I have wanted to use this theme about cleaning up and cleaning out life for a while and I believe this is the perfect time to do it with Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday coming up this week. New Orleans is a huge Mardi Gras location just down the road from us, so to speak. And, of course, Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent, which is important in the Catholic Church as well as many Protestant Churches as a season of preparation.
Thinking of the practices that go on during Lent and the actual idea behind it, I wanted to use this, not to say that Lent is about cleaning out, but in a time of fasting or self-denial in the name of introspection, it’s a good thing to show ourselves that we can actually do without certain things in our lives. In a world that is now telling us that we need to get as much as we can, I believe that no matter what it is – time, money, space, things, whatever – in your life you only have room for so much. Every now and then we should clean out and make room for what is needed or what is better for our future.
So this week I’m going to list some things I learned to clean out of my life over the past few years, then share how they opened up room for other blessings or for what brought me success in a way that I believe is better. I have spent the past few weeks looking over what others have written and on this particular subject I am going to share with you some of my own opinions as well as my stories.
My very first post on this blog was about spending 30 minutes to clean my garage; the object of that blog was to find some way to simply get started on what you wanted to do. The biggest thing you need to do is start. Maybe you feel like I have felt in the past, that you need to clean out some things, but did not know where to start. Well that was my very first blog: how to get started.
This weekend I actually went even further by cleaning up my Twitter account. As I built a Twitter following, I did not use any of those programs designed just to pick up followers. Instead I used the practice I do in all things where, little by little, I tell those I know what I’m doing and ask them to share. Well, through that process, I now get between 10 and 20 new followers a day. But my key is not to just have followers; it’s to build relationships. To do that I had to do some cleanup work because I was following many of those people simply because they followed me I followed back. But these weren’t necessarily people with active accounts or people who matched up with my Twitter goals.
To clean up I used a very simple process. It begins with the fact that Twitter is a conversation; the people I was following needed to be saying things I wanted to hear on a regular basis. Well I cleaned out those who really were not saying much, some have not said anything in over a year. The point was I got started with some of the cleanup work that was needed and within an hour that task was done. Imagine what you are putting off cleaning and ask yourself, “If I just got started, how long would it really take?”
So to get started, make a list of the things you need to clean and go through, then devote a small amount of time each day to doing it. Just like I mentioned in my first blog, take just 30 minutes on one task and before you know it, little by little it will be done. What needs to be cleaned to make room in your life?