Revisiting Spring Cleaning

I hope you all had a most marvelous Mother’s Day, either through celebration or remembrance. As joyful as the day is for so many of us, I know that it’s a difficult day for those whose mothers live only in precious memories. I wish you peace.

We took my mother and Memaw to dinner and then I went on a short bike ride, my first of the season! I was supposed to take a rest day today, according to my new exercise schedule (more on that next week), but I couldn’t resist the sunshine and absence of strong winds. Given that it was my first ride and my glutes are protesting some excessive lunging, I suspected that my pace would be sluggish. And I was right! :) A nice easy ride today, a little pushier tomorrow.

Last week I mentioned that I would be sharing some past Makeover Monday posts in May, and today I want to share one of my favorites. (Is that immodest? Oh well.)

In Spring Cleaning with a Twist, I discussed the need to periodically examine some of our habits and actions to ensure we haven’t fallen into unhelpful patterns that are preventing us from achieving our goals. Here’s the original text:

Spring Cleaning on the Inside

Think about your life (health, fitness, relationships, career, finance, etc.). Where are you now? Where do you want to be? Why aren’t you there? Don’t beat yourself up over it; just ponder the matter and see if any of these nasties have crept into your life:

Excuses: We’re probably all guilty of making excuses for ourselves when we’re trying to justify something we should or shouldn’t have done. Surely, it’s not just me. (Antidote: When you catch yourself making an excuse for something, ask, “Is this really true, or am I just making myself feel better?”)

Rationalizations: Did you know that another way to spell “rationalize” is “rational lies”? These are the thoughts and words we use to give ourselves permission to do something we know is wrong. (Antidote: Unrelenting honesty with yourself. YOU know the truth about your efforts.)

Unfair Limitations: Many, perhaps even most, of the limitations we face are self-imposed. Why we would do this to ourselves, I don’t know, but we do. (Antidote: Ask yourself, “If I didn’t have xxx in my way, what would be by next step? Then figure out how you can do it–or some form of it–anyway.)

Regrets and Resentments: Writer Malachy McCourt once said, “Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” Holding on to past haunts and hurts prevents us from moving forward. (Antidote: Forgive yourself and any others involved, and focus on the future. At minimum, let it go.)

Procrastination: “Someday” thinking is fun for thinking about the lottery. For managing our lives, it doesn’t work so well. (Antidote: See Makeover Monday: Getting It Done.)

RightThisMinute Thinking: We all want to see results fast. Whether it’s successful weight loss, financial security, starting a family, or any host of other desires, many of us have a tendency to want to get it done rightthisveryminute. We should be applauded for our energy, but doing things too quickly can cause us to do them in a way that’s unhealthy, inefficient, or ineffective. (Antidote: Patience. Focus on progress, not the goal line. Unless, you’re looking at the goal line, of course, and then it’s eyes on the prize time!)

These evil little habits have a way of creeping into our lives and derailing our progress. Join me this spring in spending a little time with a mental broom and dustpan, eliminating this clutter from our lives. Note that I didn’t say we’d eliminate it for good. Old habits die hard, as the saying goes, and I’m sure we’ll all face these pesky demons again at some time in the future. We’re savvy enough to know that and strong enough to defeat them.

Old habits do die hard, and I’ve got a couple of personal projects that will benefit from a little scrutiny with these thoughts in mind. Given the lack of progress on them, I suspect I’ve fallen into some old traps.

These may or may not be helpful to you, but if you’re not happy with your progress in some area of your life–weight management or elsewhere–perhaps they’re worth considering?

Happy Monday!

6 thoughts on “Revisiting Spring Cleaning

  1. oh I needed this reminder.
    it is high time for my annual SPRING CLEANING out o’the excuses.

  2. I love the concept of spring cleaning on the inside — both emotionally and physically.

    Glad you’re not in the flood zone. I’m glad I’m flying back into LR later this week; I understand I-40 is still closed. What a terrible, sad disaster.

  3. Cammy, how nice you got to spend time with loved ones & a ride too on a beautiful day – lovely!

    Great post & better message! I think we are all guilty of some or all of the above so spring cleaning for all! :-)

  4. I think I’m going to be revisiting this post many times over the course of the next six weeks and spring cleaning is part of my whole eating strategy on this trip.

    Thinking lots about you guys in Memphis. A friend of a friend reported yesterday that Mud Island was totally under water. Mud Island is one of my favorite spots in Memphis. I love walking the “map.” Sometime tomorrow we have to cross both the Ohio and the Mississippi. I’m still looking at maps figuring out the best place to do that. Probably Paducah and just south of Saint Louis although we much prefer backroads!

  5. Hi Cammy, love this post. I need to do a bit of spring cleaning inside (as well as on my deck!) :)

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