Do you find your days filled with unimportant, but must do obligations? There are times I look at my day and I find it overrun with countless decisions, numerous errands, organizing, scheduling and planning for things that are just not that important. These are areas of my life that I have really been working on simplifying, to allow my life to run more smoothly.
But seeking to simplify our lives can be challenging at best. Yet, I am also finding that it so worth the effort. After all, living simple is about doing what we love.
I firmly believe everyone should have the freedom to pursue those things that make them truly happy. The truth is that when we seek to live more simply, it can be easier to find what those things are that truly make you happy. Living simply allows us to weed out the clutter and noise to find what matters most.
As I have been simplifying different areas of my life, I have learned it is important to go slow, to simplify a little at a time. If we move too fast, or try and simplify everything all at once, simplicity can become a strict regimen. This will result in the opposite effect of what we are trying to achieve, which is freedom. Freedom to pursue those things that bring you joy and allow you to live a life that you love.
With this in mind, I continue to look at areas of my life that I can simplify in an attempt to live more fully. Here are seven areas of our lives, that for most of us, we need to simplify.
1. Our Stuff
I think you kinda of knew that I would start here 😉 Do we really need all we think we do? The answer is almost universally no. For most of us, our homes are overflowing with stuff we don’t use or rarely use. Physical clutter has a big impact on our stress levels because it interferes with achieving the things that are truly important to us.
Simple living is all about making space for the stuff that truly adds value to your life.
Take some time to write down the top 5 to 7 things that are most important to you. Whatever you are holding on to that does not line up with those priorities or is interfering with them, needs to be eliminated.
2. Our Food Habits
If we are honest, most of us could easily do a lot of simplifying when it comes to the area of food. We have so many choices when it comes to buying food that we can fail to even think about some of our choices as cluttering up our lives. Often when I go to the grocery store, I end up buying more than I went in for. On more than a few occasions, I have been guilty of going in for one or two items and leaving with a half-full cart of random stuff.
Not only that, but many of us need to simplify our diet more, with healthier more natural choices.
Honestly, when I started reading the list of ingredients on the products I was purchasing, I was shocked at the number of sugars and processed items in so-called “healthy” food choices.
To begin simplifying in this area, take some time to find recipes and methods for eating simple, delicious real food on a daily basis. Here is a particular site that I have enjoyed many of the recipes from the Garden Grazer. You can also find recipes for seven clean eating family meals here.
3. Our Email Subscriptions
How many emails do you receive on a daily basis? Most of us probably can’t count. The reality is, there is clutter everywhere, including our technology. We are on information overload. So much information comes at us, that it ends up zapping our focus and dilutes our attention. While initially, we might seek this information to better our lives, what ends of happening is that we get so much information we don’t know what to focus on. The result is we end up accomplishing less than we would if we had less information. Our energy is depleted with each new piece of information we are consuming. Because of all of this, we end up feeling buried under the weight of information overload.
We need to think carefully about what we are subscribing to and be willing to “unsubscribe” from what is not adding measurable value to our life.
Look at your subscriptions and pick a few favorites that you would like to focus on and unsubscribe from the rest. If you find you really miss something you can always re-subscribe.
4. Our Commitments
Do our schedules really reflect our priorities? If our priorities don’t line up with our schedule something needs tweaking, either our priorities or our schedule. Our time is the most valuable commodity we have, it is precious and we need to guard it.
Look at your current commitments. Are any of these commitments being kept up with out of obligation? If so, drop them. Keep only those commitments that align with your priorities.
5. Our Worry
Worry is a negative emotion, yet many of us spend a lot of time worrying. We waste energy worrying about the future or the past. Not only that, but worry clouds our thinking and to occupies our mind with things that are generally out of our control.
Instead, we need to focus on living in the moment. We need to recognize that our mental space deserves, even more, attention than our physical living space. Our mental space is where true peace and happiness lives.
6. Our Goals
I love setting goals and I think goals are important. Goals allow us to be intentional with our life. In fact, I believe that without actionable goals you won’t move forward.
However, studies show that we are only capable of focusing on two to three goals at a time. When we have more than two to three goals, we are less likely to accomplish any of them. Excessive goals result in our filling every waking moment of our day. The result is no downtime to recharge.
Goal setting is a perfect example of where less equals more. Look at the current goals you are working on and pick two or three to focus on, put the rest aside for now. As you accomplish those two or three goals you can build on them with new goals.
7. Our Shopping
Simplifying means being mindful about what we introduce into our homes. Take a look at your credit card statements, do you see funds going to places or for things that you don’t necessarily enjoy. There are many things we spend money on that do not add true value to our lives.
The same way that you need to ask yourself whether your schedule matches your priorities, you need to examine whether your budget matches your priorities. Are you spending more on things or experiences? Do you have room in your budget that allows for generosity?
A key component to simplifying is making sure that your money goes toward things that you truly value.
These are the areas I am seeking to simplify more, what about you? I would love to hear what you are working on simplifying in your life.
Now live simply, live fully and make each day your Favorite day!