Simple steps to spring clean your life

Your house isn't the only thing that might benefit from a declutter — here's how to spring clean your life, too.

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As spring has officially begun, coaching expert Adam Goodman-Smith from Barefoot Coaching explains why now is the perfect time to complete a spring clean — not just on your house, but your life.

Most people associate spring cleaning with getting your house ship-shape just in time for the summer, a tradition which dates back to the 1930s, when the return of sunshine throwing light on the dust in the house often signalled the time to start fresh, declutter and reset.

But it doesn’t stop there. Because spring is all about new beginnings, Adam believes it’s the best time to have a mental clear-out and set new goals.

Adam Goodman-Smith

Why spring clean your life?

‘Very often when we neglect or lack enthusiasm it spills into everything around us,’ Adam says. ‘We neglect our homes, our health, our relationships, and our careers. It can feel as if day to day, nothing really seems to change. But when we look back on a year, it seems that so much has changed, and we might ask ourselves – how did I get here?

‘It’s important to pause and ask ourselves, what parts of our lives are going well, and therefore we want to keep, and which areas require taking a trip to the metaphorical tip.’

Adam explains that the seasons play a big role in this, as we can take cues from the natural world.

‘Winter can often add to this ‘sluggish’ feeling as the dark winter nights take a toll on our motivation levels. However, we can also look at it in a way that winter is for resting, it’s a great opportunity to take the time to go inside (literally and metaphorically) and hibernate. Then when spring arrives, we are well rested and revitalised.

‘With the emergence of daffodils and sunshine, it naturally gives us a sense of excitement and our energy levels often soar. Which is why spring is the perfect time to seize the opportunity and make some really positive changes.’

How to get started

On how to get started, Adam explains that you should first take a look at all aspects of your life and identify the areas where you need to take action.

‘A coaching technique called the ‘Wheel of Life’ can help here,’ Adam suggests. ‘Grab a piece of paper and a pen and draw a large circle. Now divide that circle into as many segments as you need to represent the different areas of your life (see examples below). Now rate your level of satisfaction with each segment on a scale of 1-10. Once you’ve done that, sit back and notice what you have going on in your life.’

  • Health and wellbeing
  • Social media
  • Work
  • Living space
  • Attitude
  • Relationships
  • Work
  • Finances

‘Start small, choosing an area which is easiest for you to tackle and don’t be afraid to ask for help. It doesn’t need to be a big change, it could be something as simple as cleansing your social media. Unfollow accounts that lead you to feel rubbish about yourself. This will help you to avoid making comparisons, as no good comes from comparing your behind-the-scenes with someone else’s highlights reel.

‘If it is your home, just a weekend’s concentrated effort can make a transformation. Learn to let go of unwanted possessions and clutter, and in doing so, you might find yourself learning to let go of unwanted feelings or unblocking a pathway in your mind.’

A good rule to follow, Adam suggests, is that if you use an item in your home regularly – keep it. If not, de-junk and you’ll find yourself freeing up space not just physically, but mentally.

‘As you wave goodbye to your clutter, imagine that all your old negative patterns or behaviour and thinking have disappeared with them too.

‘Essentially, the same rules apply to spring cleaning your house, to your mind. Review the way you eat, sleep, exercise, relax – let go of all the old habits which clutter your life, and if you still use or appreciate them, keep it.’

Our minds are like computers, Adam says: we only have a certain amount of storage space. From time to time, we need to delete some files to make space for new, exciting programmes.

Adam Goodman-Smith is a writer, coach, podcast host and campaigner who has a passion for developing others and for promoting social justice. Barefoot Coaching have provided ICF accredited and University approved coach training for 25+ years and trained 5,000+ coaches globally. Book a free taster session here.

Words and portrait photograph: Adam Goodman-Smith/Barefoot Coaching

Read more: Nature and wellbeing: the impact on your mental health

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