Simplify, a Resolution Worth Revisiting

13 Jan

Often times we find ourselves surrounded by stuff, stuff that really doesn’t matter to us, but has built up overtime. Would we know if it was gone one day and we never saw it again? Don’t we go buy the “next best thing” and just stack it on top of the pile we already have? Why do we find it necessary to accumulate all of this stuff, when all we really need to live is simple…clothes, a shelter, food and love.

As we begin the New Year, I encourage you to join me in revisiting what living simple actually means. Do you need 20 pairs of jeans, 50 CDs that you never listen to or that pile of old junk from your college years? I have recently read an article that I have begun implementing into my new year, Simplify Your Life. In this article it talks about several steps you can take to get rid of all of your stuff, so that you can live life more fully. Below are some of my favorite steps of this process:

1.      List your top 4-5 most important things:
These 4-5 things can be anything: relationships, hobbies, possessions, interests, etc. What are the top 4-5 things that you live for? Sometimes this can be hard to narrow down, because there are so many other things cluttering our lives, but if you can make a list of your priorities.

2.      Evaluate:
How do you currently spend your time? If you are doing things that do not relate to your most important things, why are you doing them? When you make this list, check out what you should keep doing and what you should push to the side. When I answered this question, I found out (as I am sure many will) that I was spending way too much time with technology, esp. the internet, when it really wasn’t in line with my 4-5 important things. One of my goals is to leave my phone sit more often and limit my internet time, by only getting online from 12-7pm (VERY DIFFICULT!).

3.      Learn to say NO:
I think that this is a hard one for us. We have been taught that getting involved will help boost our job potential. Saying no is not always necessary, but if you find yourself having no time to work on the top 4-5 important things in your life, why are you clogging your schedule with the unnecessary?

4.      Declutter your packrattery:
What exactly is packratter? All of that stuff that you are saving for “that one day”… get rid of it! Can you honestly say that you have used it in the last 3-6 months? If not, give it away to someone who might need it. Take all of that stuff that you have piled up in your storage unit and organize it into a keep and a donate pile. I recently did this, because we just moved into a new house. It was a relief knowing I could get rid of useless junk and give it to someone who may need it more.

5.      Spending Time With People:
Because we are so tech savvy, we often forget about the people around us. Instead of meeting up with a friend, we decided that commenting on their Facebook picture is good enough or sending them a quick text will do the job. Instead of using a “middle man” to communicate, go visit the people who are most important to you. We have so much stuff that takes up our time, we often forget about the people around us. Go out and spend time building relationships instead of cooped up in your house with all of your stuff.

Think about when you go on vacation…you live out of a suitcase and you aren’t worried about all of your stuff, instead you are interested in going out and visiting new places, doing new things. It feels like a better quality of life and we often wish we could be on vacation 100% of the time. Then instead of coming home and closing yourself off in your house, why don’t we continue to go out in our community and see what it has to offer? You never know what new experiences you might have or who you might meet right in your back yard!

At the end of the day, we are always going to have too much stuff. There will always be ways to simplify, but it can be hard to do because we are moving at such a rapid pace. When you face a new opportunity, whether it is buying a new toy, joining a new organization or downloading a new app, ask yourself “Will this simplify my life?”

Do you have any new ideas for the new year that will make your life easier? Please share! Here is to a simpler 2014! Cheers!

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