Several years ago when Marie Kondo wrote her book suggesting all the ways to reduce, fold and organize your “stuff”, many people became absorbed with at least starting to address their clutter.
That was good, but I wonder how many people put the same energy into reducing the stuff that hovers into every area of their lives rather than just their socks or their collectibles.
There are 5 areas of our lives we should strive to regularly tidy up. When I coach clients eager to start a thriving business, I always ask them to at least address the loose ends that may be flying around the other areas, because let’s face it, clutter in one area tends to spill over into other areas and that can be messy.
So let me give you some perspective on tidying up the 5 areas of your life that I feel are even more important that what your dresser drawers are holding.
1. YOUR PHYSICAL LIFE
How are you doing health wise? When is the last time you just had your blood pressure or cholesterol level checked? Do you only visit a doctor as the last recourse? Do you exercise or just keep promising yourself when your life changes you will make time to do it? Do you get enough sleep?
If you are one of those people who are too busy trying to live life to make time for your physical life, you are actually shortening your lifespan for enjoying what you think you are busting your butt for.
TIDY UP and schedule some appointments with the doctor, a gym or even a good friend for a consistently scheduled walk!
2. YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE
This isn’t about religion or going to church. It’s about forming a deeper connection with something bigger than yourself. What directs you from a profound moral standpoint? What inspires you, motivates you, whispers in your ear to keep you grounded and sane?
Whether it’s self-meditation, a spiritual guide, consistently attending a service that speaks to you, regularly taking time to assess what really matters in your life, the real truth to leaving a legacy is to have one to start with.
TIDY UP your spiritual life by getting in touch with how you feel about your eternity. Are you at peace with what you believe? Are you satisfied with the direction your beliefs have taken?
Are you okay with just thinking you live and then die or do you want to believe there is more?
Or do you subscribe to the belief that spiritual guidance no matter in what form is too “woo-woo” for you and you are fine just as you are?
I never make my clients believe in something they don’t want to, but I do encourage them to believe in something more than themselves. Peace comes from a connection to where you belong not from what you are running from.
3. YOUR FINANCIAL LIFE
This is always such a biggie for most people. Everyone thinks they should be doing better financially but no one really wants to talk about how or even why they feel that way.
Society has a way of making you believe you will never be able to retire or enjoy your golden years without a million or more in investments. What you need to know when tidying up your financial life is HOW you want to spend the rest of your life, realistically. If you want to live extravagantly, comfortably or are content to just survive, makes a big difference in how you view your finances.
That’s okay as long as you are okay with it!
Consider what you really need and what would make you feel secure and not anxious about your future. Maybe it is just knowing you can pay your bills and enjoy some perks or maybe it is absolutely knowing you really don’t want to work beyond 40!
TIDY UP your financial life. Shouldn’t you know where you let your money go or grow?
4. YOUR RELATIONAL LIFE
Everyone could stand to tidy up his/her relational life consistently. Is it time to eliminate people from your life ( legally, like limiting your contact with them, not poisoning them!) who only serve to make you anxious or put you down?
Do you value things more than people? Do you constantly tell yourself when all the stars align you will have time to re-ignite relationships, catch up with old friends or be a better parent?
Have you been shortchanging yourself making time for deeper connections? Are you afraid to commit to being involved more than superficially? Do you make plans with people and then not come through or are you too busy or indifferent to even make plans?
TIDY UP your relationships. Decide who really matters in your life and who is on the shortlist. Make choices accordingly. Maybe you will only have a solid relationship with one or two people but isn’t that better than several dozen loosely maintained acquaintances you really don’t care about?
Living your life on the fringe with people is barely living at all.
5. YOUR PURPOSE
Sure, this is the one area, few people ever think to tidy up. We are usually so busy with our day to day life, we seldom have time to think about what we really want to do with our lives. Dreams often never make into actions.
Assess how you spend your time. People often feel like their job consumes all their time but most people have more free time than they realize. Do you take time to enjoy life, schedule time to grow and learn new things or are you constantly talking about someday when things will be different?
Your someday will never come if you don’t value the purpose you want your life to serve. If you want to leave a legacy how do you plan to do that? Do you like the person you see in the mirror or has your job or your circumstances made you bitter, resentful and feeling helpless?
Sometimes the only way to tidy up what you want your life purpose to be is to make the hard changes. Stop staying in a job that makes you compromise your values. Stop settling for less than you deserve. Stop telling yourself you don’t measure up. Stop showing up to do something you don’t believe in.
Your life has value. Each of us has a purpose. Don’t allow someone else to decide what yours will be. Take some time to write down what outcomes you want to see from your life.
People make the rash assumption that what they want will just happen if they are a good person, follow all the rules, work hard, but in reality, your purpose only really happens as you make plans and then continue to TIDY UP if they go astray.
You should be asking yourself regularly if what you are doing is getting you closer to defining your purpose.
Want to live a bigger life? Start examining the areas that bring baggage to your life, physically, spiritually, financially, relationally, and your personal purpose.
THROW OUT WHAT DOESN’T WORK, DOESN’T SPARK JOY (thanks, Mari!)
But seriously, start developing steps to make changes for what is helping you grow in any of those areas. Be intentional. Set deadlines. Stop procrastinating.
TIDY UP, in other words, CLEAN UP YOUR ACT if you want to keep performing.
Is it time to really go on a budget, write a note to your mother-in-law about what she does to get on your last nerve, look for a different kind of employment, ask for or give forgiveness?
Is time to create a side hustle so you can truly leave your job, stop meeting with the callous friend who uses you or find a mentor?
Is it time to re-engage with what you used to enjoy doing, have an epiphany, learn something new, move, divorce, marry, have a child, get a dog or even start saying yes or no instead of maybe.
You can keep telling yourself you will get to all of this someday but in the meantime, that clutter keeps stacking up sabotaging your plans and rearranging your goals.
OR…You can TIDY UP, regularly.
Do you know how you feel when everything is organized beautifully in your home?
Imagine how that would be if everything was tidied up in your life?
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some scarves and socks to roll.
HOW ABOUT YOU?
What’s the last thing you tidied up in any of these areas?