Saturday, August 29, 2015

7 STEPS TO SIMPLFYING YOUR LIFE...SESSION 3

 Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say let your affairs be as two or three, not a hundred or a thousand.         Henry David Thoreau


 I'm sharing a four part series on simplifying your life and this is post #3 in the series. To see post #1 go here and to see post #2 go here. In order to understand this post you will have to work on steps one and two first. This step is where you take action. After clarifying what you would want the simpler version of your life to look like, you now need to take steps to put your new life plan into action. This is going to take some time. You will need patience. Hopefully you are following the steps in your clarifying section and have made a list of things you are going to do to simplify.

1) Decluttering your stuff and spaces     What did you envision your living spaces to look like? Are you going to have to declutter and get rid of some of your possessions? If so, begin there. Start by tackling the easiest or smallest space first to give yourself a good feeling with the smallest amount of effort. That will give you an incentive to move to the next space. Just cleaning out a drawer will help you feel better and let you know you are on the way.

If cleaning out one space isn't reward enough, give yourself another reward. "If I clean out this drawer, I will reward myself by giving myself a break to read a magazine." OK maybe that doesn't sound like enough "reward" for you, but you get the idea. Give yourself a high five, pat on the back, whatever works to make you feel like you did it!

Probably everybody has taken some steps to declutter so I am not going to spend a lot of time on this step. Many of my Boomer Baby friends have already down-sized into smaller spaces like condos and townhomes, and selling off many possessions in order to simplify their lives. If you are at this stage of life and are ready for this, then this could be one of the biggest steps for you.

2) Discontinuing activities     Did you make a list of things you want to be doing in your life? Those activities that you value and want to have in your life? Then you are ready to stop those activities that do not fit into your simplified life. It's hard for some people to say "no" to good things but you can't do it all. Choose those activities that fit into the lifestyle that you want. As the quote above says, " let your affairs be one or two". I realize there is much need in the world and much to do but if we are to do things and do them well, we have to choose. Also, there are different seasons in our lives. In some seasons we have time to do things that in other seasons, we do not. Keep your values in mind as you choose.

For example, when we didn't have children I had time to do some things like taking a painting class, taking college classes, and volunteering more. After we had children I had to give up some activities because my priorities had changed and I was spending time with the kids activities. Later when they were both grown and out of the home, I worked full time. Now that we have grandchildren we spend time with them, my Mother, and extended family members. I always tried to find time to volunteer in places that fit into our other important activities. I always tried to build "margin" into my life for unexpected things. But relationships were always my most important values.

One thing I experienced when working, however, was that everybody was so proud of being "busy". That still seems to be the way our culture sometimes feels to me....that "busyness" is something to strive for. But I refuse to participate!

So in this part of the series, work on "doing the work" of editing your life in regards to spaces, "stuff", and activities. Take your time in doing this if necessary. The end result will be worth it! It is important to follow the plan you should have mapped out in the first two steps....even giving yourself a timeline in which to accomplish it.  





6 comments:

  1. I can relate to what you say about busyness. People love to tell me how terribly busy they are. After I fell very ill and had to give up my job as a Nurse and stay home, people go out of their way to tell me how busy they are and try to make me feel useless...at least that is how it feels. Our home-life is a very peaceful one now and to my great joy, I have discovered that my children have developed a very unstressed and calm approach to life. So, let the world charge along at a crazy pace and people try to be or at least appear busy. I want to be a person with "a shoulder to cry on, or one who lends an ear, one who is interested in other people's lives. I want to be a person with coffee served and more than a minute to spare" . That is my goal :). Blessings, Pam xx

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  2. That's a great way to live, Pam! Good for you! I remember when I was growing up that my Mom always had the coffee pot on and people would just drop in to talk. It was a slower pace of life, something much needed today. So that is what I'm doing right now as well. And loving it!

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  3. 2nd suggestion of discontinuing activities..so timely. Well said, and it is affirmation that my life has now changed with the advent of my daughter now in a nursing home. I had dreamed a month before that all things were changing, and that God would take care of things and was In Charge.

    But I still need to declarer my closet!

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    1. It sounds like you have entered a new season in your life. I also believe that God is ultimately in control. Blessings to you and your daughter as you both move forward in your lives.

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  4. I agree with you about people being proud of being busy. I'd rather NOT be busy any day!

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  5. Hi Sandy! I'm definitely going to go back and read the first steps, too....well, first! LOL. Wanted to stop and say HI. Even though I'm not blogging much, and commenting even less...I still think of you! Have a great week

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