I love the first week of a new year. It’s time to take stock and look at life, to see what’s working, what needs work, and what needs tossed out.

The first step is what I like to think of as Spring-cleaning of the heart and mind.

1. Am I beating any dead horses?

We all know folks who just can’t stop being angry and talking about something that has been a dead issue for ages. They’re irritating and I don’t want to be one of them. Sometimes it helps to ask my spouse this one. It seems if I’m doing something irritating he’s the first to know.

2. Do I see any greenish tints when looking in the mirror?

Envy and jealousy have no place in a life well lived. I have my own talents and blessings. Wanting someone else’s is just greedy.

3. Is my nose at nose level?

Comparing myself to someone else is always a losing proposition. It can lead to a, nose in the air, thinking I’m better than someone else, holier-than-thou attitude, that’s apt to get one’s nose dented. It can also lead to, head hanging, “woe is me, I’m so pitiful” thinking, and we all know how attractive that is.

4. How’s the old pulse?

In these times of war coverage, suicide bombings, kidnappings,… it’s easy to suffer from calcification of the heart. I want my heart to stay tender. Though it may be broken occasionally, the rewards far out weigh the cost.

5. Is it time to forgive?

It’s tough to forgive someone who isn’t sorry, but unforgiveness is destructive to the heart that harbor’s it. I forgive for my own sake, and in obedience to the One who forgave me.

6. Is anything going bump in the night?

Things that thrive in the dark tend to die when dragged into the light. Honesty and open communication are the kryptonite of guilty secrets.

Tomorrow: Time To De-Clutter.