For those of you who like it short and sweet, here's the Twitter version of this blog post:
Stop living under "guilt piles" and change your "I should" to "I will".
Spring cleaning = Take everything out of your life and put back only what you can do wholeheartedly.
For those of you who like the full story, here's the full version:
"I really should..." How many times a day do you say this?
"I really should clean the house."
"I really should get to work on time."
"I really should spend more time with _______."
Really? Should you? When you say that phrase, you are revealing that YOU don't really desire to do that task but SOMEONE else told you to do it. There are so many voices telling us what we should be doing all the time that we often do everything at the last minute out of guilt.
So, the next time you hear yourself say - "I really should..." - STOP and ask yourself -
WHO told me to do this? (society, a blog :) , my boss, my mother, my child)
WHAT exactly is this going to accomplish? (What will happen I don't do this?)
WHEN does this task need to happen? (If it needs to happen every day, figure out a way to make it an unavoidable habit. Routine is key. But if it doesn't need to happen any time soon, stop thinking about it.)
WHERE is this going to take me? (Is it moving me toward an actually IMPORTANT and ESSENTIAL GOAL or is it just busy work?)
WHY is this the chosen path? (Is there a more AUTHENTIC way of accomplishing the same goal?)
The best advice I've ever heard about cleaning out your house is this - Take everything out and only put back what you LOVE. (Thank you to Karen Borrusch for this advice.) It works for your life as well. Take everything out of your life. Imagine a clean slate. You don't have to do anything - EVER. Now, only put back what you LOVE. Put back only what you are going to do WHOLEHEARTEDLY.
This leads us to an essential question. What if there is something I think is IMPORTANT (like spending more time with my kids or doing my job that I've been hired to do) but I DON'T WANT TO DO IT? We'll talk about that tomorrow...