This week I’ll be sharing a message of spring. That message is one of both hope and challenge, so while I will be sharing encouragement, I’ll also be calling you out on ways you may have been slacking or holding back and why you may not have what you want or be where you want to be. I want to start by sharing my understanding that hope and challenge are usually seen hand in hand rather than separately. We don’t usually talk about hope when things are awesome and amazing, we talk about hope when things are tough and you can’t see the end of the tunnel, or if you can it doesn’t look very good.
One reason that these two topics come up so often in our lives is because our lives are like the seasons: we have times of death and rest and times of growth and abundance. It’s a cycle we go through during our lives, it’s called the journey of life. It’s not something we can stop, nor is it something we should. Think about how it feels when your boss keeps piling work on your desk, you start to get frustrated because even as fast as you do things more things get added. You never get ahead, never catch up, never make progress, you’re just trying to keep your head above water. So we need those times of quiet and less activity so that we can have the strength to get through those more difficult times.
As we enter the season of spring it’s important to remember that even in this time of growth there’s still stuff to let go of: dead plants, the snow, and our winter jackets. We look forward to the growth but we can’t get there until we allow that growth to happen. It’s not as much of a letting go as fall to winter is, but with change there’s always a little that has to be let go to make room for the new, the bigger, the better.
So this week as we approach spring what will you be hoping for? Just more sun? More time to walk and be outdoors? Freedom from the restrictions of winter? Happier people? And what do you need to do to be ready for spring to enter your life?
“I believe in process. I believe in four seasons. I believe that winter’s tough, but spring’s coming. I believe that there’s a growing season. And I think that you realize that in life, you grow. You get better.” Steve Southerland
With spring here I thought I would share a few ways to take advantage of the fresh air, free spirits and new life that comes with the transformations of spring. Any relationship can get a fresh start at any time, of course, but it’s especially easy to consider when we’ve got all of the changes in the air and world around us.
1-see a coach or pastor. It may seem like an excessive step to seek professional help, but this can be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for to let issues that have been stewing for too long to be aired out and cleaned up. Involving a coach or other professional gives you both the safety of another set of ears and impartial opinion that a family member or friend would not be able to offer you.
2-hire an organizer. It’s a great time to get rid of stuff that’s been sitting around in your house for a really long time and is getting in the way of your relationship. You would be surprised how the clutter around your house can affect your relationship.
3-commit to a date night each week. A date night, even if it’s just 2-3 hours a week can be the start that you need to begin communications again and work through some of the issues and things that bother you both, and even more important, create time to rebuild and strengthen the bonds of love.
4-figure out your finances. This is something that everyone should do on a regular basis, but with tax day coming up quickly, it’s an especially good time to really make sure both of you know the ins and outs of your finances and make a plan for where you really want things to be in the future.
5-spend more time outside. I love being outdoors (even if I have to bring a tissue box). Getting outdoors as a couple for a weekly walk, or playing outside with your kids is important to feeling good and being healthy.
What are you going to do to grow your relationship this spring?
Spring is just about upon us here in the USA. While I don’t see any flowers yet I am ready to do some spring cleaning and make sure my business is ready for the new season. Here are my 5 suggestions for spring success.
1-offer something special. I’m a big believer in taking advantage of holidays and seasons. While you may not be comfortable discounting your products and services, that doesn’t mean that you can’t make special offers or put together special packages to honor or use the momentum of the seasons for the good of your business.
2-refresh your online information. As people start to emerge from their winter hibernations they’ll be looking for services and products to move them into the more active life of the spring and summer. If your information is dated (literally or figuratively) it’s imperative that you update it so people will see you’re someone they can trust to provide services for their needs today, not last year.
3-get rid of old services and products you no longer feel serves your tribe. Sometimes it’s necessary to do a shelf clearing and remove offerings that aren’t contemporary, or don’t support your vision as a business. Maybe it’s not a full clearing, but a new focus on one of the services or products that you want to work in more often.
4-clean up. Yes, for the physical businesses it’s important to get rid of winter dirt and refresh their appearance. No one likes to go to a business that looks like they belong in decades past. People like clean, nice looking facilities, and don’t trust those that look sketchy or germy.
5-hire a coach or consultant. If you’ve been in business for a while, there’s a good chance that you’re missing out on some of the reasons why your success isn’t growing like you want it to. A coach or consultant can help you get a fresh perspective on the good, the bad and the opportunities you’re missing out on.
What will you be doing to be more successful this spring?
I’m super excited for spring this week! Although there are lots of things that can make us sneeze in the air, I love waking up each day knowing that there will be some new sign of life outside to discover that day. Just like each day there are new signs of life outside our windows and around our homes, each day should bring new signs of life into our lives. We should see progress, improvement and hope in our lives each day. We will have discouraging days but most days should encourage us and inspire us to keep going.
What I love about spring is that each new development has its own story, just like each of us have our own stories. No two people are exactly alike, so no two stories can be alike. Each day’s new growth on the plants, flowers bursting just a little more open, baby animals growing a little bigger, grass growing a little greener tells a story as old as time about how nature comes alive. Little by little we see our world transform from the dull shades of grey, brown and white of the winter into the lush shades of pinks, greens and yellows.
However, the sad fact is that most of us miss the story each plant, each animal, each color tells. We’re wrapped up in our little worlds. This means we also miss the stories of the amazing people around us. You never know what the people around you have going on in their lives. You may be guilty of hanging out at a coffee shop just to hear the stuff other people are talking about. Oh the stories I’ve heard over the years! I’m always amazed though when I hear the same stories coming from different people. The relationship, family, work problems we each feel so captivated by are issues that other people around the world are having too.
I encourage you as spring is sprung around us to take time to listen to the people around you. Discover what they have learned that you could learn from them.