Have you ever considered a life spring clean – it’s easy to chug on, year after year, doing the same things, seeing the same people, thinking the same thoughts, but what about if you actually sat down and gave your life some real attention? What would happen if you focused on your life in the same way you focus on that mismatched sock drawer every now and again? Would you discover that everything you were looking at was ordered and intentional? Up to date and how it should be? Or would you decide that bits of your life were looking decidedly tattered and in need of one big overhaul?
If your answer is the latter we’ve got some good news: it only takes a weekend. But if you haven’t got a whole 2 days to dedicate to getting your life into the best shape it possibly could be, don’t worry – this can be done in one go, or gradually, hour by hour as you find it.
The best way to revamp your exercise routine is to change your attitude. It’s no wonder we struggle to make it to the gym when going there feels like a chore, so it’s really important to find a way to see fitnessas something positive rather than something negative. As the weather improves, why not use it as an excuse to do some fitness outside – being outdoors is great for your spirit as well as your body. So whether it’s a walk by the river, an excuse to get those jogging shoes on, a game of tennis or a bike ride, just do it. If you can, enlist a pal to come along too so you have more fun and are less likely to back out.
If you’ve got kids, your life is probably a weekly juggle getting them to an array of hobbies and activities – but what about yours? Having interests beyond and outside the world of family and work is critical for self-fulfilment and happiness and if yours have taken a backseat for a while, it’s time to pick them up again Or even better, start something totally new. Keeping your brain active and taking on new challenges is great both for mental health and mental agility – you really do lose it if you don’t use it. So think of something you’ve wanted to try for ages: a new language, or a chance to do some painting or to join a choir? Whatever it is, it’s the right time.
You can add your wardrobe and your kitchen cabinets into this list if they haven’t received your attention already, but one thing that often gets overlooked are those piles of paperwork. Unfiled because the files are full – and often with bank statements and other paperwork going back decades – it’s time to shred! Empty the files, fill them with the new, up-to-date paperwork. And keep in mind that studies have proven that 80 percent of filed papers are never looked at again – sounds about right, doesn’t it? So feel free, not anxious, as you declutter your cupboards. Things to keep include tax returns (for six years), receipts for tax-deductible items, house deeds, 3 years of bank statements (unless you’ve gone paperless) and investment paperwork.
Friendships can be the last in the line of requirements for your attention, and one of the most easily overlooked. Great friends stand the test of time but there’s nothing more uplifting than reconnecting with someone you love, and who has fallen by the busy-life wayside. Take half an hour over the weekend to call at least one of these pals and take another half hour to look at your entire friendship collection. Do you have anyone you need to make amends with? Why not take a risk and reach out? Is there anyone in your friendship circle who bogs you down with continual negativity? Perhaps it’s time to actively give that person a wide berth. Replacing negativity with something more positive is an instant way to make life simpler.
We are all guilty of too much technology. We know the repercussions, we understand what we should do, but who doesn’t flop on the sofa at the end of a hard day and half watch TV, half Whatsapp (and probably half catch up on social media too)? It’s fun, and easy, but it’s not relaxing. We need to make time to unwind and we rarely do. Spend some time dedicating a zone of your home to being a tech-free area. Whether it’s a room, a corner or just a chair, designate that space your relaxation haven and make it easy for yourself to chill out there in the future. Set up a table with a candle, a coaster for that all important cup of tea, and a couple of your favourite books. Then spend at least an hour there at some point over the weekend. Whether you are reading, meditating, putting on a face mask or even having a snooze. It’s all good!