04/15/2016 04:10 EDT | Updated 04/16/2017 05:12 EDT

It Is Time To Spring Clean Your Life

This year consider giving your whole life a thorough clean. Out with the old and in with the new. Think carefully about what you like and don't like about your life. Take some time and challenge yourself... What is working? What is not working?

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Beautiful woman with cherry blossoms in Japan

Spring. Traditionally -- that time of year we do a big clean up -- clear out. This year consider giving your whole life that thorough clean. Out with the old and in with the new.

Challenge Yourself

Think carefully about what you like and don't like about your life. Take some time and challenge yourself. T charts are a simple, useful tool for problem solving. Draw a large T on a sheet of paper. Plus on one side and minus on the other. What is working? What is not working? Pick your topic -- your home, your marriage, your friendships, career, or retirement. A separate chart for each one. The side that fills up easily sends a powerful message. It identifies positives and negatives in your life.

Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in our own sunshine.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

If your life circumstances have recently changed, moving house might be a consideration. After my divorce, twenty years ago, I stayed too long in a house that was too big. Every corner held the dust of very painful memories. I stayed to prove I could manage that house on my own which, in hindsight, was no reason. I have now been in my much smaller home for over ten wonderful years. It is a place that brings me joy every time I open the door. It is mine. Full of my happy memories.

All Those 'Things'

Sometimes it is things in the house that give off those 'bad vibes'. Why do we have such difficulty letting go? Freeing ourselves of those negative 'things' in our life. I remember one cathartic day after my divorce when I put my wedding dress out at the curb in a garbage bag. For me, it was a dramatic personal statement. A small victory in the painful war I was waging at the time. Bold action is sometimes required.

What About Friendships?

Maybe your friendships need a housecleaning. Or, maybe they just need a spring tune up. Is there enough time for the meaningful friends? Are there friendships that have lost significance in your life? Does the call display fill you with happiness or apprehension when a friend calls? What to do? It's either salvage or gently exit. A decision is needed. Honesty, as difficult as it is, tends to be the best policy.

What worked yesterday, doesn't always work today.

- Elizabeth Gilbert

Perhaps old traditions you shared with friends need to be reworked. The other person might be feeling exactly the same way. Summon up the courage to initiate the conversation. We know it's empowering to take charge of your life.

The Thinks You Can Think

Our thoughts can often use a good spring cleaning, as well. That 45 rpm record that plays and replays in your head. Mistakes you made, things you said. We replay them until the needle wears out. Along with it, we wear out our resilience and wear down our self -esteem.

There have been times in my life when I wished I could just turn off that record. Did all that time spent grinding down my mistakes have any positive outcome? Not a whit.

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.

- Corrie ten Bloom

Resolve to worry less as a spring resolution.

One way to do that, worry less, is to involve yourself in something that feels good. Choose to volunteer, either for a single event or on a regular basis. Besides the obvious, other benefits can be unforeseen. From personal experience, I know it enhances life in many ways. Yes, it makes you feel good but there are other subtle spin offs. You will probably make new friends, and possibly have some new directions presented for your life.

You can, you should, and, if you are brave enough to start, you will.

- Stephen King

If you haven't already, start a journal. A journal never gets tired of hearing the same wishes and worries over and over again. And -- a life story is your very own unique footprint in this world. Write it for your family.

Spring really is a time of new beginnings. Please share your own favourite spring resolution in the comments section.

Something to think about:

Join the movement and plant some wild flowers for our bees this spring.

And remember....

Live life as though everything is rigged in your favour.

- Arianna Huffington


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