Get a fresh start for spring

30 03 2010

In the April issue of Essence, they give 40 ways to get a fresh start for spring. And yes, I know the official date of spring has come and gone, but I wanted to share a few with you because I think they’re helpful [hope you think so, too!]

Refuse to wait another day! Start small but start now. If you haven’t already, record goals for the remainder of the year.

Go on vice patrol. Life coach and clinical psychologist Pamela Thompson offers an exercise that can help you break bad habits and radically alter your perspective. “I often recomend spring-cleaning the heart and mind with a fast,” she says. That means for 21 days, her clients give up one or more of the following: complaints, gossip, sex outside of marriage, screens [including TV, movies and even their computer or Blackberry if they can manage it] and unnecessary spending. By the time you end the fast, she explains, you’ll reset your life. [I plan to try one of these in April; I’ll keep you posted.]

Forgive someone. Before we can push out new roots and shoots in our lives, we have to clear mental debris that can choke off our dreams. Often that means forgiving some people in your life, says motivational speaker Bessie A. Winn-Afeku, who runs an advocacy foundation promoting self-esteem in women and girls. “The last thing you want to do is enter a new phase of your life holding on to old grudges,” she says. Practicing forgiveness is one of the most powerful ways to achieve a clean slate.

Clear clutter. Surrounded by piles of magazines, junk mail, gifts you never use or clothes you never wear? “If you haven’t looked at an item in a year, get rid of it,” advises interior decorator Lisa Turner.

See your dreams in Technicolor. Hang a corkboard in your bedroom or study, and fill it with photos of what you desire. Aiming to get promoted? Add pics of successful sisters like Oprah and Michelle Obama. Fantasizing about a vacation? Post images of your ideal destination. [See how to make one in this post.]

Get your beauty sleep. It combats stress, boosts energy and optimism, wards off high blood pressure and diabetes and even primes your body to shed pounds more easily. So invest in some silky sheets and luxuriate in dreamland for eight hours every night.

Consider your circle. Sometimes we outgrow friendships, but how do you know when it’s time to walk? Psychologist Brenda Wade says let a friend go if she or he is unwilling or unable to treat you with respect or kindness, leaving you feeling hurt or wounded.

Expect miracles. “Even if what is taking place in your life at the moment seems negative, expect God to bring good out,” says Joyce Meyer, a leading practical Bible teacher.

Find your true passion. Stacey Tisdale, coauthor of “The True Cost of Happiness,” suggests adapting an approach from life planner George Kinder. Ask yourself these three questions: 1) If money were not an issue, what would you do with your life?; 2) If your doctor informed you that you’d live without physical distress but would die in 10 years, what changes would you make?; 3) If you just had 24 hours, left on earth, what would be your regrets?

Photo from: Getty Images