“Spring is a time to renew the excitement and zest for life that lives inside” – Family Friend Poems     

I hope this finds you well and enjoying the beauty and refreshment of Spring! It truly is a time for renewal. We can look at springtime as a way to “reboot” and begin anew. It’s called “spring cleaning’’ because we can clean and refresh our living space. But what about our brain? Is your brain also cluttered and in need of some spring cleaning? We can also refresh and reboot our brains!

Here are six simple ideas that that can help de-clutter your brain and give you a sense of renewal, energy and accomplishment each day:

  1. Prioritize: Prioritizing is an energy-intensive activity for our brains. Focus on prioritizing when you are most energized. Our brains can only process a few things at a time. Knowing what needs to be done and by when is a very powerful way to conserve your energy. Tackle the most demanding tasks when you have the most energy. I am learning to put a deadline on my daily and weekly goals and do what is most demanding when most energized. It is amazing how much more energy I have at the end of the day!
  2. Set Goals: After prioritizing, write down key goals for each day in the morning then revisit them at the end of the day. Creating a list of prioritized goals frees your brain and again, reserves precious energy. Throughout the day, revisit your list and make revisions. At the end of the day, revisit your goals. Note and celebrate your accomplishments!  If you didn’t complete a goal, ask yourself “Why didn’t I get this accomplished? What did I learn?” The biggest part of goal setting is writing down the goals and staying focused on completing them. Every day is a fresh start to accomplishing your goals.
  3. The Wonder of Lists: Speaking of lists, a great free tool to use for quickly tracking your prioritized lists and goals is Wunderlist. You can get this free app at: https://www.wunderlist.com  Enjoy Wunderlist!
  4. Journal: Place a journal by your bed that you write in every morning or evening. If you feel you have nothing to write, it’s ok. Just write one line, even if it’s “I have nothing to write”. Just get in the habit of writing something every day. You will start to notice patterns and be able to decipher and tease out what is really important and what is not. In Greg McKeown’s book “The Essentialist”, he talks about journaling as a way to calm the mind, reflecting on and reminding you of what’s important right now.
  5. Meditate:Meditation clears the mind and refocuses thoughts.  There are numerous benefits to meditation and the way it affects the brain.  Studies have shown that meditating for just 20 minutes per day can produce beneficial results.
  6. Exercise: We all know the benefits of exercise for our bodies but it also helps to keep our brains sharp. According to a study done by the Department of Exercise Science at the University of Georgia, even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. Do what you enjoy. If it is good for your heart, it is good for your brain.  For me, what I do most faithfully is walk my dogs. Wonton and Chowmein know how to walk at a fast pace but they also know how to stop and smell the roses and the grass and the ………. You get the idea!  Get outside and enjoy the beautiful colors, sounds and of course the smells of Spring.  Your brain will thank you!