March 15, 2010

Spring Cleaning

I just made a major (temporary) move across the country for three months - from Los Angeles all the way to Washington D.C.  I realized (not too soon before I had to go, I might add) that I would only have two suitcases in which to stockpile all the clothes, shoes, jackets, toiletries, and sundries I would need to survive 90 days away in a new town, a new climate, and in a new (tiny!) apartment.

Rather than dread the packing job; however, I dove right into it - and much to my astonishment, it was one of the easiest processes I've ever had!  Paring down my massive wardrobe, makeup case, and jewelry "wall" into two manageable pieces of luggage was not only refreshing, it was revealing - I could finally divide my needs from my wants; my necessities from my frivolities.  It was liberating and empowering at the same time.

I thought about applying the same sense of simplicity to other parts of my life, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant.  I cleared out both my email Inboxes and unsubscribed from needless newsletters and updates.  I tossed out stacks of old magazines (organizing the articles, exercise tips and recipes I wanted to revisit in a portable file), cleaned out and reordered the applications on my iPod (making sure to keep the good ones, like Lose It!, of course), made some inspiring iTunes exercise playlists, threw out expired coupons, and tossed old makeup tubes and brushes. 

At the end of the week, with just a few "tweaks" to my regular schedule, I felt like a new person (despite the gray, dreary weather out here in the East!).

The same can apply to your health and fitness lifestyle.  When's the last time you ran at a different (note: faster) speed on the treadmill, even for a few minutes at a time?  Tried a new way to work your quads?  Jumped up and down for a while?  Can you remember when you last felt totally exhilarated from exercise? 

How long has it been since you were excited to try a new class at the gym, buy a new vegetable from the grocery store, or even sample a new shampoo or bright eyeshadow color?  Integrating change into our lives doesn't have to be whole-hog; you don't need to become an American Gladiator, a perfect mom, or a strict vegetarian overnight.  Simple, small changes to your routine, diet, and fitness regimen can be enough to make you feel renewed and give you a revised sense of purpose in your life.

This week, try to do some of your own "spring cleaning" from head to toe.  Pamper yourself (in a spa or in your home) with a pedicure, foot massage, or facial mask.  Organize your closet and donate old clothes (especially those too big for you now, fitness buffs!) to those in need.  Go through that nagging stack of receipts, magazines, papers, or files, and overcome procrastination habits on that project around the house, the deadline in your office, or the budding idea in the back of your mind.

Let this spring be a time to take purposive action in your life before the lazy days of summer drain your drive.  What have you done to bene-fit yourself this season?  Leave a comment and let us know!

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