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Forget Spring House Cleaning... Clean Your Life!

By Eileen McDargh

There's no reason why only the trees and flowers should sprout new growth this time of year. But how often do we feel more ripe and rotten rather than green and growing? Chances are you started the year with some fresh ideas, only to become caught in the same-old rat race that defeats any feeling of newness and adventure.

So stop! It's time to plug into something that you choose - something that can renew your batteries and refresh your interest in work and life. Unlike the bobble-headed figures that nod "yes" at every touch, you do get to declare "time out" and place yourself first.

Cleaning Tip #1: Nurture your nature.
Bulbs get to nestle in the soil before bursting forth with vigor. We're no different. Create at least two days in which your focus is simply on removing yourself from the computer, the phone, the newspaper, the TV and anything else that takes your attention away from yourself. The challenge: we think the world will end if we don't respond immediately. It won't. Let folks around you know that you are involved in a very serious project and will attend to their needs in two days. (It is a serious project: it's your life!)

Have your spouse take care of the children or if you're a single parent, look for someone who will trade-off time. They help you and you'll return the favor for them. If you can't take two full days, try and carve at least some time for hunkering down by yourself.

Now - with the warm blanket of time cushioning, you spend time thinking just what you'd like to bring newly into springtime. Is it a new skill? A new or improved relationship? A remodelling of your surroundings? A project that excites you? What will help you feel green and growing?

Cleaning Tip #2: Clean out your mental closet.
To nurture our nature, we also have to discard all the old notions and the negative beliefs that keep us from springing forth. Write positive affirmations that counter such beliefs and post such statements at places where you'll see them often. Don't worry if you don't yet truly believe such statements. Action often precedes belief. Identify what activity you will discard because it feels too tight and constraining. After all, you're getting ready to grow. You need some room to grow

Cleaning Tip #3: Throw out what you no longer need.
This is a physical tossing away everything from clothes that only serve to make you feel dowdy to projects you know you'll never complete or books you'll never read. How can you bring in something fresh if there's no room!

Cleaning Tip #4: Find a great housekeeper.
Once you know what new you is bursting forth this spring, find someone who will serve as your advocate and accountability partner. Ask them to help you keep your new "house", this budding "garden" in order. Ask them to let you know when you've cluttered your life with emotional, mental, or physical junk.

And now - spring forth. Regardless of whatever you might have wintered, inside you is, as Camus wrote, "an invincible spring." Share these tips with your team at work and discover all the "new growth" in ideas that will be created by some team "house cleaning."

Copyright © 2008, McDargh Communications.
Professional speaker Eileen McDargh helps Fortune 100 companies, associations and individuals create connections that count and conversations that matter. She is the author of Gifts from the Mountain-Simple Truths for Life's Complexities, Talk Ain't Cheap... It's Priceless and Work for a Living and Still Be Free to Live (one of the first books about work/life balance). Visit her site, Eileen McDargh.
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