Making choices in life should be easy. However it seems that everywhere we are bombarded with a huge Overwhelm Monster that is constantly out to get us. There is too much of everything: stuff, tasks, responsibilities and definitely not enough space or time for it.
The worst thing is that somehow we always want more. Did you ever dream about having 48 hours in a day so that you could cram more activities in it? Did you wish you had a bigger house, or even closet or attic to store all your stuff?
But sometimes when we become overwhelmed with everything that we already have on our plate we realize that we crave basic, even primal simplicity. However it is so difficult to simplify life when you do not even know where to start.
I always imagine a deer that jumps out in front of a car and gets completely startled by the headlights. The poor thing has no idea what is going on and what it should do next. This is the exact feeling that I have when I face the Mountain of Too Much.
But thankfully there are 10 simple steps that you can make to bring balanced simplicity into your life. I've tried them and I guarantee that they work.
- Set Priorities. If you do not know where to start then first you have to figure out what is really important in your life. At different stages of our lives we can have different priorities. Analyze what is important to you now. Do you spend enough time on this priority? Do you spend more time on things that have no connection at all with your main priorities?
- Organize your day. Once you have figured out what is important to you, start going through your daily activities. Is there anything that you can eliminate? Is there something that you can delegate? (You know, it's okay to ask somebody for help or to pay somebody for this help. We are not super humans after all.)
- Declutter your house. Start with the room where you spend the most time. Put away things that you do not use, throw away things that you do not need, give away something as well. Start with just one shelf or drawer at a time and spend at least 15 minutes a day organizing one tiny part of your house. These baby steps will slowly but surely bring your house into order.
- Find "me" time. So often we focus on everything else in the world but completely forget about our personal time. This time is vitally important to our emotional and physical balance. Make sure that every day you have at least 15 minutes for yourself. Spend this time meditating, praying, reading a book, writing in your journal or doing any other activity that brings your inner world into balance.
- Declutter your digital world. Information can be even more cluttering than actual stuff. Make sure that you get rid of any email subscriptions that you do not need. Stop spending your time on Social Media websites (just pick up a phone and talk to your friends personally.)Organize information in your computer (start by getting rid of all the unnecessary shortcuts on your desktop) and get rid of any unnecessary gadgets.
- Eat a simple and balanced diet. Food that you put in your body should give you balance and energy.
- Choose natural foods (basically anything without preservatives, artificial flavors and weird-sounding chemicals),
- Get rid of junk food in your diet (anything from soda to chips and fries),
- Cook from scratch as many of your meals as possible,
- Use a wide variety of ingredients focusing on lean protein, produce (organic if possible), whole grains and healthy fats.
- Exercise. Exercise is an essential part of any balanced lifestyle. You can keep your workouts as simple (like walking or biking) or as complex as you want. Make sure that every day you have at least 30 minutes of physical activity (it can be broken down into three 10-minute workouts during the day.) Sedentary lifestyle can be called the #1 killer in the world today because it aggravates and dramatically increases your chances of developing every possible life-threatening condition.
- Declutter your inner world. The heaviest baggage that we carry around is our memories and emotions. Positive ones definitely motivate us and inspire. However more often than not we focus on negative experiences. Talk about stuff that bothers you, write it down, let it go, forgive. There is no point in living in the past because there is no way of changing it or relive it. A present and bright future is the only things that should really matter to you.
- Don't take the simplicity road yourself. If you have a family it is important to talk to your loved ones about simplifying your lifestyle. Make sure that everyone understands and supports your motives. Sometimes it may take time for your loved ones to embrace simplicity, so don't push them. Start with the things they are comfortable with (making changes to the diet or making sure that each of you has enough "me" time) and then gradually move to more complicated areas. Make an attempt to understand them because we all have different ways of looking at things.
- Learn to live with less. When you make a transition from living for stuff to living for experiences you make room in your life for more. Spend more time with your family, more time pursuing your hobby or passion as well as more time growing spiritually. More time enjoying and taking in every day of your life. Now, this is true life balance in my opinion "“ having enough time and energy for things that truly matter.
Do you simplify your life? Are there any strategies that you use to bring balanced simplicity into your lifestyle?
Make this day and every day after a simple and balanced one.