“Purity and simplicity are the two wings with which man soars above the earth and all temporary nature.” —Thomas à Kempis
The world we live in is fast-paced and cluttered. It’s easy to get sucked in and overwhelmed by it before you know it. Simplifying your life will bring balance, freedom, and joy. As you begin to remove things from your life and feel the joy and balance it can bring. It will leave you looking for more areas that you can simplify to experience these benefits. You’ll begin to ask, “Where else in my life can I remove distraction and simplify life to focus on the essentials?”
How to Simplify Your Life
1. Your Possessions – Too many material possessions complicate our lives to a greater degree than we ever give them credit. Not only do they take all of your time to organize and clean. But they also drain your bank account, your energy, and your attention. They keep us from the ones we love and from living a life based on our values.
2. Your Time Commitments – Most of us have filled our days full from beginning to end with time commitments: work, home, kid’s activities, community events, religious endeavors, hobbies… the list goes on. When possible avoid scheduling the activities that don’t bring you joy. The ones that are not in line with your greatest values. They are taking up your time without returning enough to your soul.
3. Your Goals – Reduce the number of goals you are striving for in your life to one or two. By reducing the number of goals that you are striving to accomplish, you will improve your focus and your success rate. Reducing the number of goals overall will increase the likelihood of true success in the goals that matter.
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. Forgive past hurts and replace negative thoughts with positive ones. You will feel relieved not to be trapped in your own head with these thoughts.
5. Your Debt – If debt is holding you captive, reduce it. Start today. Do what you’ve got to do to get out from under its weight. Find the help that you need and learn fast. Sacrifice luxury today to enjoy freedom tomorrow. Personally, I have found Dave Ramsey to be a great place to start.
6. Your Words – IN many ways this wraps back to controlling your thoughts. Use fewer words. Keep your speech plain and honest. Mean what you say. Avoid gossip.
7. Your Artificial Ingredients – Avoid trans fats, refined grain (white bread), high-fructose corn syrup, and too much sodium. Minimizing 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 as opposed to building a dependency on substances. A healthy being overall with lead to a much simpler you.
8. Your Screen Time – Focusing your attention on television, movies, video games, and technology, in general, 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. In some ways, it makes it so we no longer even know how to relate authentically. Unfortunately, when you live in that world that is inundated with it, you don’t even notice how it is impacting 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. Take the time to invest in the relationships you have in front of you rather than the steady flow of new ones offered online. Growing those bonds will lead to more fulfilling relationships. Focus on the important, not the urgent.
10. Your Multi-Tasking – Research indicates that multi-tasking increases stress and lowers productivity. While single-tasking is becoming a lost art, learn it. Taking each project on one at a time will leave you able to do a better job. Focusing all your energy right where it needs to be!
Starting with these steps to simplify your life will get you on the path to happiness. Taking the time to slow down, breathe deep, and truly connect with yourself will open the door to new growth!