- Bring the outdoors in. After a long and often gloomy winter go and buy some bright beautifully coloured flowers and let spring blossom inside as well as out. Tulips and Daffodils are my top picks at this time of year for instantly brightening any room and giving your mood a quick boost. Next, throw open the windows and let the air in. After a few months of central heating and hibernating at home it is time to clear out any stale energy and you’ll be surprised at how much better you feel with some fresh air circulating!
- Declutter - and not just your home but social media and inboxes too. When our life is full of extra clutter it is very hard to feel motivated or focus on the things we really enjoy. Do you really need every item in your home? What if you only kept your absolute favourite things, the things that really bring you joy, and you ditched the rest? How would your home feel then? Grab some bags and start filling them, then take them straight to the local charity shop. Now look at your emails, does every newsletter you subscribe to bring you joy and value when it lands in your inbox? If not unsubscribe. Keep your inbox as clutter free as possible and only keep emails you really need. Look at your Social media, is everyone on your friends list a real friend? If not then it’s okay to unfriend someone. You don’t have to be friends with that person you went to school with or once worked with or met at a party etc. and who you never engage with online anyway. Social media is meant to enhance your life not become a chore or comparison game. Everything in our life that takes our attention also takes our energy. Reduce your list and engage in more meaningful friendships.
- Manage your time better. Spend a week tracking your time. I know it can sound like a bit of a hassle but you’ll be amazed to discover how many hours are not being used well in the course of a week. The truth is we all spend time on things that don’t bring us real pleasure (e.g. staring at the TV and channel surfing or getting lost in the internet) and then don’t have time for the things that do (e.g. reading, creating, exercising, time with friends etc.). Okay there will still be things that have to be done but I think we are all guilty of wasting some time every day and this is a great way to see when and then work on ways to use our time better to enjoy the things we love.
- Get your finances in order. Not much fun but now is the time to take a good look at your financial situation and create a plan for the year ahead. Why not set up a separate Christmas account and pay in a little bit each month so that come December you don’t have to panic? Look at your current spending habits. Where can you save money? Can you take your own lunch to work instead of buying it, walk or bike instead of taking the bus/car/tube; are there direct debits which can be cancelled; can you change service providers and save money etc.? Create a weekly and monthly budget for the year, and then stick to it. There are plenty of websites and books to help get you get on track to a healthy bank account and by the end of the year you’ll be glad you took the time now to get things in order.
- Enhance your talents or discover new ones. Now that you have created a bit more space in your life by ditching clutter both on and off line and seen how much time and money you actually have available to you why not take up a new hobby or take an old one to the next level. Take an online course and build on your business skills, add a new app to your phone (Duolingo is my favourite) and learn a new language, take a painting class, cooking course, piano lessons or learn a martial art. You’re never too old to learn a new skill or build on an old one and there are plenty of free things to do online or in your community so no excuses. If you start now by the end of the year you should be pretty accomplished, so what are you waiting for?
- Take better care of yourself. Are you getting enough sleep? Are you doing some form of daily exercise? Are you eating properly and drinking enough water? Are you taking time to switch off from work/family/technology etc.? We can all let these things slide especially over winter. Be honest with yourself and then draw up a plan to help improve the areas where you could do better. Perhaps you need to go to bed earlier (definitely a thing for me to work on); have healthier snacks in the house; start juicing; join an exercise class or set up a home routine etc. If you have been feeling run down then it might be worth getting a full blood test done or a medical check-up to ensure you are in the best health. Share your new health plans with a friend and encourage each other or share on our Facebook page and we’ll all cheer you on.
- Do the one thing that you know you need to do. We all have something nagging away in the back of our mind that we know we need to do and have been putting off. Perhaps it’s a phone call; a chore; conversation etc. Whatever it is and however difficult, do it now. Stop putting it off because it is just sapping energy and will keep on doing so until you get it out of the way.
- Make an appointment. Spring cleaning your life is about creating space and energy to move forward. So grab a cup of tea, your calendar and your phone. Don’t wait for others to make appointments for you, take charge of your life and make the important appointments now at a convenient date for you. Here are some to start you off: Dentist appointment; smear test; mammogram; salary review at work; home checks incl. gas, boiler & electrics; window cleaning; veterinary check-ups for any pets; car MOT; etc.
- Dreams & Goals. Why not spend a bit of time thinking about how you want your life to look and feel over the coming months. Where would you like to be this time next year? What would you like to have accomplished? Pick between 3 and 10 goals and break them down into smaller action steps. Create a plan, using either words or images, or a combination of the two, and put it where you can see it. Also think about how you will celebrate those goals when you achieve them. Take the first step towards those goals today.
- Give yourself a treat. What better way to celebrate Spring and all the things you have already accomplished than by treating yourself. Perhaps it will be a trip out to a favourite restaurant, a weekend away, a pampering session, new book or outfit. Whatever it is enjoy it.
I don't know about you but I need this post! I am still battling the end of this bug and even though the shift in the air and sudden appearance of beautiful sunshine is making me feel more positive and energised I could do with a little inspiration. Let's be honest, here in the UK Winter can feel long and grey and often leaves us feeling depleted, grumpy and even a little depressed. I sometimes think that we should forget about making resolutions on Jan 1st and instead wait until this change in the air arrives because the energy shift is so strong and we naturally feel more like getting outside and shaking our lives up a bit. I think we’d all have far more success sticking to our goals with a bit more sun to cheer us on. So with this in mind here are 10 ways to help us all give our lives a Spring Clean and embrace the new energy in the air…
Hi, I'm Jo...
'Loving Life After 40' is full of things that inspire me, make me smile and help me to Love Life After 40 - books, events, travel, career tips, health and beauty, inspiring women, food, photography and lots more… welcome!
You can follow me on Instagram too