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10 Ways To Clean Your Life Before The Refreshing Spring Season

10 Ways To Clean Your Life Before The Refreshing Spring Season

“Spring is God’s way of saying, ‘One more time!” – Robert Orben

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’” – Robin Williams

Spring is a time for pruning, cleaning and getting rid of the dreariness of winter. Time to clean your life before the refreshing spring season gets into full swing. Follow these 10 ways to really get the benefits of new hope, love and adventure.

1. Declutter your space.

Imagine spending a whole year of your life looking for things. According to Harper’s Index, this is the time that Americans waste because they have not learned the art of decluttering at regular intervals. It becomes even more difficult when your partner is a hoarder.

Here are my top five tips for managing clutter, so you are not overwhelmed when you have to face a major decluttering:

  1. Use the ‘One in, two out’ rule. For every new thing you acquire, make sure that you trash or donate two objects you are no longer using. No problem here as regards clothes, as Americans are using a mere 20% of what is in their closets.
  2. Show no mercy with anything that is damaged or broken. It will never come in handy and it never did!
  3. Donate all the presents you never really liked, or even used, to the charity shop.
  4. Keep everything that you love and that you use very often. Anything else will have to go.
  5. Tidy bills and mail into labeled box files and keep them in the room where you actually deal with them.

Once you have that under control, you will save time, energy, and feel much less burdened.

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“Clutter is stuck energy. The word clutter derives from the Middle English word ‘clotter,’ which means to coagulate – and that’s about as stuck as you can get.” – Karen Kingston

2. Get up early.

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” – Ben Franklin

Being an early riser is a great way to get your spring renewal process off the ground. There are several advantages to it:

  • You are much more energetic in the morning.
  • You will be in a better mood.
  • You are making more time for the best part of the day.
  • You will be able to think more clearly.
  • You can enjoy a more relaxed schedule.

3. Close toxic relationships.

If you feel that your partner is domineering and not allowing you space to grow as a person, this could be a sign that you are in a toxic relationship. It may be time to close, especially if you are miserable or uncomfortable. As the lack of support becomes more and more evident, it means that you are being deprived of energy, love and growth.

4. Find a passion.

Ask yourself this question: “How many of my friends tell me that I am great fun to be with and that they always feel better when they are with me?” Now if you answer that this never or rarely happens, it most likely means that you have not got a passion.

When you have a passion, the enthusiasm for it is infectious. You talk about it, and you tell your friends about your latest successes. This could be as banal as breaking your previous record in the marathon or getting your poem accepted for publication.

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Spring is the ideal time to start looking for a passion that will get you out of a rut, which represents dullness, boredom and a lack of inspiration.

5. Time to forgive yourself.

Why do you hate yourself so much? Why do you criticize yourself for all those screwups you made?  Anger, hurt and resentment are the results of this relentless self-criticism, which goes on night and day. The secret is to learn how to let the resentment go. It is when you no longer feel anger and pain that you have learned to forgive yourself. Lots of studies on forgiveness have revealed its healing effects and health benefits.

6. Get rid of grudges.

Think of the grudge you have against your boss, your partner or a friend who let you down. What are the feelings that are swilling round in your head? Here are a few:

  • Spite
  • Hurt
  • Anger
  • Malice
  • Envy
  • Frustration
  • Unworthiness
  • Loathing.

That list makes the acronym SHAMEFUL. Now that is a toxic cocktail! You may even be talking about it, too, and spreading the pollution via friends and close acquaintances.

Now here’s the thing. This negative cesspit is destroying you and not the person who hurt you. Even the malicious rumors you want to spread about that person are water off a duck’s back. In the meantime, you are the one who is drained, poisoned and exhausted. Time for closure. Let it go.

7. Time for new opportunities.

“Closed mouths don’t get fed.” – Kenneth Zakee

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Tried that new recipe yet? Have you thought about taking up a new sport? Is your holiday destination always the same country or continent? How about changing your home environment? Get out of the rut before it collapses on top of you.

A great idea is to brainstorm with a friend and also to let them know what you are going to try. This also means that you have to report back to them, so it makes you accountable.

What is the bottom line? You want to rediscover new growth, joy, curiosity, and a sense of wonder. That is what spring is all about, isn’t it?

8. Create your own challenge.

Setting up a challenge is a great way to get rid of toxic things in your life and to replace them with something that is going to do you a lot of good. You can set the number of days to 15, 30, or whatever you like. You will be healthier, wiser, better humoured, and much more relaxed. Here are some ideas:

  • Decide social media time; once a day for a set period of time.
  • Cut out swearing – use neutral words if you can.
  • Turn off your cellphone after dinner.
  • Start walking every day if you are a couch potato.
  • Limit your exposure to bad news – stick to one news bulletin a day.
  • Phone a good friend every day.
  • Do one act of kindness every day for someone less fortunate than yourself.

Set yourself some goals. Think: “By the beginning of summer I will have lost X lbs and will be much fitter.” “By the end of June, I will have my social media addiction totally under control.”

9. Manage your time better.

Spring is all about things growing quickly and energetically in a short space of time. Can you match that? If not, look for better ways to manage your time:

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  • Change your lunch break so that you can work better when there are fewer coworkers making noise.
  • Consider changing your timetable, if you can. Discover what works best for you. Maybe an earlier start?
  • Discover your peak time when you work best. Reserve that for the most challenging tasks.
  • Prepare your morning stuff the night before. It makes the early morning exit a breeze.
  • Make a list of doable, daily tasks and review them at the end of the day.

10. Motivate yourself daily.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last, well, neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

The secret of maintaining motivation is to be able to generate positive and upbeat thoughts about what you have achieved, every hour and every day. If you can do that, you will be able to shoot down the negative thoughts before they take over. Have a great spring!

“Yesterday ended last night. Today is a brand-new day. And it’s yours.” – Zig Ziglar

Featured photo credit: Springtime flowers/Bea via Flickr

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

More Resources About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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