A simple life has a different meaning for us all. For me, it means eliminating the stuff that no longer serves me or makes me happy. It's about spending less time tidying and cleaning possessions and spending more time doing what's important to me.
It means getting rid of unnecessary things you do so you can spend time with people you love and do the things you love. It means getting rid of the clutter, so you are left with only that which makes you happy.
However, getting to simplicity isn't always a simple process. It's a journey, not a destination, and it can often be a journey of two steps forward and one backwards. I'm still learning every day about letting go. I still feel guilty about removing certain things or hanging on to something 'just in case.'
What makes you happy?
The sky's the limit when it comes to discovering what happiness means to us and creating our plan to achieve it. Things tend to get overwhelming when we attach unnecessary tasks, items, and clutter to this thought of happiness.
There's nothing wrong with wanting to have a beautiful home with paintings on the walls, a cosy dining space, and a garden full of flowers. But remember that even luxuries come with responsibilities, which can quickly turn into clutter and additional stress.
Simplifying your life should be easy, but it is more challenging when you don't know where to start. It's tough not to feel overwhelmed when we think about decluttering years of accumulated stuff, cleaning out our hard drives, or even our day-to-day tasks. It's easier to sweep them into a cupboard or promise to do them 'later'.
Simple living may not always mean fewer possessions. You want to be surrounded by things that make you happy and comfortable. Therefore, for a simplified life, you let go of the clutter and keep only the things that enhance your day-to-day living.
So let's see how you can simplify your life this year and create less stress and more happiness in the process.
10 Things to Simplify in Your Life
According to Joshua Becker, author of The Minimalist Home, based on our journey, conversations, and observations, here is a list of the ten most important things to simplify in your life today to begin living a more balanced, joyful lifestyle.
1. Your possessions – Too many material possessions complicate our lives more than we ever realise. They drain our bank account, our energy, and our attention. They keep us from the ones we love and from living a life based on our inner values. If you invest the time to declutter the non-essential possessions from your life, you will never regret it.
2. Your time commitments – Most of us have filled our days from beginning to end with time commitments: work, home, kid's activities, family gatherings, community events, hobbies… the list goes on. Remember, It's ok to say 'no' and release yourself from time commitments that do not bring you joy or rest when you need it.
3. Your goals – Reduce the number of goals in your life to one or two. By reducing the number of goals you are striving to accomplish, you will improve your focus and success rate. Make a list of what you want to achieve in your life and choose the two most important. When you finish one, add another from your list.
4. Your negative thoughts – Most negative emotions are completely useless. Resentment, bitterness, hate, and jealousy have never improved the quality of life for a single human being. Imagine your mind is like a garden and your thoughts are like seeds. You can choose what seeds to plant in your garden. You can plant seeds of positivity, love, joy, and abundance, or you can plant seeds of negativity, fear, and scarcity. You can spend your time caring for the gardens of others, or you can work on making your garden lush and beautiful.
5. Your debt – If a debt is keeping you awake at night, reduce it. Start today. Find out what you need to do to reduce its heavy burden. Seek out the help that you need and learn how to get out of debt. Plan today to enjoy freedom tomorrow.
6. Your words – Use fewer words. Keep your speech plain and honest. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. If you tend to people-please as I do, it's all too easy to say "yes" when you mean "no" or, more specifically, "I don't want to". This can save the feelings of others from being hurt, but saying things you don't mean one too many times can eventually make you come across as inauthentic, and your trustworthiness, go *poof* in an instant.
7. Your artificial ingredients – Avoid trans fats, refined grain (white bread), high-fructose corn syrup, and too much sodium. Minimising these ingredients will improve your energy level in the short term and your health in the long term. Also, as much as possible, reduce your consumption of over-the-counter medicine – allow your body to heal itself naturally.
8. Your screen time – Focusing your attention on television, movies, video games, and social media addiction affects your life more than you think. Media rearranges your values. It begins to dominate your life, and it has a profound impact on your attitude and outlook. Unfortunately, when you live in that world consistently, you don't even notice how it impacts you. The only way to fully appreciate its influence in your life is to turn them off.
9. Your connections to the world – Relationships with others are good, but constant streams of distraction are bad. Learn when to power off the blackberry, log off Facebook, or not read a text. Focus on the important, not the urgent. A steady flow of distractions from other people may make us feel important, needed, or wanted, but feeling important and accomplishing importance are completely different things.
10. Your multitasking – Research indicates that multitasking increases stress and lowers productivity. While single-tasking is becoming a lost art, learn it. Handle one task at a time. Do it well. And when it is complete, move to the next.
Simplifying life means getting rid of anything that doesn't serve you anymore. And you open up that extra space for true pleasures that delight your soul.