The Simple Way to Live a Simpler Life

Are you looking to live a more simple life this year? It may seem an easy thing – you just start living simply, right? But it takes time and effort to change the way we live and there is no overnight fix.

What Does Living a Simple Life Look Like?

The million dollar question – to which there isn’t one simple (forgive the pun) answer. It depends where you’re starting from, how you currently live, what you envision a simple life to look like. There are no hard and fast rules.

Like minimalism, you need to make the choices and decisions that suit you, and you alone.

TLDR: skip to summary

Where to Start if You’re Confused

One of the first things you need to do when considering a life change is work out exactly what it is about your current lifestyle that is no longer serving you: identify what’s driving your desire for change.

Asking yourself some important questions before making any changes is important, as it’s the answers that will show you how to go about things.

The Important Questions

Here are a few pointers to get you started, try to include at least some of these in your own list.

  • What’s important to you? (Family, relationships, friends, career, home, travel, hobbies etc)
  • What do you want to achieve in life? (Personally and professionally)
  • What would you say are your most important values?
  • What makes you happiest?
  • What makes you unhappy?
  • Do you have a lot of possessions?
  • Do you find it difficult to let things (or people) go? Do you hang on to sentimental items?
  • Do you love what you do for a living?
  • Where do you want to live? Is your current location somewhere you’d like to stay? If no, why would somewhere else suit you more?
  • What type of house to you want to live in? Is it different to where you are now? If yes, in what way is it different?

Keep going with your questions and answers until you have a comprehensive list of everything that you want to achieve, covering all the ‘life areas’ mentioned in the first question. It may take you a couple of hours, or you might like to mull things over for a week. Do whatever suits you and let the process take as long as it takes.

I Have My List. What Now?

Now you’re going to move on to what you would have to do, to turn what you want into your reality.

The first step to living more simply usually starts with decluttering. Don’t let this process overwhelm you – start small. Once you get going, the impetus will build until you’re a decluttering pro! As simple as the word decluttering is, there are actually many different ways to declutter.

People’s brains work in different ways. For some, tackling an entire room in one go will work. Other people need to remove stuff on a smaller scale, but do it consistently. These are just 2 examples. Click here to read about the negative effects of clutter and one of the easiest ways to deal with it – one where you’re not required to set aside time for the process.

When you find the method that works best for you, get started. It’s not a once-and-done exercise though. Clutter can sneak back into your life every day, so it’s important you’re aware of that in advance.

Start Looking at Things you Can Simplify

Making your life simpler isn’t just a matter of decluttering your space, important though that is. It’s about simplifying in other ways. This could mean reducing your commitments, spending less time on social media, or taking time out for a walk each day.

Here Are a Few Ideas to Inspire you to Write Your Own ‘Simple Life List’

Consider these as prompts – some may inspire, others won’t. What’s important is that you start living life on your own terms, reducing the time you spend on things that aren’t important to you. You’ve already identified the things that are important in step 1, so go from there.

  • Begin meditating, or do some breath work daily – there is plenty of help online to find something that works for you.
  • Eat a simpler diet. Eliminate the foods you know don’t make you feel your best.
  • If finances allow, cut down on the hours you work, reduce overtime, etc, so that you have more time for the things you like most.
  • Learn to live seasonally. Embrace each season; resolve to enjoy the best they have to offer, from the hygge cosiness of winter to long, relaxing summer days and longer, lighter nights.
  • If you’re addicted to technology, try spending a few hours without it every week, building up until you can happily ignore your phone for a day or weekend. That doesn’t mean losing touch with or ignoring your friends and family – just spend less time scrolling through social media or being engrossed in the lives of people you don’t know in real life.
  • Practice mindfulness, ie become aware of what’s actually around you. Take time to notice scents, tastes; really enjoy that sip of coffee or wine, think about what you like about the taste and the aroma. It soon becomes a habit to – quite literally – slow down and smell the roses (or coffee in this instance). When you have less stuff around you, you’re less distracted and can focus on the present.
  • This leads us on to focusing on the moment. Don’t continuously think about the next thing: concentrate on what you’re doing right now. By all means make a list of things you need or want to do, but when you decide to do something, give it your full attention. Over the past couple of decades, women have been encouraged to do it all, have it all, juggle a myriad of things at once, yet for most of us, this is counter-productive. We end up stressed, rushing around from one job to another, constantly stuck in fight or flight mode rather than being able to switch off and relax properly.
  • Spend time in nature if you can. This can be something simple like listening to the birds in your garden, walking through the woods, or stroking next door’s cat.
  • Learn to trust your intuition when making decisions. Always ask yourself if the thing you’re about to do, eat, buy etc is important enough to belong in your life.
  • Surround yourself with things that bring you pleasure, things you love. Discard anything that makes you feel bad in some way.

More on minimalism here


Practice Patience for a Simpler Way of Life

Don’t expect to get rid of all your clutter, streamline your belongings, surround yourself with lovely things – and everything else that makes you happy – in one fell swoop. Embracing a new lifestyle takes time.

Work your way through your ‘simple life list’ every day, a little at a time, creating new habits as you go. Then, carry out a life audit at regular intervals, going over your questions, answers, and life list. That way, you can check your progress, tweak things, make adjustments, and see exactly how far you’ve come.

Please let us know if you find this article helpful. You can comment below or contact us here.

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