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Imagine for a moment you’ve decided to embrace simplicity. By doing so you gain extra time and energy, more meaning and purpose the chance to pay down debt, more meaningful connections, better health, overall improved quality of life, and less stress. Wow! These are just some of the benefits you can gain when you embrace simplicity.
When you embrace simplicity, you naturally begin to think about your life in a different way. Instead of being overcome with the mundane and chaotic choices of your former life, you instead are given the opportunity to think about what really matters in life. Simplicity allows you to chose the path of personal transformation.
If you’re drawn to a simpler life, don’t wait. Now is the time to embrace simplicity and here’s how you can accomplish that choice.
Before we jump into the ways we can embrace simplicity, let’s consider what’s calling you to a simpler life. When you can clarify your intentions, it helps to diminish any overwhelm the process can create.
Maybe you want a simple life because:
- You want more time to spend with people that are important to you.
- Want less stress.
- Want to reduce the clutter in your home.
- Want to be free from overshopping and debt.
Whatever it is, clarifying your intentions will help to keep you moving towards your goal.
Where to Begin?
No one becomes a minimalist overnight, and no one creates a simpler life in a weekend. Both take the time to find the level of simplicity that matches your personal set of circumstances. Simplicity will look different depending on where you live and with whom.
You can start by decluttering a single drawer or spend a weekend doing a major purge. The most important thing is to begin and then continue the process until you find that peaceful place. This process takes time so be patient with yourself.
11 Ways You Could Embrace Simplicity
1. Get Rid of Excess
I think most of us would agree we all have too much stuff and for many this excess causes us to feel overwhelmed in our living space.
If this is you, you can start with one room, one corner, or one drawer. The choice is up to you.
Whatever approach you use, understand that emotions will show up as you begin to try and let go of your stuff. Don’t let the emotions be the obstacle that stops you from living a more simple life.
Use the three and done approach. Use one bag for trash (anything that is broken, has missing parts, is dirty or tattered, or you just don’t love), use another box or bag for donations, and another for yard sale if you feel you want to recoup some of your money.
Just keep going reducing and eliminating excess until you feel calmer in your home.
2. Reduce or Eliminate T. V.
I used to watch a lot of television. It would be on in the background day and nite until I realized it wasn’t adding anything positive to my life and was actually having the opposite effect. I would get consumed with world events, stress out over things I couldn’t change and rarely if ever was there a positive and uplifting story.
So I stopped turning it on in the morning and no longer watch the news. Occasionally I’ll watch something on Netflix so I can skip the lure of commercials. My goal this year is to eliminate t.v. even further, but I’m not all the way there yet.
3. Buy Less
Try a no spend challenge – except for the essentials – for 3 to 6 months. A no shopping hiatus gives you the space to consider if what you desire is something you really need and whether the item will actually enrich your life. It gives you a chance to see what tempts you and why that might be.
I was a real shopaholic in my former days, but I’ve since learned the value in not buying and owning less. ,
Now, I rarely buy things. I don’t hesitate to purchase what I need, but I’ve found that I need much less and enjoy life much more.
4. Simplify Your Wardrobe
I’m not a fan of these challenges whereby you reduce your wardrobe to 33 pieces or only what can fit on 40 hangers. Sure the number sounds reasonable enough, but maybe you have 41 pieces of clothing you love, or less than 33.
When you simplify your wardrobe, you save time, money and energy. All useful things to gain back.
5. Spend Less Time on Social Media
There are many articles out there on how social media can detract from your well-being when you compare yourself to others online and come out on the losing end.
And, social media can be addictive, so it’s not necessarily easy to reduce your engagement. You really need to make a conscious plan.
Last year I literally stopped following everyone on Facebook. Now the only information that shows up in my feed is business related. It has dramatically cut back on the amount of time I’ve spent on social media, and I’m happy about that.
Finding a way to decrease the time you spend on social media will more than likely take a trial and error approach until you find a solution that you feel comfortable with.
6. Read Selectively
I once had a library of over 1,500 books! Over the years I have sold, donated or given away most of them and currently have a small but meaningful library of my particular favorites.
I believe knowledge is power, but how much information do we really need?
Reading fewer books with the intention of then applying what you learn is far better than just reading for the sake of reading. Putting what you know into action that can spur a meaningful change in your life is great, but if you just read and never apply what good it is?
Today I read about 15-18 books a year. I listen to most of them using Audible when I’m driving and have found this is something I really enjoy. I purchase a physical copy occasionally and also use my Kindle.
7. Stop Overcommitting Yourself
Most of us are caught up in the “too much” syndrome. It’s part of modern life. But the reality is we are overcommitted.
Go and look at your calendar. Identify 3 things you can say goodbye to. For most of us, this exercise is easy because our calendars and planners are filled with commitments we don’t want to do.
Now, learn how to say no to the things you don’t want to do. Maybe you’re a people pleaser? Whatever your issue, this is a good time to examine why you’re overcommitted.
Work on setting limits, so you don’t burn out.
If you can, downsize your space. Living in an overly large home comes with a high price tag. It takes time to clean and maintain these large spaces and it eats up time better spent doing the things you enjoy.
I downsized last year from a three-floor townhouse to an 800 square foot in-law apartment. It’s perfect for me and my needs.
9. Use A Simple Planning System
I’m a firm believer in using a planner. It streamlines and simplifies my life because I have what I need at my fingertips. I particularly love the Living Well Planner and use it to manage our household. For my business, I use a Day-Timer.
I’m old fashioned and prefer a paper planner to a digital one.
If you currently don’t use a planner maybe using one will help you create and manage simple living more efficiently.
Meditation declutters your mind. It increases your clarity so it’s easier to see what’s important and streamline your life. It brings the simplicity of mind so you have a more relaxed and enjoyable life. The benefits of mediation are too numerous to mention, but if you find yourself wanting to create more calm in your life, meditation will help you achieve that goal.
Here are a few of my favorite meditation books:
Meditation Now by Elizabeth Reninger
The Little Book of Mindfulness by Patricia Collard
10% Happier by Dan Harris
11. Spend Time In Nature
Nothing makes you appreciate the need to embrace simplicity more than spending time in nature. Nature naturally slows life down and the peace and calm it brings to your life affirm the need for simplicity. Go outside and see for yourself.
There you have it. Eleven ways you can embrace simplicity and completely transform your life.