Working towards a simpler life . . . baby steps
We live in a culture enamored with the idea of MORE. More clothes, a bigger house, more storage, the newest gadget, more activities, and the list goes on and on. Not only do we see our "stuff" as a badge of honor and as a part of our identity, but we brag about how "busy" we are. Why is MORE and BUSY something to be proud of?
As I get older, I am realizing how much LESS I want. I want less stress, fewer problems, fewer obligations, and less distractions from what is important to me. However, simplicity (and calm in general) does not come naturally to me. I am Type A all the way, driven, extroverted, and often feel like my worth is tied to my productivity.
So let me share with you my 5 baby steps to a simpler life. Most of these have come from me (finally) listening to my husband, who is lovingly helping me in this process.
- Make your bed. If the bed is made, my room looks nice and clean and I feel ready to tackle the day. There is just something calming about a made up bed.
- Stop multi-tasking. Unless it is driving and your second activity is listening to a podcast or audiobook, there is very little benefit to multi-tasking. It makes you feel frantic and rushed, and rather than doing one thing well, you do a mediocre job on two or more activities.
- Be mindful. Even on a mundane task such as folding clothes or washing the dishes, I am trying to fully aware of what I am doing. I try to be thankful for the clothes we have or the food we have eaten. Simply said, pay attention to what you are doing and try not to live on auto-pilot.
- Unplug. Put away your phone. I have turned off ALL social media notifications. Even if my phone is put "away," if I hear it buzz, I am tempted to go check it. If it doesn't buzz, I don't check it until I am purposefully doing so.
- Get rid of things you don't like. Don't keep clothes in your closet that you don't like and don't wear. Don't keep coffee mugs you don't like. I can almost guarantee that you, like me, have too much of just about everything, so it certainly won't hurt you to get rid of the things you don't enjoy using or looking at.
Now these things are not over-the-top, life-changing action steps, but they are small steps towards a simpler life. Every major change starts with one small step! Join us at Joy in the Journey on facebook where we are talking about simplicity all month in September!