How to Simplify Your LifeMay 04, 2021
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Does life feel busy? Are you surrounded by clutter? Has your calendar taken on a life of its own? If so, it might be time to simplify.
Overfunctioning has become the norm. Day after day, we rush around from appointment to appointment with little room on our schedules for anything in between. And it's taking a serious toll on our health, relationships, and careers.
In 2018, a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association found that 1 in 5 adults don’t think they’re doing enough to manage stress. And it shows.
Ongoing stress has been linked to unplanned weight gain, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. When you stretch yourself beyond your capacity day after day without taking time to recover, you'll eventually find yourself running on fumes.
That's where self-care comes in. With a strong self-care foundation, you'll be able to recognize the early warning signs that you need to recharge.
And when it comes to addressing overfunctioning, some of the best self-care strategies involve simplifying.
What's It Like to Simplify?
When you think about simplifying your life, what comes to mind?
In this episode of Self-Care with Stacy, Diane Horner shares what her life is today after completing LivingUpp's Simplify Course:
Diane was able to make some pretty significant life changes with the Simplify course, but even if you don't see a big move or major life transition in your future, simplifying your life will help you refocus on what matters most.
No matter where you are in the lifestyle design process, simplifying is a great place to start.
What Does it Mean to Simplify?
Simplifying is about finding ways to make your life easier.
It's about being open to doing life differently.
It's about clearing out what isn't bringing you joy, so you can create more space for what does.
And that's exactly why I developed the Simplify Online Course. This on-demand course was designed to help you explore 12 key areas of your life and identify practical ways to simplify your daily routines.
Sometimes simplifying means letting go of things that no longer serve or support you, and sometimes it means adding things that make your life easier or more efficient.
Here are just a few ways you can begin simplifying your life right now:
1. Get Organized
Be honest: Are you disorganized?
If you frequently struggle to find what you need when you need it, spend the majority of your time putting out fires, or fail to meet deadlines on a regular basis, you might need some help with getting organized.
The Lifestyle Design Planner is a great tool to help you keep self-care at the top of your list, so you can GSD without sacrificing your health in the process.
With the planner, you can assess your needs, prioritize your goals, and make adjustments to your daily routines so you can stay focused on what's most important.
Likewise, organizing your personal spaces -- at home, at work, and even your vehicle -- can help you create space by streamlining your routines.
2. Create Space
How do you feel when you're surrounded by clutter?
You know, the stacks of paper, piles of laundry, and other random knick-knacks that mysteriously migrate to the tops of desks and tables?
Does that kind of environment make you feel calm, or does it make you feel unsettled?
While there are a few exceptions, cluttered environments generally lead to cluttered minds. And if you're constantly spending time reorganizing or dusting off your possessions, it might be time to clear the clutter.
The more stuff you have, the more energy you’ll waste dusting, organizing and moving it around.
I’m not gonna sugar coat it, rightsizing can be a real biotch. The reason we shove so many things into the dark hole in our closets is that we know it’s going to require a lot of time when we start going down the “reorganizing” road. It’s like we innately know that reorganizing isn’t the answer, so we put it off over and over again.
But rightsizing your possessions can be also a liberating experience because it brings you back to the basics -- what you need, what brings you joy, and what's most important to you.
When my marriage ended back in 2018, rightsizing my life was beyond cathartic. Paring down my possessions to only what would fit in my sprinter van forced me to make some tough decisions, but I haven't looked back. And I certainly haven't missed any of the stuff I donated.
Decluttering helps you clear space for new ideas, new experiences, and sometimes even a brand new life.
If you've been wasting time moving your possessions around, it might be time to adjust your life collection.
Struggling to rightsize? Ask yourself this question: Does this item bring me joy or serve a purpose currently? If it no longer serves a purpose, it might be time to pass it along to someone else who needs it.
3. Eliminate Distractions
Distractions keep you from tending to the important things in life -- your relationships, your personal and professional goals, and even your health.
If your to-do list doesn't align with what you've said is most important, then you might be investing too much time in distractions. Whether it's a commitment you regret making or a task that gives you an excuse to not address what needs to be done, distractions can keep you from achieving your goals.
If your time is being consumed by random tasks and putting out fires, consider rearranging your to-do list and making sure how you're spending your time is supporting your goals and priorities.
If your plate is full, it’s full.
4. Establish Clear Boundaries
Are you the person who says 'yes' to everything because you can't stand the idea of letting anyone down?
If so, you may need to reassess your boundaries. Learning to say 'no' with grace is an effective way to create more ease. Having clear boundaries means that you'll probably have to decline some requests or invitations from time to time.
To set healthy boundaries, get comfortable with these phrases to avoid over-committing yourself:
- Maybe next time.
- Sorry, but I won’t be able to make it.
- My schedule is full right now, but I’d love to join you next time.
And if all else fails, a simple 'no' should do the trick.
By learning how to set boundaries in a loving way, you’ll not only protect your own energy, but you’ll also show others that you care about them. In that way, healthy boundaries cultivate stronger relationships.
Remember, there's no need to explain yourself when you create or enforce a boundary. You get to choose what you say 'yes' to, and you're not obligated to give an explanation.
5. Edit Your Inner Circle
If your efforts to set healthy boundaries have been futile, it might be time to edit your inner circle.
Are you surrounded by people who bring you down, constantly criticize you, or take advantage of you? Or do they encourage you and lift you up? If you're not feeling supported by your current inner circle, it might be time for a makeover.
By carefully selecting an inner circle that shares your values and vision, you'll be more likely to be successful with your goals.
6. Create Sacred Spaces
Sacred spaces are those special places you can retreat to when you feel depleted and need to recover from the world’s demands.
It may or may not be spiritual in nature, but it's a place that you feel good.
What you choose to do in your sacred space is up to you, but these spaces are generally well-suited for self-care. Consider which self-care strategies are right for your sacred space(s):
Ready to Simplify Your Life?
The on-demand Simplify online course includes 12 learning modules that guide you through the process of examining each area of your life and finding simpler ways of living and being. Here are the topics you’ll explore throughout the Simplify online course:
Module 1: Getting Organized
Module 2: Managing Your Energy
Module 3: Honoring Your Body
Module 4: Uncovering Your Personal Brand
Module 5: Rightsizing Your Possessions
Module 6: Setting Loving Boundaries
Module 7: Aligning Your Strengths
Module 8: Creating Sacred Spaces
Module 9: Cultivating Abundance
Module 10: Creating Daily Rituals
Module 11: Mastering Your Mindset
Module 12: Manifesting
Get all the details about the course here >>>.
Sometimes the best approach to creating a life you love isn't to add things, but to eliminate them. And that's what the Simplify course is designed to help you do.
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