Your spring cleaning may never become effortless, but you can make the project more manageable – and even enjoyable. – Martha Stewart
Are all the aspects of you life serving you well? If so, keep up the great work. If not, it might be time to clean out or clean up your life. Much like many people wash, wipe, and disinfect their homes during the rite called Spring Cleaning, a deep re-examination and re-direction of your life might be just what the doctor ordered today! I am going to give you a technique that will help you get a leg up on boosting your own personal power and utterly conjure up the life you want. In other words, today I want you and your dreams to begin running at peak levels by getting rid of the trash you have stockpiled.
Now, I know that many of you are familiar with the Mark Twain quote: The unexamined life may not be worth living, but the life too closely examined may not be lived at all. Today’s task is all about balance – walking that fine line between just going through life and reacting to whatever is thrown your way, and spending every waking moment angsting over what might be. This exercise is something so easy, and yet so robust, that it only need be done once a year. When you’ve finished the method, you just might find you get a rush of new energy and the solid command over your life you’ve been needing.
So, let’s clean the windows to your soul, shall we, and encourage the sun to shine in . . . grab a piece of paper and something to write with and we’ll get started.
At the top of the page, write –
These no longer serve me well –
You are going to write out four categories (Things, People, Emotions, and Beliefs). Under each label, you simply let your stream of consciousness run free as you write out, as quickly as you can, all those Things, People, Emotions, and Beliefs that no longer profoundly elevate nor support your chosen lifestyle. What Things, People, Emotions, and Beliefs keep you from breathing easier? Do not edit what you write down. In your spontaneity, you find the truth! Pretend, for this exercise, that this is your last chance to put your life back on course so that there is a forcefulness and immediacy to what you write down.
Things. These are everything from objects you accumulate, activities you engage in, to places your frequent.
People. These are your friends, your acquaintances, colleagues, and anyone and everyone who enters your world.
Emotions. These are your sentiments, feelings, reactions, and passions.
Beliefs. These are your ways of thinking, your rules for living, your faith, and your conclusions about life.
Now, are you ready to lift your life to the next level? Take time and look back over what you have just written. These are the Things, People, Emotions, and Beliefs you must choose to change. Do you see patterns? Do you see Things, People, Emotions, or Beliefs that are weighing you down, holding you back, or draining your energy? This is the time to be raw – perhaps even painful – in your realistic assessment of what or who is keeping you from your dreams.
Next, choose a few of those items you have listed – those Things, People, Emotions, and Beliefs – which need to be removed from your life; those Things, People, Emotions, and Beliefs that most need to be changed or done away with so you no longer play the victim, lose your focus, or have your energy depleted.
If you’re an overachiever, you can choose each and every one of your written items. Such a complete overhaul of your existing life will have consequences and certainly affect those who think they know you. Before taking such an impactful course, just know there may be extreme reactions from others.
So, on your piece of paper, next write out:
I am now changing the following –
Here you write the same four categories as before (Things, People, Emotions, and Beliefs) and put down those selected items you have chosen that need to be changed.
Finally, write the following section header:
My New Life –
Under this section, carefully write out – using the present tense – how you have already transformed your life. For example, if you made the commitment to stop smoking, you might write down: I am a non-smoker, and I am enjoying a healthy lifestyle. If you made a decision to reduce your accumulation of Things, you might write out: I am only collecting things that have a meaningful and immediate place in my life.
The thrust of this exercise is to take you from identifying the Things, People, Emotions, and Beliefs that no longer serve you well, and helping you to create a flight plan for your life. For a change, you get to choose the departure and arrival points for your life. You get to choose the estimated arrival time for your journey. And, you even get to choose the type of flight it will be.
By the way, you don’t always have to eliminate or put an end to Things, People, Emotions, or Beliefs. You can simply choose to modify them (or, most likely, just adjust what you perceive or recognize about them). The point is to look at your life and know that it can be different. If you aren’t enjoying your life – clean it up and change it by figuring out the action steps you need to take to bring your life in line with your dreams.
Well . . . this has all been kind of like taking a vacuum cleaner to your life, hasn’t it? Go ahead and empty out the trash bag. And remember to commend yourself for your decision to make these changes. That’s right . . . Celebrate Your Choices.
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