It’s pretty common for people to have a list of numerous New Years resolutions. In the past have made resolutions here and there and stuck to perhaps 30% of them. Primarily because I either just couldn’t be bothered or didn’t create a lifestyle that allowed me to stick to them. But this year I only have one…. one resolution which has been yelling out to me for months, may be longer: Live Simpler !!!
At some point along this journey productivity seemed to mean squeezing an infinite amount of tasks into a single day… leading only to extreme fatigue, little time spent doing what you love most or with those you love most… and that doesn’t lead you to a happy place at all. Eventually it shows and subconsciously you may not even realize why.
In general life moves much faster than it did 10-15 years ago and to some extent you can’t fight that much, it’s the nature of the world we live in. But I want to change from “crazy fast pace” to “less stressed and fulfilled”… I refuse to say “it’ll get easier when” or “give it time”…. I believe a simpler lifestyle is just a matter of choice and so it shall be done! Because it’s necessary, for me, right now.
Now how do you do that you ask? I spent quite a bit of time researching this believe it or not because I wanted solutions, realistic solutions. I didn’t want motivational quotes or cute posters to tag on instagram… I wanted ideas that could be implemented, ideas that directly affect one’s everyday habits and lifestyle.
I came across an article by Tyson Popplestone called “30 Thibgs I’ve Done to Simplify My Life“. Out of this list I picked 10 that I knew would definitely have the biggest effect:
- Say no. We often agree to take on more than we can handle. Create some boundaries on your time. When you know your major priorities, saying no becomes easier.
- Switch off notifications. Have you ever almost been asleep and then received an email, Facebook, or Instagram alert that woke you up? Switch these notifications off and check them at a time that works for you, not as they come in.
- Limit media. Rather than turning on the TV as soon as you get home, write down what you’re looking forward to watching and turn it on when that show starts.
- Simplify your wardrobe. Great fashion is not found in owning more clothes but in owning the right clothes for you.
- Eat slowly. If you’re anything like me, you may see eating as a distraction from the wonderful world of productivity. Buddhist leader Thich Nhat Hanh’s guidebook How to Eat (Mindful Essentials) is packed with some great tips on how to slow down and find enjoyment in every meal.
- Live frugally. Take the time to consider your purchases. Once I started thinking more carefully about my shopping habits, I realized I didn’t need as much as I was used to buying. Life is easier to operate with less.
- Stop multitasking. Focus on one task at a time. Regardless how talented you are at taking on multiple tasks, you’ll perform better when you focus on the one at hand. Up until a year ago, I was always looking to squeeze more and more into my days because I thought that was the only way to be productive. Just do more. But somewhere in my attempts to do more, I lost touch with the things I valued most. Now I’m experimenting with a simpler way of living—one that’s less stressful and more fulfilling. I am by no means immune to getting caught up in the crazy pace of our culture, but I’m improving every day. Here are 30 of the most helpful tips I’ve picked up on the art of simplifying:
- Quality over quantity. We don’t need a lot. Rather than buying more, consider buying fewer goods that are better quality.
- Take a rest day. Though it can be hard for our ego to accept, the world doesn’t fall apart when we take a break. At the end of each week, switch off your phone and computer, close your diary, and enjoy some downtime.
- Take an annual retreat. Create time during the year to leave your day-to-day commitments behind and take a trip. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Camping, a cheap cabin, or an organized retreat can all leave you feeling refreshed.
Over the month of January I have begun implementing each of these. some are harder than others but it’s working. I definitely feel a difference and my household has noticed too. So hopefully with that said, you’ll be seeing more of me around these parts… I have some beautiful works and adventures planned for 2017!