Love to get rid of all the mental and physical clutter holding you back? Here are three ways you can spring clean your life and clear the way for “yes”.
Spring is finally here. Often this is the time of year we have an irresistible urge to Clear away winter clothes, spring-clean the house and get ready for a new start. Summer is just around the corner!
But why stop there? Why not apply this same instinct to clearing out all the intangible stuff in your life that’s actually holding you back? Yes, creating physical space by throwing out unwanted belongings and recycling clothes you no longer love is energising. But you can produce that very same sense of lightness and freedom in other vital areas of your life too.
Spring clean your life and clear the way for “yes”
So grab your virtual feather duster and get ready to banish those dead weights. Her are three ways you can spring clean your life and clear the way for “yes”.
1) Virtually de-clutter
If you’re like me, you probably receive traffic-jams of emails every day – most of which you hardly have time to open, let alone read. That weight in your inbox is digital stress.
So why not take a long cool look at those messages, newsletters, challenges, promotions that are flooding your feed, and (deep breath) simply click unsubscribe? Consider which are really adding something positive to your life – and FOMO (fear of missing out) is definitely not a positive! Scroll down, hit that button and let them go.
The ones you really want to keep will then breathe more easily and you’ll feel their benefits so much more clearly for giving them a little space. Your choice.
With GDPR coming into force next month, you’ll be receiving many mails asking you to re-subscribe, so think very carefully before you hit yes. Which is more valuable: space to think and read what’s important, or a quick scan, a frustrated glance and the indistinct possibility that there could be something valuable next time?
As a blogger myself I’m very aware that my newsletters might be the ones to disappear – but honestly, if the stress of too much information is producing a virtual dead weight, you’re also less likely to have the space to launch into a new career or life design anyway! So perhaps when you’ve had a breather, mine might be the one you consciously choose next time.
Secondly, consider facebook. How many groups do you belong to? And why? Look down the list and make another conscious choices – which of these groups make your life richer, easier and better? Which have you outgrown? Which make your heart sink? I’ve cut three this week. I feel lighter and haven’t missed a thing. Hit delete and feel the burden lift.
2) Create rebel tens
Back to back meetings. Endless messages. Never-ending to-do lists. Not a chink of light between any of them – in fact, hardly time to take a breath.
You know your productivity requires air and space don’t you? ‘Yes,’ I hear you chime, ‘but I have deadlines!’ Re-frame that panicky thought: ‘To do my finest work and serve my customers or clients in the best way possible, I need to make space.’
As a coach, I can go further – it’s vital. ‘Holding the space’ is one of the most important skills a coach learns and one of the best gifts we give our clients – a safe space to play, to explore, to be challenged, to be seen and heard. If we are stressed and overloaded, the quality of the space diminishes and the value of the learning and growth our clients experience reduces.
So slip it in! Create 10-minute chinks (I call these ‘rebel tens’) every 60-90 minutes to get up, stretch, get outside, walk, strike the tree pose, look up at the sky or admire that budding magnolia. Feel that beauty, the respite wash over you. Ideas can settle, leaving more space for new combinations of thoughts – room for brilliant new ‘somethings’ to spark into life.
Walking is wonderful for clarity. It’s also essential for your sanity, your effectiveness and well-being. Take control of your diary. Insert those rebel tens throughout your day and feel the fresh air!
3) Jettison past lives
You used to be a perfectionist – but now you know imperfect makes you easier to relate to, more likeable, human and real!
You used to be a people-pleaser – but now you know you have to prioritise your own needs over those imaginary deeds you (wrongly) believe others expect of you.
You used to be busy living someone else’s life – but now you’ve woken up to the very limited lifespan that is yours and you’re slowly but surely re-claiming your landscape. Your life. Your way.
Okay! You may not quite have mastered all of these (remember the perfectionist warning) – but you’re on the way.
So today. Now. Make a choice – what do you want to let go of? What’s holding you back? What’s keeping you invisible and overloaded? What’s keeping you stuck in the past? Choose one thing:
‘Today I’m going to say no to…………’
Now stick to it. If you need to, send me an email to let me know, tell a friend, a colleague, or write it up on a colourful poster on your fridge – whatever works for you. And remember, psychologists tell us it will take 21 days to build a habit. So keep at it.
And this will give you the space, time and possibility of bringing something more fruitful, nurturing and energizing in. Or perhaps just choose the wonderful option to expand and enjoy the space.
Your choice. What will it be?
For me, it’s Freestyle61
I’ve just had an exciting birthday and at the same time, I’ve launched a year-long challenge: Freestyle61. This is a life-design project and onto the blank canvas, I am consciously and purposefully selecting exactly which activities, income streams, people, places, events and creative things go into my year.
I don’t have all the answers yet, which is entirely the point, but I have a pocketful of post-it notes, a clear view of which values I want to honour, and a heart full of intention. I’m free-styling my year! And I have all the space I need.
Want to join me?
Becky Kilsby is a career change specialist and founder at Freestyle Careers. Her Career Change Programmes are designed to help dissatisfied professionals explore and design more fulfilling lives.
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