How To Simplify Your Life

Steps to Slow Down and Enjoy Life

Savor Family/Simplify/Sunlight
Appreciate Nature/Sleep & Exercise/Clean Eating

Time flies by way to fast and we can't get that time back. A lot of times we get all wrapped up in the unimportant things - which at the time seem important - we are missing out on the truly important things. Like spending quality time with our families which tells us it's time to simplify our lives.  

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Reflection Step 1 

Make time for yourself and family.

Years ago I sat back and reflected on my life. Realizing that I need to refocus my emphasis on what's truly important. My health, my happiness and my family. First, we need to be healthy and happy with ourselves before we can be a good parent and partner.

Refocusing your energies to living a more simple life by stepping out of the fast paced life we have created will open up the possibilities to find happiness and your life's passion.

Make Changes Step 2 

Clear Clutter/Slow Down/Disconnect/
Make a bucket list/Shed Activities/Plan Your Time

It was time for a change. In order to make room for those changes I needed to get back some of that time. To do that I needed to start simplifing my life. There are many ways to start without making big sacrifices. Starting small eventually makes it easier to make bigger changes down the road. 

  • Decide what is important – Stop and think about what is important to you. How do you want to spend your time? Who do you want to spend your times with? What do you want to accomplish?
  • Make a short list of 3-5 things in your life you want to do, people you want to spend time with, things you’d like to accomplish at work.
  • Live in the Moment - Be aware of what you are doing and do not let your mind drift about what you need to do next or later.
  • Focus on the people you are with – do not let your mind wander on other things.  Savor this time with your friends and family.
  • Find your pleasures - Make a list of the simple things that give you pleasure and engage with them a few times a week.
  • Appreciate Nature - Find time to take in a hike or sit by a lake.
  • Make a Bucket List - This does not have to be major things you want to do but simple things.  Start with ten -- a "mini" bucket list.

Get Rid of the Clutter Step 3

Get Rid of the Clutter

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I went through my house room by room -- closet by closet evaluated everything.  I asked myself - do I really need -and wear - all these clothes?  Will I really wear this someday? If I haven't worn it in a year I will most likely NEVER wear it. Time to donate what I don't wear or use anymore. 

Declutter your Stuff! 

You would be amazed what you can really do without.  I donated books, clothes, toys, linens, and more. By getting rid of the clutter in your house, you get rid of it sub-consciously in your mind. 
  • You feel happier
  • You find lost treasures
  • You feel calmer 
  • You inspire others - It definitely inspired my kids to de-clutter  

More Ways to Declutter Your Home

  • kitchen utensils
  • coffee mugs
  • plastic containers
  • vases
  • unread books
  • hardly used kitchen items
  • food (you'd be surprised at your expired food)
  • spices
  • magazines
  • paper - mail - old receipts
  • linens
  • electronics 
  • medicine
  • toys
  • clothes
I want to have a greater appreciation of life.
I want to enjoy the natural world around us. 
I want to savor my time with my family.
I want to enjoy the every day simple things we do. 

Slow Down Your Pace - Step 4

With the advancement of technology, we are used to getting things quicker and faster right at our fingertips. But the irony of modern technology saving us time, is we are actually losing time. We fill up that saved time with more projects and activities. We have to have it all, and do it all.  Time is passing us by too quickly. Are we really enjoying life -- Or are we in this never-ending loop of hectic activities?

