Article by Daniel Browne 02.03.15
As we move into March there are signs that our harsh winter is now over and that spring is on its way. Hopefully you have gotten through the seemingly never ending conveyor belt of storms without too much disruption and are now beginning to notice the longer days, flashes on sunshine, and flowers appearing from the ground.
Spring is my favourite time of year. Everything seems to be brighter and everyone appears to be in a better mood. It’s a bit warmer and there’s opportunity to do more outdoors (I’m an outdoorsy type). Attentions also turn to doing a spot of spring cleaning. I like to indulge in that too, but not always the kind of spring cleaning that you may be thinking of. It’s true that the feather duster will be getting used as the now more noticeable cobwebs are wiped away, but there’s another type of spring cleaning that is important to do; spring cleaning of the mind.
It’s a concept that I find fascinating and firmly believe in. Of course it can be done any time, but spring seems like the perfect time to get started. Spring cleaning your mind, also known as a ‘life audit’, involves looking at the different areas of your life and considering how they could be improved. The desired end result is that you feel happier and more fulfilled in life. Typical areas to look at when spring cleaning your mind tend to be family and friends, work, health, love life, and your inner self.
There are many ways to spring clean your mind, but I find that the best method is to simply get a pen and piece of paper to write everything down. Starting with what you like about the certain areas of your life, you can then move on to the areas that you would like to improve and what specifically you would like to improve within those areas.
The next step is to think about how you could make those improvements. So for example, you could be pleased that you have a good circle of friends and feel happy with those relationships, but also feel that you would like to improve your love life and develop a romantic relationship with someone. Your way of improving that area of your life could be to join a club or group where you may meet somebody with the same interests and a relationship could potentially develop from that. Alternatively, another way of meeting somebody could be to sign up to a dating website and get to know people that way.
Once you have got to that point you can then begin to create an action plan of how you are going to improve certain areas of your life and when you are going to do it. Having a target time scale for implementing positive changes is a good thing as it can provide extra motivation, but do be realistic. It’s better to give yourself six months to achieve something and take your time than to only give yourself a short space of time and not manage to achieve it. When your action plan is written you can then start to act on it.
This may seem like a lot of work and effort when it’s written like this, but the process only needs to take an hour of your time (or maybe even less). It’s your life and the spring cleaning of your own mind so there is no right or wrong way of doing it and no specific length of time you should be spending on it. Personally I spend around half an hour writing things down and then give myself until the next spring to do something about it, while sometimes referring back to what I have written to see if I am on track. Keeping your spring cleaning of the mind notes as something you can refer to will act as an extra source of motivation. Once you’ve written something down you have to act on it, right? Because then it becomes more real.
So as winter turns to spring, do think about spring cleaning your mind. You may be surprised at how good you feel afterwards. And as with New Year resolutions (mentioned in one of my previous articles) keep in mind that you have all year to achieve the positive changes you desire. I’m going to spring clean my mind soon, once I’ve got rid of those cobwebs of course.