Did you know that the first week of August is National Simplify Your Life week? We’re all familiar with the idea of spring cleaning, but some late-summer simplifying is a great way to keep the clutter to a minimum going into fall. But simplifying your life isn’t just about removing the physical clutter out of your cabinets; it’s meant to make us look a little bit closer at our lifestyle and eliminate the things that keep us from truly enjoying life. In today’s fast-paced world, the idea of sitting on the porch with your family or a good book without having anywhere to be can be hard to imagine, but we’re here to tell you it’s possible, not just for those who are getting ready to move to one of the best places to retire, but for everyone!
There isn’t a formula for simplifying your life. Everyone is distracted in different ways so we’ve put together a list of suggestions to get you thinking about what will work best for you.
1. Just say “No!”
You might be someone who is always willing to help others out–and that’s a great thing! But sometimes you need to help yourself out first. So while your friends and family are very important to you, it’s about saying “no” to friends and family. While they contribute greatly to your quality of life, it’s easy to overextend yourself trying to be helpful. You know those days when you only have ten minutes between five scheduled events and then your mother-in-law asks you to drop by to mow her yard? Say no, but maybe suggest doing it a different day when you aren’t that busy.
2. Limit What You Allow into Your Life
Our time in life is limited, but we treat it like we will always have another tomorrow, saying “I’ll take that class one day,” or “I’ll start on it tomorrow.” But how much time do you waste checking websites that you don’t enjoy that much or mindlessly scrolling through social media? Think about the few e-mails, magazines, or TV shows that make you really excited when they arrive. Keep those and get rid of the rest. Trust us…you’ll never miss them.
3. A Little Prep Work Goes a Long Way
How many times have you found yourself almost asleep only to realize that you have no lunch for tomorrow or clean clothes? Starting your day in a rush automatically increases your stress, which affects your entire day. While some may look at habits like picking all your clothes out for the week or developing a weekly meal plan as constricting or mechanical, remember that developing a habit is also hard mental work, almost like a meditation. It’s perfectly fine to leave room for spontaneity. In fact, when you’re cool, calm, and collected, you might even be more willing to partake than if you had started your day with a stressful morning.
Many of us are already well aware of the things we could eliminate from our life. It’s actually making the step to eliminate it that throws us off. So for National Simply Your Life week, take a baby step towards a simple, more fulfilling life.