When you imagine yourself living a more simple life, what words come to mind?
Perhaps the words are peaceful, calm, uncluttered, or space. Actually, “freedom” is a word that comes to my mind. I imagine giving myself the permission to let go of things that I really don’t want to be doing and not feeling guilty for doing so. I then breathe easier as I create more margin and space in my day. I envision less chaos with greater clarity—now that what I value most is front and center. The things that just “take up space” and weigh me down, are now eliminated.
I have always loved the word simplicity. I describe simplifying my life as having more space for what I love—the things that energize me and make me feel most alive. So, how can we gain simplicity? Well, it actually starts with the process of noticing and letting go of the things that deplete our energy and weigh us down. I’d like to share three simple ways to simplify your life that have been extremely helpful and liberating for me.
1. Identify What You Love.
Simplifying your life starts with identifying what you really love and surrounding yourself with those things—in your home, the clothes you wear, the people you spend time with, and how you use your time.
I recently heard a simple way to save money – “Only buy what you love. If you don’t absolutely love it, don’t buy it.” This has been working for me. I can’t believe how much I put back and how much money I save when I go shopping!
How are you spending your time? Are you creating the space in your day to do the things that you love with those you love the most?
How about your space? When you look around you—do you love what you see? When you create the space for the things that bring joy to your life, something significant happens. You begin to feel more aligned, you experience less pressure to do the things that you don’t enjoy doing, and you gain clarity. As a result, you’re less stressed. Life takes on a new energy, vibrancy, and flow.
2. Evaluate your commitments.
Evaluate your commitments during your day. This may be for work, your volunteer time, your children’s activities, or daily responsibilities to name a few.
Write them out. Evaluate those things you enjoy and those you don’t. What might you be able to delegate? Is there a responsibility that you have where you can ask for help? Where might you be accommodating someone else’s wishes rather than saying no?
3. Identify what you don’t enjoy.
Once we get in touch with what we love, we can gain clarity for the things we don’t. This is a gradual process. Of course, we all have responsibilities and people in our lives that we must deal with, even though they’re not as pleasant. However, maybe it’s possible to limit the amount of time you give to these people or tasks. Begin to simply notice what drains your energy. Be open to the process of reflecting on how you might let go of some of the things that take up space and energy in your life.
Creating simplicity should start with simple—meaning, begin with one thing. The best place to start is to breathe and be open to honoring yourself. What is one thing that you can do to create more space and joy in your life?
Question: What one step can you take to simplify your life? Remember, keep it simple.