to reassess and revive your scene and senses.
If you live in the southern hemisphere, like me, you will have felt the bitterness of winter slowly fading away, as you start shedding a few winter layers and sleepily emerge from a cozy, overheated den. Gardens are flowering, skies are bluer, bees buzz in search of pollen and sun-seeking butterflies and humans are out and about.
Use these first weeks of the season to clear out the cobwebs with a hearty Spring clean and reinvigorate your mind, body and soul. Here are 10 easy ways to help you activate your Springtime mojo:
1. Conduct a goals health check
What goals and priorities did you have at the start of this year? How have you spent the last 259 days? Did you run out of steam? Quit too soon? Overcommit? Get distracted by other people’s priorities? If you want to finish the year strong, you need to get real about your choices and the results they’ve produced so far. Because it's impossible to live fully, deeply and meaningfully if you continue to put too much distance between you and what you really want. Invest 30-minutes conducting a goals health check. Here are 8 super questions to help you reflect and reset:
- What goals/dreams/miracles have come true for you this year?
- What important lessons have you learned?
- Where did you spend too much/too little time?
- What didn’t go to plan? What could be done to change the situation?
- How did you grow as a person?
- Who have you helped?
- What three things will you devote yourself to in the next 106 days?
- What’s the first thing you need to do in order to get started in a way that feels right for you?
2. Start a passion project
Something magical happens when you can unashamedly pursue things you are truly passionate about. Passion projects promote balance. They help you disconnect from stress, tired routines and technology and reconnect with joy, new talents and creativity. What are you passionate about outside your paid work? What’s an idea or project you’ve been tossing around in your head? What makes you lose track of time? What do you love doing to escape it all? It doesn't matter if it's trivial or a plot to change the world, as long as you love it. Figure it out and just start.
3. Declutter your home & workspace
Clutter kills calm, imagination and productivity. Renew your space and energy with a hearty spring clean. Evaluate your space and pick somewhere to start, be it a room (e.g. bedroom, kitchen, lounge room, office, garage, basement) or specific space (e.g. sock draw, work desk, bookshelf, pantry, fridge, makeup bag, wardrobe) and tackle it one day at a time within a specified timeframe (e.g. 15/30/45 minutes). Decide what you will keep, throw or donate. If it no longer serves a purpose, let it go.
4. Do something you’ve never done before
Shake off your sleepy senses by trying something you’ve NEVER done before. New experiences engage all of your senses. Do something just for you, just for fun. Go indoor (or outdoor) skydiving, hit a trampoline park, learn to tango, paint, play an instrument, speak a new language or swing from a trapeze, experiment with a new hobby, travel somewhere new, volunteer, foster a pet, read to the elderly, or undertake a physical challenge. Aim to do something new once a month and you'll be a different person in 12 months.
5. Get on top of your finances.
Are you living beyond your means? Australians owe around $32 billion in credit card debt alone, with an average debt of $4,300 per card holder. The only way to take control of your debt and reach your financial goals is to know where you are spending money, where you can consolidate debts and where you can save. Record ALL your expenses, from your mortgage or rent, to bills, living essentials, hobbies, fitness, takeaways and dining out, to luxury and spontaneous purchases. How and when are you paying for these things? Do you love everything you buy? Do you need it? How much are you putting aside for a rainy day and emergencies? Devise a simple and realistic budget to help you take back control. Be smarter with your money, your earned it.
6. Plan a mini spring break
Research suggests shorter breaks make people happier than one long vacation. And the good thing is that you don't need a lot of vacation days or money to expand your horizons, have fun, break up the monotony of the working week and become a more interesting and well-rounded person. Do you want to go camping? Stay on a farmstead in the highlands? Or in a caravan by the beach? How about a lighthouse? A B&B in the country? Do you want to swim with dolphins? Go whale watching or kick back and relax on the wine trail? Once decided, grab your diary and pick a date. Book your mini break in the next 24 hours. No excuses. Now you have something fun to look forward.
Human being require quality connections, social interaction and support to perform at their best, be happy and continue to evolve. You won't go to your grave regretting the emails, Facebook updates or tweets you missed. Designate times of the day (e.g. before 8am or after 8pm) or whole days (e.g. Sundays or entire weekends) to go digital-free. Instead, be fully engaged in what you are doing and who you are with. Work on your passion project, create stuff, try a tricky recipe, go outside and walk on the grass, hit a hiking trail, salute the sun, look up and get lost in the awe of it all. Make it a rule to disconnect to reconnect. Regularly.
8. Lighten up
It's time to pack away the heavy duty woollens and rethink your wardrobe. Introduce bursts of brighter colours and patterns into your everyday wear, be it through your clothes, shoes, bags or jewellery. Bring out the whites, creams, greens, pinks, reds and blues. Don't stop with your clothes. Look for ways to spruce up your space with lighter shades, be it with pillows, throws, bedding and flowers. Liven up the place and you might just notice a spike in your energy, creativity and productivity levels too.
9. Quality tribe time
Take the time to nurture all your significant relationships by making real time for your loved ones. Listen to your kids, pick up the phone, actually talk to people, sit with them, handwrite a letter, catch up with friends, plan a fun outing, a picnic, a walk, organise coffee dates and lover's rendezvous'. Make an effort to remind people who are important to you just how important their friendship, support and love is to you. Because once they’re gone, they’re gone.
10. Get organised
Being more organised will help you manage your various priorities and commitments, showing you at a glance where you are investing or wasting your time and energy. The more you practice prioritising, the better you will get at making smarter daily decisions. Think about scheduling chunks for:
- Work - block out time spent at work and in transit
- Family - call timeouts for meals, taxi-ing, reading or any activity you do together
- Fitness - can you incorporate exercise in your morning routine?
- Relationships - schedule that call or date night
- Passion projects - is this a daily, weekly or fortnightly activity you would like to set time aside for?
- Boring but necessary tasks - stay on top of filing, paying bills and cleaning chores
- Planning - get into the habit of reviewing your plans as part of your daily/evening routine
- Ideas generation - you will be surprised what you can come up with in short blocks of time
- Daily reflection - make time to connect with your faith, reflect, meditate or just sit and be still for a few precious minutes.
It's not about having every minute of your day mapped out. It's about learning to make smarter choices with the most precious commodity you have - TIME.
What's ONE thing you can do immediately to activate your Springtime mojo?
Before you go, leave a comment below. I'd love to hear your thoughts.