Many of us are up to our eyeballs in spring cleaning around the house and yard, but how many of us give ourselves a personal and professional “spring cleaning?” Here are some ideas for us to clean out the old stuff so we can put in the new stuff for spring and achieve the kind of excellence we are looking for in our lives.
1. Establish productive and healthy habits. Okay, just how much do our habits affect us? Too much. It goes way beyond our own sense of personal guilt, though that should be enough reason to kick our bad habits. Instead, our habits are usually out there enough that our family and co-workers, including our boss, are acutely aware of them – and driven nuts by them. This in turn affects your ability to get ahead and achieve your dreams. Do yourself a favor, and do what it takes to kick your bad habits!
2. Reconcile relationships. Take a look at three relationships that aren’t what they should be or aren’t what they used to be. Remember, relationships are the most important and precious of the gifts we have here on earth, so make an effort to get them in line. I have found in most cases, a simple phone call or lunch where I express the thought that I would like to improve the relationship, be it personal or professional, goes a long way.
3. Get your finances in order. It is one thing to grumble, worry and complain. It is another to do something about it. Take some time this week to get a financial plan in order. In fact, pull out your calendar and schedule that time before you move to number four. Be specific, and give yourself some goals and deadlines.
4. Get daily exercise. Winter is over and the sun is starting to shine. Now your last excuse is GONE! If nothing else, walk a few times a week. I read recently that if the average person were to walk 2 miles 3 times a week for a year, they would lose 14 pounds without even changing their diet. Remember that this is the only body you get – take care of it, for yourself and your family.
5. Learn something. One of the key characteristics of successful people is that they are learners. Why not take this fresh start we call spring and make a commitment to learn something new? Take a class, pick up a book, or, if you are really pressed for time, enroll in what Zig Ziglar calls “Automobile University.” That is, buy some personal or professional audio programs and learn while you drive. And if you don’t want to spend the money, I have found that the library has hundreds of these audio programs.
6. Reconnect with your spiritual side. I love spring because it symbolizes new life. Pursuing spiritual elements breathes new life into me. We are spiritual people and to not strengthen that aspect of our lives is to operate like a three legged stool – we’ll always be tipping over!
7. Unplug and pursue recreation. All work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy – and Suzie a dull girl. Remember that recreation is to “re-create.” Because all of the work and stress of daily life works to break us down, we need to put a little fun back into the day so we are strengthened the next time we get back into the ring. Take some time off, do something fun, exciting, and exhilarating! Get rid of the stress and prepare yourself for the next hurdle.