The ritual of spring cleaning isn’t just for the home, it’s for bad habits, too. These mantras will inspire a scrubbed and shinier you.
With spring in the air, you can spring into action and sanitize yourself of bad habits. Here are 30 meaningful (and what research says are common) places to scour:
1. Double your investment in a friend.
Time to stop deprioritizing relationships. The number four most common regret of the dying is “I wish I’d spent more time with friends.” Those who matter will matter in the end.
2. Slap the “should” out of you.
This s-word needs to go. When you tell yourself “I should do this or that…” it’s like granting a license to procrastination and regrets. Replace “should” with “did.”
3. Act with a scarcity mentality.
You’re not resource-full, so learn to be resourceful. It’s the skillset to develop in a more with less world.
4. Consider the risk of not doing something.
It’s a good habit to get into versus the alternative — letting fear hold you back. Remember that failure is an event, not a person.
5. Less attitude, more gratitude.
Appreciate all that you’ve done versus obsessing over what you haven’t. See in others all that they’ve become, versus just seeing what they still need to be.
6. Mind your mood swings.
Inconsistency is a big cause of an unhappy workplace, especially when it comes to emotions. Mind yours and keep them positive.
7. Put your priorities on a pedestal.
Hold your priorities sacred. Stop doing the easy thing by trying to do everything.
8. Focus on improving, not proving.
Stop the habit of comparing yourself to everyone else. This produces feelings of inadequacy. You lose sight of your definition of success. Compare only to You 2.0.
9. Decide who gets to criticize you.
Not all criticizers are created equal, and some shouldn’t even get a seat at the table. Choose who makes the cut, and mentally dismiss the rest.
10. Optimism over pessimism.
Nothing is more energizing than the former, or more draining than the latter.
11. Live your values – relentlessly.
Living by your values turns guesses into good decisions. Never compromise.
12. Don’t just visualize, actualize.
Research shows that visions of successful outcomes accumulate and become exhausting when you don’t take action on them.
13. Expose and expel your anxieties.
No more allowing subtle self-doubts to become very real self-limitations.
14. Seek improvement, not approval.
This, from the school of “Focus On What You Can Control.”
15. Work on your life versus in your life.
Get off the hamster wheel and commit to stretching, learning, exploring. Focus on becoming versus being.
16. Add value. Always.
Be present at all times and make your presence felt.
17. Have a To Do list and a To Don’t list.
Write down the kind of things you tend to get sucked into. This list then serves as a reminder to, well, don’t.
18. Exercise versus exercising your right not to.
Exercise is the deepest well for well-being but is so easy to avoid. Now is the season to turn over a new leaf.
19. Rediscover the plot.
Commit to not getting sucked down into the weeds anymore. Your people need your vision, barrier-busting, and your time spent on seeing around corners.
20. Mind your inner monolog.
Our internal dialog helps or hurts us. Recognize when yours is spiraling you downward and change the tone — like you would for a friend needing support.
21. Forgive yourself.
You’re trying to become the best version of yourself, not the mythical perfect version.
22. Beware busywork.
Big meeting tomorrow to prep for? Better rearrange the apps on my phone first! Catch yourself in the act of this robotic behavior and redirect towards work that matters.
23. Never ask timidly.
Research shows we vastly underestimate just how willing others are to lend a helping hand. So ask for help like you mean it.
24. Stop your people-pleasing habit.
Stop trying to be everything for everybody (leave that to Ryan Seacrest). Set boundaries allowing you to take care of your needs first. Think of the You-niverse, not the universe.
25. Spread positive gossip only.
Get caught talking about your co-workers, in an upbeat way. The alternative is unbecoming and unacceptable.
26. Listen. Really listen.
Listening is not waiting for your turn to talk. If it helps, practice the W.A.I.T. principle — ask yourself “Why Am I Talking?”
27. Be mindful of an open mind.
And when counterpoints are raised, let them raise your interest, not your hackles.
28. Bring the attitude you want to be reciprocated.
We can’t help but get caught up in the attitudes of those we most closely work with — good or bad.
29. Give a clear brief for the work.
Commit to not causing rework and waste by being clear in the direction you give up front. Unclear direction is supremely avoidable.
30. Keep going when others don’t.
Companies known as great innovators have an astounding secret to their success. They keep going. You should too.
This story originally appeared on Inc.com