Why You Should Spring Clean In January

My entire adult life, I have made a habit of spring cleaning during the Christmas holidays between December and January. In South Africa, we’re well into summer by then, so it might seem strange at first, but here’s why it makes perfect sense:

1. The Luxury of Time

Although I spring clean around September when it’s actually spring, I consider that Spring Cleaning Lite (patent pending). Weekends are precious and I wouldn’t dream of initiating a spring clean during the week. However, during the holidays I have nothing but time on my hands. Although it’s important to rest during the festive period, for me, it’s equally important to use the time to get my life on track. This year, I spent two days cleaning and organising, and afterwards, I felt like I was one step closer to starting the year off right. But even if the year has started, it’s worth taking time to get on top of things before the chaos begins.

2. Clear Headspace

During the year, it’s often difficult to focus. There is so much going on that you end up juggling work, family, friends, finances, your household, etc. Without the distractions for 1 million other things you should be doing, you can focus your time and energy on getting things in order, which is going to make you happier and feel more in control.

3. Renewed Focus

The end of the past year and start of the new one brings about a clarity. Whether we admit it or not, we look at our lives at this time and most of us reassess our lifestyles. You think of things you want to change, things you want to leave in the past year, or things you want to work harder at. You can use that clarity in sorting through what should stay and what should go in the new year. You’ll also find that you come across things you completely forgot you had, like the arts and crafts supplies you were going to use but didn’t have the time for. Or the sweater you love but now fits a little too snuggly. Use this time to realign your goals and as a part of designing the life you want.

4. Energy Boost

If you do it right, the process can be invigorating. It’s exciting getting on top of things and once you’ve completed the task you will feel a sense of accomplishment that will empower you to take on the new year.

I speak from experience when I say the sacrifice of a day or two is well worth it. Don’t look at it as a waste of time you could be using to relax, but rather an investment in the year ahead. Starting the year on the right foot is crucial if you don’t want to burn out, and cleaning and organising can play a significant role in that. Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a chore. Put on some music and get stuck in!

“The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital.” – Joe Paterno

Just for fun, here’s a video that always makes me laugh:

New Year’s Resolutions – Expectations versus Reality

Whether we admit it or not, we all start a new year with high expectations and with that comes a whole lot of change. We’ve all been there – we start the new year with high hopes of what the coming months are going to be and how we’re going to be different this year. Better. As the weeks go by, though, we realise that this isn’t as easy as we thought it would be and we lose our motivation. This seems to happen every year!

But there’s so much information out there, how do you know what’s useful and what isn’t? To save you the trouble, I’ve scoured the internet to find the five most effective ways to ensure that you stick to your New Year’s Resolutions.

1) Be realistic – Don’t set unattainable goals for yourself. If you do, the chance of you actually achieving them is highly unlikely, which will just result in disappointment. So be realistic when setting your goals.

2) Write them down – Having your goals written down creates a sense of accountability. Keeping your goals somewhere visible will act as a reminder of what you’re working towards.

3) Limit your resolutions – Don’t bite off more than you can chew. If you try accomplish too much at once, you’re just setting yourself up for failure. Be selective with your New Year’ Resolutions and work on the ones that mean the most to you.

4) Stay positive – Don’t underestimate the power of positive thinking. If you believe you can, then you will!

5) Forgive yourself – Let’s be real, we aren’t perfect and we’re probably going to stumble along the way. That’s okay. Don’t let it discourage you. Acknowledge your slip up and use it as a lesson for moving forward.

I hope you found this useful, but either way, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’ve also created a humorous YouTube video highlighting common New Year’s resolution expectations versus reality. You should definitely give it a watch.

Good luck for the year ahead. Remember that if you are determined enough, then you will succeed.