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5 Ways to Regroup, Reprioritize, and Renew Yourself

Get yourself in rhythm with spring renewal.

When we think of renewal we often think of rebirth; something old dies and something new is born. This year, winter seems to be hanging on, unwilling to give way to spring and the promise of new life. Although we have a little way to go to really enjoy the warmth and light that spring brings, we can still begin to think about what we can do to renew ourselves and to make new the life we live in.

I love writing about this topic because it’s so hopeful. By allowing our lives to mimic the cycles of nature we are reminded that no matter what happens to us there are always opportunities to shift a situation, to optimize our chances, and/or to start all over. Spring is a wonderful time of the year to consider who we are and how we want to be. It’s a great time to consider making changes and to set the course for the year moving forward.

Here are five ways to help you regroup, reprioritize, renew, and perhaps, re-invent yourself. Many of these are actual things you can do, while others are ways to “re-think” who you are and what you want to be.

1. Streamline your life.

Although not a new concept by any stretch of the imagination, it’s a concept that has been recently re-energized and re-imagined in the popular movement of “decluttering" your life. There are two big areas to consider.

De-clutter your living space. Do you use everything you have? If not, get rid of anything you no longer need. “Someone’s junk is someone else’s treasure.” Donate clothing and household items that are in reasonably good condition to an organization or charity, and books to your local library or hospital. Learn to do with less. In fact, some people make a conscious decision to limit all purchases for a period of time. More drastically, some people elect to downsize their living space, economizing on a smaller home or apartment.

Clear out mental and emotional clutter. Why not use this season of renewal as a reminder to get rid of things that are weighing you down and consuming your time and energy? What do you value most in your life? How much quality time do you spend with the people and the things you care about most? What is the best way to use your time to create the life you want to have?

  • Reorganize your highest priorities and re-evaluate your commitments.
  • Allow yourself to let go of the past to make room for new things to enter your life.
  • Commit to making decisions you’ve been putting off.
  • Challenge limiting beliefs about yourself and about how things should be.
  • Reframe your attitude about what happens to you. Think positively even if you’re having a hard time. Pair a negative feeling with a positive one.

2. Begin something new.

  • Explore your creativity. Go back to school. Learn a new language. Learn how to play an instrument. Be the stand-up comic or diva you always dreamed of being.
  • Take better care of yourself. Create an inventory of your health including diet, exercise, genetics, and stress level. Begin slowly, one small change at a time. This is not about making a resolution every year to do better but rather a practical, soulful look at yourself and your health so that the years ahead can be lived to your fullest capacity.
  • Become a volunteer and/or mentor. Someone or some project can always benefit from your help and expertise.

3. Start a practice.

A new discipline will ensure that you invite mindfulnesss into your life. A daily practice affords you a timeout from your every day routine. This is a gift to yourself; a commitment and promise to honor who you are.

  • A spiritual practice might include more time spent within your own religion, such as attending weekly services, or going on a retreat. Or it may include meditation, yoga, or chi gong. Instruction for these practices is relatively easy to find almost anywhere.
  • Daily exercise can be thought of as a practice, rather than a drudgery. When you connect body with mind and spirit you have broadened your perspective about how you exist in the world. Mindfulness is a key here as well. Walking is a wonderful way to help your body while clearing your mind.
  • Explore your ancestry. There’s so much out there to help you connect to your past, your family, your culture, and your spirit.

4. Be in nature.

The outside world connects us to the cycle of life and the meaning of the seasons. Sometimes, when the world is still and Nature is dormant we need to be quiet and still as well. When the world comes back to life we are reminded that what has been still and quiet within us is ready to germinate and grow again. The cycle of life is the best reminder that nothing stays still, that life is always in constant flux, and that change is the norm.

  • Walk in nature.
  • Plant a garden. If you have no outdoor space, plant an herb garden in your kitchen or plant pots of flowers to bring the outside into your home.
  • Plant a tree with a young person and watch it grow together.
  • Go camping.

5. Take a trip.

Travel to some new place—country, state, or some place you’ve never visited close to where you live. It doesn’t matter how far away you go; that’s not the point. The point is to find the newness within yourself as you react to a place you’ve never been before. Do you feel excited, anxious, uncomfortable, free, or anything else?

  • A personal retreat away or a weekend to reflect on your life, the past year, and what new things you may want to incorporate into your life moving forward is a gift you give to yourself and may be a yearly tradition you set up that helps you reestablish balance and sets you on a course for the year to come. A spiritual retreat away from home may give you the time you need to connect intimately with yourself and with like-minded people and to unplug from the outside world.
  • A family reunion, to meet extended family at different destinations each year, allows people to stay connected and affords a sense of belonging and continuity for all, especially younger family members.
  • A family vacation can do the same thing for the immediate members of your family.

Although spring is a good symbolic time to do some “cleaning out” of the old, the reality is that any time of the year that feels right to you is the time to reflect on yourself and the life you find yourself in. Keeping in close touch with yourself allows you to better accomplish what you wish for in your life. The more you know who you are and what you want the more able you are to take the necessary actions and make the necessary course corrections.

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