My quest for a simpler life began about 15 years when I decided to quit the corporate rat race to follow my passion of personal training. (You can read about that here) While my professional life was getting simplified, it would be several years later before I really began to prioritize simplicity in all areas of my life.
To me, simplicity means freedom and balance. It means being excited about waking up in the morning and looking forward to the day ahead. When I was still working for someone else, I can remember when Sunday evening rolled around and the dread of going to my office job the next day started taking over. It was not a pleasant feeling. Can anyone else relate?
I think we can get too conditioned to think that life is a burden to be gotten through. That if we can just make it to the weekend THEN we’ll really start living. Friends, that’s not what life is supposed to be about.
I know I’m not alone with the desire to make life simple again and I want to share with you some of the ways I have personally done just that. I’m not saying we all have to quit our day jobs but there are small steps we can begin to take to make life simple once again.
I feel simplicity is also a mindset, a lifestyle. It can be a process to get there. The fast pace of our culture always seems to have shiny, fun and exciting things to lure us back into being overcommitted and overspent. Being able to walk past all this noise and distraction requires us to understand how we got ourselves into our complicated predicaments in the first place. It’s usually a gradual thing that sneaks up on us. We innocently add this thing, and that person and that house and that debt only to wake up one day and realize we’re in over our heads!
How we complicate our lives
In general, I think we make life way more complicated than it needs to be. Up until about the age of 40, I know I certainly did. The answers to life’s dilemmas always seemed to be on the outside. More money, bigger house, nicer car, cooler friends, more money in the 401k, more exotic vacations and on and on. Yes, MORE of all of these things MUST certainly be the answer to making our lives happier and more fulfilled, right?
I think on a basic and fundamental level we’re wired to want expansion, to acquire and accomplish. I certainly don’t feel there’s anything wrong with that, but the problem starts to creep in after you’ve been chasing all this for several decades. Perhaps you’ve acquired many things, you’ve experienced amazing food, concerts, vacations, clothes, shoes, watches, cars, boats, expensive purses and gadgets. And of course, this is all a great and wonderful blessing. But when these external, material things become the main focus of our lives, it can all start to become shallow, empty and begins to complicate our lives unnecessarily.
We’re working longer hours doing things we’d rather not be doing just to keep up the pace of our inflated lifestyles. When we look around, everyone else around us seems to be doing the same thing, so we justify that it’s just the price we have to pay to “get ahead” and to feel like we’re making something of ourselves.
But since I’ve gone through the fire and come out on the other side, I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be that way. We can CHOOSE a different way. We don’t have to mindlessly follow the roads of stress and busyness that were laid out in front of us. I say we can blaze our own trail. Let’s look at some “simple” ways to make life simple again!
35 Ways to Make Life Simple Again
Here are some easy things that I’ve done to make life simple again. Some have to do with health, wealth or just your outlook on life itself:
- Eat whole food, mostly plants and not too much.
- Make water your drink of choice. (I use this faucet filter and save tons of plastic from the landfill)
- Prioritize sleep as if your life depended on it, because it really does. (Have you tried a weighted blanket yet?)
- Stop watching, reading and hearing the news. If something important happens, you’ll know.
- Brush and floss your teeth after every meal.
- Exercise 30 minutes per day.
- Stop taking yourself so seriously. None of us are getting out of here alive. It won’t matter when we’re dead.
- Learn to communicate without reacting, it’s a sign of intelligence.
- Declutter your home and get rid of stuff you don’t use. (This book on tidying up is a life changer!)
- Smile often and for no reason.
- Don’t text and drive.
- Live below your means. (I use this free app to track my finances and love it!)
- Be polite
- Stop holding grudges, it’s hurting you, not them.
- Pay your bills on time.
- Buy less house then you can technically afford.
- Keep your oil changed in your car and your tires rotated regularly.
- When traveling, pack light. You don’t need 5 pairs of shoes.
- Don’t drink alcohol or consume recreational drugs.
- Mind your own business.
- Learn to cook. You’ll lose weight and save money.
- If you hate doing it, then just stop doing it. Simple.
- Learn to say no without feeling guilty.
- No blaming, complaining or too much explaining.
- Don’t lend money to family or friends. It creates tension and drama. Gift money but don’t lend.
- Stop overcommitment. Just stop.
- Avoid shopping at the busiest time of day or better yet, get a delivery service (I love this one here)
- Read books that challenge you to be a better person.
- Stop coloring or highlighting your hair. If you have long hair, learn to cut it yourself. (I do this, it’s not hard!)
- Train your mind to live in the present moment. It’s a life changing skill.
- Try a No-spend weekend, week or even a month! (only buying essentials)
- Line dry your clothes when it’s warm outside.
- Walk or ride your bike as much as possible. (better for you AND the environment)
- Mow your own grass
- Try growing something (flowers, herbs, vegetables)
These are just some of the things I personally do to help keep my life simple and happy. I hope you’ll give them a try. If you liked this post, please SHARE it with your friends! Also, don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE below! I promise no spam, just things to help you create a “life you love!”
Thanks so much for reading, Now go live it!