In our day and age we all have tons of things competing for our time and money. Here are some things I try to remember when I know I need to simplify.
I Can’t Do/Have It All – I think that having a good sense of self helps when nothing seems like “enough”. An easy way to narrow my focus and keep things simple is by making a list of all my interests. The key is making sure the list isn’t ridiculously long, that’s how you run into trouble. For example, if I was interested in photography, cooking, reading, golf, scrapbooking, fashion, and going to concerts I’d be, first of all – broke and secondly – overwhelmed. Try to narrow your list to 4 or 5 things that you like to do regularly. If there are things you like to do (i.e. shop for clothes, go to movies) but you don’t do them regularly, no need to include them.
Prioritize – The key to living simply in my opinion. How important are those 4 or 5 things in my list to me? Am I spending time & money on things that don’t matter as much to me? What things should I really be doing but I haven’t been?
Be Cool – Slowing down and taking a breather is another great way to simplify. Sometimes my own actions complicate life, and I end up needing to take a time-out. For example, getting worked up over small things or buying a bunch of unneccessary stuff adds disorder to your life. Take time to chillax. FYI – being cool only helps when I’m about to add chaos to my life, not when there is something that actually needs to be attended to.
Consistency – Prioritizing and consistency go hand in hand. Whatever you do consistently is what you prioritize. If I want to prioritize saving money then I would not shop consistently. If I wanted to prioritize being healthy then I’d cook at home and workout consistently. If I wanted to prioritize organizing my home I’d consistently get rid of things and clean up after myself. You get the idea..
Prayer – I’m at my best when I slow down and pray. It helps me to think clearly and gives me perspective. And when I’m able to do that life always gets much simpler..and happier!
Everyday Simplicty – A Practical Guide to Spiritual Growth by Robert J. Wicks is a great book to help you lead a simplified life. I strongly recommend it.
Living simply isn’t “in”. We place too much value on what we have or what we will have in the future. That’s too bad, because we end up missing out on the things that really matter in life. I think that life is much more fulfilling when I take out all the excess and keep it simple.