I love the pull forward that spring represents. It prompts us to spring clean and rid ourselves of what no longer serves us.
It's also a great time to plant seeds, not just in gardens, but also in our work and lives. Spring is the ideal time to start seeding new projects, adventures and relationships by expanding our professional and personal networks.
In the light of the new season, here are seven questions that may help you spring forward:
1. What do you need to let go?
Much like the unseasonably chilly weather these past few weeks, we need to recognize what else we can't control. What do you need to let go of? What frustrations are sapping your energy that need to be parked? Instead, focus on areas you can control.
While some people might think surrender is a weakness, like giving up, it can also be a strength. The funny thing is, when we do let go of what we can't control, things often tend to work out. Like the client who let go of her frustration after not being chosen for a promotion. Shortly after, she was offered another opportunity that was even better.
2. What will your spring cleaning be about?
What have you held on to these past few months that no longer serves you? Perhaps you feel guilt from not following through on a New Year's resolution that wasn't really meaningful. How about some bad habits that are preventing you from bringing your best to your work and life? What about the physical stuff that is cluttering your space – such as your desk or office? Can you let go of it?
3. How will you clear your mind?
Bogged down with too many things on your mind? Perhaps it's time to revisit your organizing and prioritizing habits. Write a list to get it out of your head but keep it top of mind. Are you taking enough breaks to recharge? Look for simple strategies to lighten the load and shift from a "mind-full" state to a more productive, mindful way of being.
4. What will pull you forward?
Hope, excitement and optimism are powerful drivers to move forward in your work and life. What are you looking forward to? Remember, it's not only about actual events that make the difference but rather our awareness and appreciation of all good things – large and small. Do you need to refresh or create some new goals? Focus on the good things to come and start planning now.
5. What seeds will you plant?
If you are thinking of a career shift, life change or a big personal goal, chances are you need to start planting seeds and doing the work now. For instance, it's never too early to ramp up your network, begin some research, take a course, refresh your skills and take time to assess your career and life goals, needs and preparedness. If you have big goals, are you breaking up your mountainous goals into milestones and smaller chunks? How about making a few tiny goals along the way?
6. What's your fertilizer?
Just as plants need fertilizer to thrive, humans do too. Whether we are supporting big goals or just trying to feel and do our best in the regular routine of work and life, we need to pay attention to what nourishes us. Support systems, personal connections, good habits, and a regular dose of positivity – these are just a few examples of what can fuel a more productive, meaningful and satisfying life career and life.
7. How are you embracing positivity in your life?
Not feeling the lift of spring just yet? Perhaps you need a positivity boost. What makes you happy? What are you grateful for? What micromoments of positivity can you create – with yourself, your peers, your team – and how will you savour them so you can replay them in your mind later?
Eileen Chadnick (@Chadnick) is a work-life and leadership coach and principal of Big Cheese Coaching in Toronto. She is also the author of Ease, a book offering strategies to cope when you're 'crazy busy.'