Tips to Slow Down the Pace 

    • Simplify your "To Do" List - Do less and prioritize. Focus on the important.  Do not fill up your day with things to do.  You end up rushing to do them all and fail. Pick three important things you need to get done.
    • Automate - Online banking, shopping and the post office. This saves you time standing in lines. 
    • Reduce Debt - Create a strict budget, stick to it and start paying off the debt. 
    • Disconnect - Use this time to read, meet friends, join a class, and connect with yourself or others. Reduce the amount of time you are on social media and TV.
    • Work Free Vacations - Turn off your cellphone & computer. Relax and enjoy every minute. 
    • Reduce Information Overload - Being flooded with stimuli is a tremendous source of stress. Limit the amount of information you expose yourself too especially before you go to sleep at night.
    • Shed Activities - Make a list of your (and your kids') activities - prioritize your list and shed those that are no longer fun or serve a purpose in your life.
    • Minimize Negative Relationships - Cut out (or minimize) relationships that cause you stress.
    • Nurture Relationships - Nurture the people who make you feel good and laugh. Invite them to lunch, send a nice note, or invite them to hang out. 
    • Learn to say No - Be strong and say No when asked to do something you really do not want to do.
    • Delegate - Do not try to do it all. Share the workload at home and work by asking for help.
    • Shop/Cook - Dedicate one night a week to plan and prep for the week's meals & school lunches.
    • Create a Family Calendar - Create a monthly or weekly calendar using different colored pens for each family member. Post the calendar where everyone can see it.
    • Run your Errands - During the week not on Saturdays when everyone is out and about.
    • Plan Time for Yourself - Everyday!
    • Finish What You Started - Set some time aside to get the projects completed that you started. Once they are completed you will not waste time stressing about completing them. 
    • Eliminate "stuff" - Get rid of things that stress you out or create angst. For me it was a bush in the back yard. It had bothered me for seven years. So finally, I just cut it down. Now, I don't have to waste my time thinking about it any more. It's gone - out of my life.  Getting rid of all the small simple issues opens you up to really focus on the bigger issues.
    • Let go of old goals -  Goals you may have set for yourself could be outdated by now.  It is always a good idea to re-evaluate your life and set new goals. 

    Reduce the Clutter from your Life!

    Some people may ask what is wrong with all this stuff?  Nothing if you like all the clutter. Did you know 80% of what we own we never use?  By getting rid of the clutter it also helps reduce housework by 40%. You save 55 minutes a day looking for stuff now that you are organized and clutter free. That is a good two hours you just got back!  Two hours to spend with your family getting healthy and having fun!  Here are some more benefits to eliminating the clutter in your life.   
      Less Stress - Clutter can become a visual and mental distraction. It is piles of things you have to do - papers to file - clothes to put away - junk to get ride of. Clutter is always in the back of your mind.
      • Efficiency - Now that you do not have to focus on all the clutter in your home -the piles of "things to do" -you will work more efficiently.
      • Calm - Relaxation in an uncluttered home becomes easier. By getting rid of the clutter in your home, you get rid of it sub-consciously in your mind. You would be amazed at how much better you feel.
      • Inspiration - Reducing your clutter will inspire your spouse and your kids to do the same. 

      Time to Enjoy Your Life

      Do the things you enjoy! 
      • Live in the Moment - Be aware of what you are doing and don't let your mind drift about what you need to do next or later.

        • Do Less
        • Disconnect from technology when possible
        • Focus on the people you are with
        • Appreciate nature
        • Eat slower and savor the flavors and textures
        • Drive slower
        • Find pleasure in anything
        • Exercise
        • Sleep
        • Eat a healthy diet

      Ask Yourself What Takes Up Your Time Step 5

      Feeling good about the first step made me look for other steps to take.  I asked myself "What was taking up my time?" I made a mental list and started to prioritize.  

      I cut my volunteer positions by half.  Instead of 6 groups, I now only volunteer for 3.

      Cleaning and Gardening took up a lot of my time. Even though I like to garden, my yard takes up too many weekends in the spring, summer and fall.  So, to save my weekends for fun, and money, I
      have been reducing the size of my flower beds. Less weeding and less mulch.

      Create Your Plan and Start Checking Off Items Step 6

      Clear out your "in box" -- CHECK
      Make a bucket list -- CHECK
      Delete Old bridges -- CHECK
      Let go of old goals -- CHECK

      Reduce your chores. 

      Get rid of things that take up time stressing you out or creating angst.  For me it was a bush in the back yard.  It had bugged me for seven years.  So finally, I just cut it down. Now, I don't have to waste my time thinking about it any more.  It's gone -- out of my life.  Getting rid of all the small simple issues opens you up to really focus on the bigger issues.

      Family Time is so Important! 

      With my plate becoming more an more empty with the not so important life items-- it gives me more time to "Get Healthy", "Spend time with my Family", "Enjoying My Jeep" and "Being Happy!"

      Benefits of Simple Life

      Reduce stress, create more me time, create more family time. More time allows me to enjoy those things I wanted to do but didn't have time. 

      Studies show simple living helps alleviate tension-related reactions such as insomnia, nervousness, anxiety, neck and shoulder spasms, and chronic fatigue.

      Simplifying doesn't have to mean to do with out or be frugal. It could -- but it doesn't have to. Rather, it could mean to slow down and live a more balanced, deliberate, and thoughtful life.

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