In character, in manners, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity. Author Unknown.
I've read many books about "how to simplify," "living simply", "simplicity", but after reading some of them it sometimes felt overwhelming and not at all simple to get to the point of Living Simply. I was looking for a way to simplify my life but in small baby steps because it is, after all, a lifestyle, not a one and done event. These are things I"ll need to be doing for the rest of my life!
Basically I was looking to create new daily habits that would automatically create a simple life. So I tried breaking things down into doable baby steps to make "Living Simply", well, simpler!
When you create new daily habits, your brain is being rewired to eventually continue these new habits automatically without thinking about them. Neuroscientists say that it takes 20-30 days to create a new habit. So if you were to intentionally create new daily habits, after 20-30 days it would become automatically wired into your brain as a lifestyle habit that you won't have to think about. Think about some habits you have now that you don't think about. Simple things you do every day without thinking. Do you have habits around brushing your teeth, making your bed, combing your hair? You don't think about them nor have to force yourself to do them, its just a part of your lifestyle...what you do every day.
Just as you created those habits, you can create habits around living simply. You don't have to create them all at one time. Just choose what habits you will create first and after you have that habit mastered go on to another one. Some of you may want to create more than one new habit at a time but you don't have to.
Here are some baby steps you can take that will help you to Live Simply. I have broken them down into 5 categories to be able to work on all areas of your life.
1) Your Mind
Keeping your mind focused and in the moment will help you to live simply. If you work on keeping your thoughts focused instead of wandering "will nilly" you won't be feeling so overwhelmed. It takes practice but makes a huge difference. Focus on what you are doing in the MOMENT!
2) Your Space
Begin to take baby steps to clean out the clutter. But take it in small steps as in maybe one drawer at a time. Even one little step like that will motivate you to take another baby step.
3) Your Time
Decide what is important to you and what your values are. Then begin so say no to anything that does not fit your values. You may need to stop doing some things that don't fit your values also.
4) Your Relationships
Make a list of the important people in your life that you want to keep growing your relationships with: family, close friends, and others.
5) Volunteering/Giving Back
It is important to reach out and do things for others in a meaningful way. Although you shouldn't stop ministering to others, make sure your time spent is meaningful and maybe even involves working with your family doing for others so the family time isn't sacrificed.
I know these are just little simple samplings of "to dos" and I'll flesh out more on each item later. But this is a start! It's important to just take baby steps with your new simplified life! Give yourself time to breathe during your day!
Happy August and Keep It Simple!