During this season where people are spending more time at home there are many things that they are finding that have been on their “to do” list for a while but they never got around to it. Things like spring cleaning, painting, home improvements and decluttering. If you have watched Netflix, you have likely seen Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” or have read one of her books. She is known for suggesting that you ask yourself if an item ‘sparks joy’ while holding it. If it does not, get rid of it and if it does then you keep it.
The purpose of this is to get out of the habit of holding onto too many things or things that we don’t use. Asking does this spark joy will help rid you of clothes, books, household items that don’t fit, don’t serve their purpose or that you don’t really use or like. At the end, you will feel better about your space because it will be less cluttered and you will only have the items that you really like or mean something surrounding you.
Imagine with me, you open your closet and every item of clothing fits you perfectly, flatters your shape, and is the right color for your skin tone. Every day when you pick your outfit you would feel amazing and your decisions would be much easier in the morning, right? And it got me to thinking about expanding the ‘spark joy’ practice to other areas of our lives, specifically those that pertain to our health.
For example, take inventory of your habits. Let’s walk through your routine together…
Does having the first cup of coffee spark joy- YES- of course it does (lol)! So, it stays.
How about your workout? Does that spark joy? If not, then look at what do you find fun that’s active. Maybe you have been dragging yourself to the treadmill every morning at 6am for years but don’t find joy in it. Perhaps you need to take a spin or strength training class to break up the monotony.
How about the negative self-talk? Does that spark joy? Most likely it sparks the opposite. Think through what you are negative about- can you fix that? If yes, implement a plan. If no, then acknowledge that “it just is” and move along.
I would also argue that there are some things that are mandatory that don’t necessarily spark joy. For example, you have a fire extinguisher or smoke alarm in your house, but they don’t really spark joy (I hope they don’t spark at all) but they are beneficial and perhaps mandatory. Getting dressed may not spark joy but it’s mandatory. You get the picture.
What I’m saying is if it’s important to declutter your closet or home and keep only those things that have meaning, wouldn’t it be even more important to declutter your daily habits and thoughts? You know, keep only those that provide a benefit, fulfill a purpose or spark joy. You might be surprised how good you feel!