“Purity and simplicity are the two wings with which man soars above the earth and all temporary nature.” —Thomas à Kempis
Simplicity brings balance, freedom, and joy. When you begin to live simply you then can begin to truly experience life. Life can get hectic but there are ways for you to control it and learn how to simplify it.
It may involve time to look introspectively at your life and schedule. You will have to observe certain patterns and why do you things a certain way. It may take change, change may be painful, but the end results are worth it.
Time, habits, possessions, and finances are four areas in which a individual’s life can be complicated.
Time. Face it your time is valuable. No matter what you do you cannot add another hour to the day. While some things are out of your control that take up time in schedule, you are the one with control. You get 86,400 seconds every day. Guess what? You are ultimately in charge of what you do with those seconds. Whether you use them well or waste them, that is up to you.
*Evaluate your schedule. Is there anything you can cut out of it? Too much time driving back and forth to the gym? Workout at home. Is your family involved in too many activities, like sports? Agree only one activity per child at a time.
*Make a schedule and stick with it. Make small goals. Check them off as you complete them. It is easy to get distracted and waste time if you do not have goals.
*Busyness. We live in a culture that expects everybody to be busy, as if somehow being busy means one is productive. When we are busy, we feel like we’re working, when in reality we could just be spinning our wheels. Determine what is worth your time. Give 100% to those areas and do not spread yourself so thin.
*Learn how to say no. Practice with me.No. No. NO! Say “no” until you feel comfortable telling others “no.” It does not make you a bad person to tell others no. It is easy to spread yourself to thin. Your time is valuable. This is the only life you will have, live it well.
2. Habits: What habits do you have that are a waste of time? Do you spend too much time looking for lost objects on a daily basis? Do you wander aimlessly around the grocery store not knowing what to buy? Do you stay up late watching television or playing video games? Are you always running late? We get used to living our life a certain way and soon a pattern develops and habits formed. Running late, losing objects, staying up late, eating unhealthy, wasting time, and so on are bad habits. In order to break a habit you need to be willing to make a change and stick with it.
*Disorganization is a common characteristic of people with bad habits. Being disorganized can cause you to lose objects and be late for everything. Your life can become chaotic. Being surrounded by constant and chaos causes stress. Stress is bad for your health. Replace your bad habit with something else. Learn how to be organized. For example, if you spend too much time looking for lost keys, put your keys in the same spot daily. Bad habits can be reinforced by good habits. It takes 21 consecutive days to change a behavior. This is doable. You can do it!
3. Possessions: You want to start living a slower, simpler life. You feel stuck. You’re overwhelmed, under stress, and struggling. You can feel the weight of your possessions weighing you down. You are tired of feeling exhausted, strung out, stressed and cranky. One way to change this is to take a look at your possessions. What is taking up space in your home and in your life that you do not need?
*Declutter: Look around your house and determine what you need and do not need. Get rid of the clutter that is taking up space and causing stress.Go room by room and drawer by drawer at your own pace. Determine how much you really need each and every item. Think about how badly you really want to store it for the next 40 years.
Some ideas of decluttering include:
*Getting rid of furniture, appliances, or clothing that are no longer used and taking up space
*Work in zones. Go slowly. Be thorough. Stay committed, the end result will be a home free of clutter and things take up space and bogging you down both mentally and physically.
*Fill a trash bag or box. Stop once its done. Do not overdo it. The goal is to declutter in hopes of living a simple, stress free life, not overwhelm yourself..
Finances: This one is easy. Stop impulse buying. Track your money. Keep a budget and stick with it. Make a grocery list and stick to it. Keep a menu and stick to it. Set limits on gifts. Pay your bills online. Pay with cash. The key word to simplify your life in the area of finances is to take control and in charge of your money. You tell your money where to go and give it a name as Dave Ramsey often says.
Remember the goal is to live life simply and purely, nothing holding you down. It may be overwhelming to think about changing your habits and your life, but it will take time. Rome was not built in a day, and neither were your habits made in one day.