Spring in Johannesburg is clearly marked. The majority of trees lining the streets shed their leaves in winter, grass turns brown and dullness prevails. Suddenly, in early spring, small green leaves start budding with a delicate, fresh green and our city starts showing it’s splendour. People respond by starting vigorous exercise programs. Local gyms are crowded as we put in extra effort to get our bodies in shape in anticipation of summer.

Perhaps we should not only focus on the outside but also use the cue from nature as an impetus for renewed inner reflection and spring cleaning. It could be immensely productive to investigate how our inner mental and emotional journeys are progressing. Without internal growth, true fulfilment and happiness remain elusive targets. Make a fresh start by doing the following exercises:

  • Purchase a new journal and commit to make an entry every day during a fifteen minute personal time of solitary reflection; away from the overwhelming rush and energy of city living. My personal reflection time is early in the morning before my day starts. It is amazing how this habit anchors and directs my day in a constructive fashion.
  • On the first page, write down one sentence as a vision statement of where you want to be in your personal development as a person by next year this time. Mine is to develop increasing peace, calm and serenity.
  • Underneath write down five key principles you want to measure your actions by on a daily basis in your reflection time. Mine are wisdom, maturity, integrity, love and humour. I try to check every action of mine against these and when I fail I try harder.
  • In your reflection time, expand your knowledge by reading something useful towards personal development every day. A start could perhaps be short articles I have loaded on my website on the topics of thinkingfit, mindfulness and emotional intelligence. The location is thinkingfit.co.za
  • Take daily stock of how you are progressing.