I like to think I’m a fairly self-aware person. My desire is to be aware of my feelings, my surroundings and my life balance. Over the years, I’ve really gotten the hang of this self-awareness thing. When I’m out of whack, it usually reflects in my daily life: eating habits, my house (how clean it is reflects what’s going on inside of me), and my attitude towards others. When I start getting snippy and lack patience, eating greasy junk food constantly and my house looks like it hasn’t seen a broom or vacuum in a while, it’s time for some re-evaluation.
Re-evaluation for me comes in the form of “spring” (or summer, winter or fall) cleaning. It’s a very simple assessment for me. I make a list of the things I think I’m supposed to be focusing my attention on. I try to be very prayerful about it, and genuinely seek God on the items on the list. It changes every time I do this exercise, because my focus this year may not be where I need to put my attention next. I then make a list of everything that I am currently doing that takes my attention. (It can get long.) Then the real work begins. I look at the list of everything I’m doing against the list of priorities, and scratch off anything on the “what I’m doing” list that doesn’t help me reach one of the priorities.
That usually means I have to step down or away from an organization or activity I’m involved in. And, 9 times out of 10, it’s something that I enjoy, which makes it a very difficult exercise. The decision to make the change is easy, it’s a matter of scratching things off my list. But the execution; well, that’s the hard part, because I don’t like to disappoint people and, unfortunately, I still do some things because of others’ expectations of me, and not because of my own or, more importantly, what I believe are God’s expectations for me.
I’m in the middle of spring cleaning. My list has been made, items have been crossed off, and now it’s time for execution. Admittedly, I’m a little nervous about the execution. There are some people who will be disappointed. But, ultimately, I know it is the right thing to do. Every time I’ve done this exercise it has opened up doors that would not have been available if I hadn’t been obedient. So I understand the greater purpose, but it doesn’t make the process any easier. Just necessary.
I believe we all need to “spring clean” our lives. Maybe it’s our list of friends and associates (Facebook is a great start), or the activities we are involved with. Or perhaps it’s simply habits that you have. Take some time to re-prioritize and take inventory. You may be surprised with not only what you find, but also what space you create for the next chapter in your life when you do this one simple exercise.