We fill our lives with so many unnecessary things and all of a sudden the simple and natural essentials become tainted or difficult to do because we have our priorities backwards. No matter how difficult our our circumstances, life doesn’t need to be hard. We tend to feel like we have to fight and struggle through but when looking through a broader scope of things, there is a beauty of living simply and acknowledging the blessings we have over the burdens we create. If we simplify our lives, we can fulfill it with love, humility, joy and experiences.
I want to make sure I am holding myself and others around me to be accountable though the upcoming holiday season to DETOX our lives, eliminating burdens and chaos by changing just a few easy things in our routines, attitudes and outlooks! Below are 7 ways to simplify and fill life with the necessities, peace and priorities that we deserve to hold in high regard.
#1 Cultivate Awareness. What does a simple life look like in your own words? Write it out or make a well established thought in your mind that you can refer back to. After meditating on this for a while, identify what is taking up time and space in your life. This can be everything from people to food to day dreams. Being conscious of what is in your life is important for you to evaluate/reflect and figure out what is necessary and what needs improvement or elimination to be able to ENJOY more life. Pay attention to what you’re doing and live life deliberately.
#2 Be Grateful & Confident. The time we get to enjoy our lives and spend it with loved ones or even alone, we tend to forget quickly once we get caught back up in work and stress. Creating time to reflect on the blessings that are a part of our daily lifestyles can help to satisfy and simplify. You can do this while driving in your car, taking a shower, brewing morning coffee or turning off the lights. Meditating with your inner voice will help you to be confident in the way you spend your time and your attitude toward life in general. Eat slowly, drive slowly, say goodnight with a kiss to loved ones, pet the cat/dog and remember to laugh or smile with others. All of these things are simple, easy and natural that can help you get back to the basics of life.
#3 Default to Positivity. There is a cause and effect between our thinking and our actions. Positivity is a must. Ask yourself: what is the best thing that happens to me today?! Focus on the good. Once you focus on the good you can let your actions follow. When you do a good deed or reach a goal, reward yourself with praise and share your success or stories with others around you. Your good energy will shine into their own lives and mentalities, and encourage them to live with the same intentions. Energy flows where intention goes.
#4 De-Clutter aka – get rid of things. If you rid your life of the ‘THINGS’ that take up space, you will be able to spend time with the people you care about and do things that you love. Physical things: If you can devote a weekend to purging the stuff you do not use or want anymore, it leave you feeling at ease with a full heart after a Salvation Army drop off. It’s a win win. Mental things: Be present. De-clutter your mind by letting things go and developing equanimity. Learn to detach yourself from others’ problems, emotional turmoil, confusion or stress and find peace. Media Consumption: Limit your TV, Radio, Internet, Magazine, Instagram, Blog time… These things can dominate our lives. Don’t let them. Put a limit on your communications and stick to it.
#5 Identify priorities and commitments. Make a list of 5 important things that you are committed to. Then make a list of your top 3 priorities. Do your commitments match up with your priorities? If they do not match up then you need to find a way to de-commit or re-commit in areas that need change. From work, home, kids, hubby, friends, hobbies, family, projects. Think about which gives you value and make room on the calendar for ones who need some TLC. Even if it’s a 10 minute phone call or a lunch date – there are 30 days in a month that you can pick from to make time with.
#6 Time Management. How do you spend your day? Again, make a list of an average day for you from sleeping, gym, work, etc. From this list, create morning and evening routines. That will help to keep your sleeping patterns in check, your health and your wellbeing. If you spend too much time multitasking and not getting much done because you are spreading yourself thin, try to focus on one system at a time. Laundry, then errands, then emails, etc. Leave space around things in your day so you will have room for contingencies and be able to go through your day more relaxed. If you become more efficient in the way you use your time you’ll be living more simply in [no time].
#7 Learn to say No. This is a key habit you need to form if you are going to simplify your life. If you can’t say no, you end up taking on too much, spreading yourself thin and ultimately create chaos and stress that is unnecessary. We all want to do more, love more, volunteer more, enjoy more, have more. Always ask: Will this simplify my life (Is it plain, natural or easy to understand/do)? If the answer is no, reconsider. As a society we need to learn what “enough” is.
Your life is a gift. Who are you giving it to? The world, yourself, or a higher power? Make it count!