Every year I weed my garden. I try to weed whatever doesn’t feel good, including chores, inanimate objects (dying plants), and people (yes, people!). I use a trick called Bag It, Barter It, Better It. It’s a brilliant exercise that you can do on your own, requiring you to look over your to-do list, see what you don’t like doing, and decide what to bag, barter, or better.
Bag It! (Don’t do it.)
I bagged picking up the dry cleaning and making dinner during the week. I now have a dry cleaning pickup and delivery service, and my husband picks up dinner on his way home from work. These two things made me want to dance on my dining room table.
Barter It! (Get someone else to do it.)
Last year I bartered with my children. They now feed the dog, set and clear the table nightly, wash the dishes, and take out the trash. This invokes more dancing on my part. My son also puts away the groceries when I return from the store. This brings on the jitterbug! These things make me want to kiss my children, but only after I kiss myself for being so brilliant and realizing I don’t have to be General Manager of the Universe.
Better It! (Make the tasks a little more enjoyable.)
I bettered the tasks I don’t care for but still need to do, like grocery shopping, by buying myself a yogurt on the way home. This makes me want to dance like John Travolta in Staying Alive!
This year I’m going to do the same exercise because I noticed that I’ve unconsciously added things to my “to do” list without my own consent. In other words, I let my subconscious mind, the default mode part of my mind, agree to things without running it by my conscious mind first.
Becoming a coach has required that I learn technological stuff that I never even knew existed before. The great part was that at the time, learning felt like a choice; I learned these things to reach some coaching goals I set and working toward those goals felt delicious. However, there were other technological challenges I needed to overcome, and they felt awful. So I listened to how I felt, and I hired someone to design, implement, and distribute my newsletter. It was worth every penny. It freed me up to do the things that I love, the things that bring energy, vitality, and bliss to my life … coaching, writing, spending time with my family, biking, and reading. This is one of the benefits of weeding my garden: I can spend my time doing things that feel great.
Here’s how you can weed your own garden.
Start by making a list of all the things you have to do.
Next, note which tasks create any sort of stress or tension for you.
Ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” What would happen if you didn’t do it? Why would that be so horrific? Do this with your chores, the plants you keep watering that you really don’t like, and the people you spend your time with.
Then, see if you can bag the task. Don’t do it.
If you can’t bag it, see if you can barter it. Trade with someone who loves to do what you love to do. Bartering also includes paying someone!
Lastly, brainstorm how you can make the task better.
What will you weed out this year? I guarantee that you if you take the time to complete this exercise, you’ll discover a brown patch in your garden. Imagine clearing that space and allowing something new and green to grow into something beautiful.