Feeling the urge to 'Spring Clean' this month?
Not quite the right time of year – I hear you say?
Nevertheless, September is one of the 4 main times over a year where we have urges to make a fresh start, de-clutter, spring clean, etc. The others are:
- New Year
- Our birthday
Some believe this is perhaps to do with seasonal changes or conditioning as children around birthdays / school holidays. If, like me, your birthday also falls at one of the other times, you may feel an even bigger pull towards making a new start at that time of year.
Linked to having a good old clear out is the need to free up time / space, or replace the old with the new. This can be new systems, not just new possessions. While we’re feeling like a change, this is a good time to set new goals or targets for ourselves.
So what goals are you setting yourself right now?
- How are you de-cluttering?
- What criteria are you using?
- What changes are you making?
- What impact will they have on others around you?
Here are my 5 top tips to ensure a positive start
1. Make sure your goal is about what you want, rather than what you don’t want.
For example: I want a clutter-free desk / office (rather than ‘I don’t want to work in this tip!’) You get what you focus on, so focus on something positive!
2. Make sure you understand exactly what your goal means to you.
What will ‘clutter-free’ look and feel like? What will be classed as clutter? What essentials do you still need?
3. What’s your time scale?
Rather than leave it open-ended, which – let’s face it – can result in the “I’ll do it tomorrow” state of mind ….. give yourself a deadline.
E.g. I’ll be working from a clutter-free desk in 4 weeks’ time.
Then break this down into smaller chunks….. What needs to be achieved in 2 weeks, to be on target? What do you need to do in 1 week? etc. What are you going to do to ensure the changes are consistent?
4. List the benefits
To take my example further, what will having a clutter-free desk give you? More space to work? A clearer head to think? More focus and direction? I’ll be able to find things more easily. I’ll be less annoying to be around! …..
5. Stay motivated
You may be motivated by the goal itself (a tidier desk), or by moving away from your current situation (a cluttered desk), or even a bit of both.
If the goal excites you – keep reminding yourself of the benefits of what you’re aiming for, and visualize the end result.
If you’re motivated more by getting rid of the mess, in this example, think about the consequences of doing nothing. What will it be like in 2 weeks if you’ve not changed anything?
If you’re motivated in both ways, you’ll probably need to use both of the above strategies.
Enjoy your “spring cleaning”, and feel free to share your goals / successes (photos also useful of before and after, if relevant!!)
Thank you for taking time to read this blog.
I’m Debbie Inglis, a performance coach, mentor and trainer, working with Heads, Principals, School leaders and their teams to maximise leadership performance, create more effective, confident, and motivated teams … in a way that brings out the best in you.