Read this if you want to simplify your life.
By simplifying your life, you reap the benefit of balance, freedom, and productivity. When we’re able to remove distractions, to focus on what matters, our life feels less cluttered and burdensome.
I use many of these points to simplify my life. Take all or a handful of these for yourself and let me know what worked for you! Based on my experiences and conversations with some friends, here is a list of 15 ways you can simplify your life:
- Time Commitments – Reassess your time commitments to see if they are in line with your priorities. Many of us fill our days unnecessarily just to have something to do (guilty!). Before committing to something, ask yourself if there are more demanding priorities or responsibilities that need your attention.
- Say No – Learn how to say no and be okay saying it. It’s uncomfortable, but you’ll know when you need to do it. I’m a ‘yes’ person, so this is an ongoing lesson for me! The times I’ve said no has helped and increased my confidence to do what I need to do boldly.
- Goals – Create realistic goals with action plans. Don’t overwhelm yourself by cluttering your ‘goals’ page with too many ambitions. Add a ‘dream’ or ‘future goals’ page to your journal to brainstorm what you can go for next.
- Mind – The Bible tells us constantly to renew our minds and rest in God, to take your thoughts captive, etc. Take inventory of your thought life and set yourself up to think healthily. Read the Bible or affirmations out loud (hear and believe). Journal in the mornings – write 3-5 things you’re grateful for or copy down the Bible verse of the day.
- Body – Don’t overwork, but don’t get lazy. Rest when you need to rest and run when you need to run. Your body serves you so you need to take care of it, otherwise it will give out when you need it most. Also, improve your diet! Assess your grocery list because life is more than a bag of chips. Go for the carrots instead!
- Words – Less is more. Learn how to speak truthfully, avoid gossip, mean what you say and say what you mean. Read the Bible, your daily affirmations out loud so you can be fluent in the language of love. (Proverbs 25:11).
- Relationships – Reassess your friendships and relationships. Sometimes life can feel cluttered if you’re not careful who you’re around. Some relationships are seasonal while others are lifelong. Ask God for wisdom and discernment in this.
- Social Media – Take a break from the online world and take a hike. Seriously, go outside and hammock or walk in the park. 2020 is the year for social distancing – why not social media distance, too? This will simplify and declutter your mind.
- Belongings – Remove unnecessary belongings that clutter your home. Clean out your closet, throw away the hole-y socks, and organize your shoe rack. When I feel overwhelmed, I check my surroundings and clean up anything that feels out of place or extra. This may seem like a tremendous task at the moment, but you’ll feel things get a lot more simple the following week, even month!
- Financial Stress – Create a budget. This doesn’t have to be a major Excel document. Start small and budget one portion at a time. For instance, determine how much you spend on household necessities in one month (groceries, cleaning supplies, etc.), then see if you need to cut this down or stay within this amount. Next, stay within your budgeted amount for the next two months. Last, reassess and move on to the next thing (e.g. debt, clothing, etc.)
- Calendar Setup – On the last day of the month, take 10 minutes of your day to mark up the next month’s calendar with important dates. Hang it up in a visual spot in your house and glance at it 1-2 times a day. This will eliminate the stress of potentially forgetting something, and the visual aspect will stimulate your memory cells.
- Plan – This helps me organize my days and weeks, but everyone is different! In the morning, write out major and miscellaneous to-do’s for today and set up reminders if you have to. Do the same thing for the upcoming week on a specific day (Saturdays work best for me). Writing things down will help you keep important events and tasks.
- Think & Do Ahead – Put things back where they belong right away. Simplify your life and reduce your to do list and clutter by doing things ahead. Also, put your phone away one hour before bedtime to wind down (I put mine across the room so I get out of bed).
- Meal Prep – This has worked extraordinarily for us! We’ve been meal prepping since July 2019. We buy our groceries over the weekend and then spend a few hours preparing our lunches and dinners for the upcoming week. This saves time, money, and leaves room for spontaneous events. If meal prepping for a week is overwhelming, you can prep meals for 3 days and see how it simplifies your schedule.
- Daily Prep – Prepare your clothes and items for the next day the evening before, so you’re not scrambling around in the morning. This is a big stress for most women, and my theory is that we’re less decisive in the mornings because our brains are still waking up. Schedule your coffee machine for the next morning and set out your mug, etc.
There will always be an easier way at the moment, but we need to find ways that support us long term. That is the ultimate way of simplifying our lives. These simple actions become habits overtime and before we know it, we’re able to live life to the fullest.
As Jerzy Gregorek says, “Hard choices, easy life. Easy choices, hard life.”
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