Organizing and cleaning our physical surroundings is so important for helping us on many different levels. One great result is how it helps us declutter our minds. But to really increase our efficiency, well-being, and most importantly our joy, we must consider spring cleaning our lives and our activities.
I’ve spoken before about the KonMari Method of cleaning, that considers each physical item individually and asks, “Does this bring me joy?” When considering how to Spring Clean our lives, we should hold every element of our lives to that same standard.
We need to remove, modify, or replace those things in our lives that don’t bring us joy. These “energy leaks” often distract us from doing the things we really want to be doing.
THREE ESSENTIAL STEPS TO ADDRESS ENERGY LEAKS
We all have things we don’t like to do, but have to do. It’s a fact of life. But we also bring in so many other elements to our lives, and often don’t even consider why they’re there. They are just part of what we do.
By looking at all aspects of our lives, we can see our joy more clearly. And we can address any issues with these three steps:
- Identify the trigger – What’s an “energy leak” or depletes your joy?
- Select a solution – What suggestions are there to quit, minimize, or stop the trigger?
- Create a habit – What will support you staying on track with this new routine?
EXPLORE THESE AREAS OF YOUR LIFE
These three steps are great ways to address an energy leak, but how do we go about examining our lives and finding those leaks? Use the following list as a starting point for reviewing the different areas of your life. And as you declutter your life more and more, it will become easier for you to identify the triggers in your life.
We talked about decluttering our homes last week. Our physical space is a huge component of our joy. But the physical goes beyond simply cleaning our living room or our bathroom.
Consider your physical environment. Do you feel safe in your neighborhood? Is your yard a mess? What can you do about it?
You can assess your physical appearance. This can mean different things such as your weight, muscle tone, hair, make-up, clothing, etc. (These can be excellent motivators for your health, but please recognize when “spring cleaning your life physically” becomes more mental and emotional than physical.)
Think about the foods you eat. Did you know sugar is addicting like cocaine? Are you feeding your body what it needs? Or do you find yourself feeding your mood?
I have a son with food sensitivities. Learning what those sensitivities are and replacing cravings with other healthier foods is one of his goals.
What are those things in your life that drain you mentally? Are they repetitive tasks that bore you or prevent you from being more productive? Are you finding yourself less motivated to do activities, and need a jump start?
For example, if managing your time efficiently is a challenge, create an Ideal Schedule that will help build a routine, prioritize what’s more important for achieving in your life, and identify your best times to do activities that best match your mental energy.
Emotional triggers are some of the most draining of energy leaks and some of the easiest to recognize.
Do you wake up in the middle of the night or early morning anxious and worried about something and can’t go back to sleep? Do you have some past trauma continuing to haunt you?
If so, identifying the trigger is essential, but selecting a solution can be hard. Keep in mind, you are looking for a solution that helps to minimize trauma or allows you to process the emotions associated with your trigger.
Some productive solutions may be:
- Talking with a friend
- Working with a therapist
- Utilizing a life coach
Creating an established routine can minimize or compartmentalize the trigger, making it a manageable occurrence. In establishing these habits consider using a habit tracker app, an accountability partner, or checking in regularly with your life coach.
If your routine is not working, don’t give up on it. Modify it so that it better fits your needs, but you will need to give it some time before it becomes an effective habit.
Just like our physical environment, we can find ourselves in need of some relationship cleansing. Are there any toxic relationships in your life? Do you find yourself lonely or in need of a supporting “tribe?”
When it comes to relationships, consider identifying what YOU would want in a healthy relationship. What do you want/need from that other person that they are not providing/doing now? What do they need from you that you may not be doing for them?
Create a space to have a conversation and give feedback and make sure to set a tone of openness and be willing to listen to them as well. If the other person is not willing to engage in the conversation, is defensive or shut down, or is focused on blaming you, seek additional support through a good friend, therapist, or life coach.
It does take two when it comes to finding, developing, and nurturing healthy relationships. There are times we need to stop or minimize interactions with those who drain us and allow space in our lives for those who truly love, appreciate, and nurture us to be our best and happy self.
“Spiritual” can mean many different things to different people.
For some it may mean their religious perspectives. If this is you, religiously what is draining you that you are doing now? What brings you joy?
I have a broader view of spirituality, I like to consider “spiritual” about living up to your true meaning or purpose. Do you know what your mission, vision, passion, or purpose is in life? What do you want to accomplish in your life you have not yet done so?
If you have not identified your meaning, or if you’re just stuck on how to move forward, a life coach could be just what you need to help you identify your meaning, select a course of action, and create a system to keep you motivated and on track.
Take a moment to think about all of the things you do each day.
Remove one thing that doesn’t make you feel good.
OR replace that activity with something that makes you feel good and serves you in a better way.