Adding a Bit of Life-Changing Magic to our Thoughts, Our Calendars, and Our Relationships
As the days get slightly longer and as we tiptoe toward spring, many of us begin to think about the idea of spring cleaning and the possibility of creating more lightness in our spaces and our homes.
In addition to spring cleaning our space, what could it look like to spring clean our minds – and perhaps even our lives overall?
If this idea feels intriguing, here are a few places to look.
Spring Clean Your Thoughts.
What thoughts, ideas, or assumptions are you holding that aren’t currently serving you? What thoughts or internal narratives are getting in the way of your productivity, your impact, or your joy?
Some questions to consider include:
- What thoughts are familiar to me that don’t actually serve me?
- What common “thinking traps” leave me feeling stuck in a rut?
- What assumptions am I holding onto that a) aren’t true and/or b) aren’t serving me or my relationships?
Because we are all human beings, it’s not realistic to think that we can banish these thoughts altogether. However, we can get more skilled at noticing them so that we can begin to create something different.
The first step in this process is to recognize the thought, the assumption, or thinking trap. Then, we can name it as such. And finally, we can consider what it might look like to set the thought or inner dialogue aside, in order to be in relationship with reality, instead of a version of reality that we have created in our heads.
Some concrete ways to do this include:
- Name and notice your thoughts, assumptions, or thinking traps when they arise.
- In these moments, practice coming back to the present moment – by focusing on your breath and what’s happening right here, in real-time, in front of us.
- Consider clearing – a practice of writing down all of the thoughts, assumptions, or thinking traps that aren’t serving you, in order to get them out of your head and onto a piece of paper or into a journal.
Spring Clean Your Calendar.
Values are more than beliefs; they are choices and actions.
If we look at our calendar, do our actions and commitments reflect our values and priorities? Are we spending our time on the things that matter most? Do all of our commitments, in some way, serve our goals, priorities, and/or values?
Here is a process you might consider:
- Write down your values – what matters most?
- Write down your current goals and priorities.
- Review your calendar. Are your values and priorities present? If not, what could it look like to begin to schedule these things in?
- And, are there commitments on your calendar that don’t align with your values and priorities? If so, what purpose do they serve? If their purpose isn’t clear, do they really need to be there?
Spring Clean Your Relationships.
There’s abundant research that points to healthy relationships as a key contributor to health, happiness, and longevity. For example, if we look at Blue Zones around the world (places where people are healthiest and live the longest), we find that people who live in Blue Zones belong to social circles that support healthy behaviors. They put their loved ones first and feel a sense of belonging.
Are the relationships in our life serving us?
And, are we nurturing them in return?
It can be helpful to take a look at our relationships and reflect on the following:
- Who are the people in my inner circle? The people who, at the end of the day, are most important to me? Am I taking time to invest in and nurture those relationships? And, related to the calendar reflection above, am I actually creating time for the people who matter most to me – or am I always too busy to see them or to connect?
- What are the relationships that I want to invest in or grow? And what does it look like in action to do so?
- What are the relationships that need repair, or redesign? What can it look like to have the courageous conversation or to take the first step in this process?
- And, finally, are there any relationships in my life that are either toxic or unhealthy – that perhaps need to conclude? If so, what can it look like to step away from these relationships in a clear and compassionate way?
The energy of spring is dynamic and alive – a welcomed shift from the more dormant season of winter. This energy provides an opportunity not only to do a bit of tidying up of our home, but also of our lives overall.
If you have questions about anything in this post, I’d love to hear from you! Please feel free to reach out via my website.
If you, or others on your team (or in your life) are looking to grow your capacity to lead in all dimensions of work and life, I would be delighted to talk with you about the Zing Collaborative Conscious Leadership Experience – which kicks off on March 26th.
Thank you for reading! With Gratitude,
Sarah Young is the founder of Zing Collaborative, where she is grateful to work with incredible leaders, teams, and organizations to increase their positive impact through leadership and people development; coaching; highly curated experiences; and deep partnership. She specializes in working with forward-looking, highly conscious individuals and organizations from a broad range of industries – from established construction companies, to high-growth tech start-ups, to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Zing Collaborative is a proud member of 1% for the Planet, which means that 1% of sales each year are donated to approved non-profits that are working to protect our precious planet.