Are you unhappy with your life? Maybe you’ve spent countless years doing the same old thing. You don’t feel fulfilled by the life you’re living, and you want to live a more meaningful life. Maybe you are a Christian, and you know that Jesus came so that you may have “life to the full”. So then, why is that anything but what you’ve experienced so far?
I would like to argue that there is a reason that you feel that way: you aren’t living intentionally. When you live intentionally, you are able to live a life of purpose that leaves you fulfilled and full of joy. But in order to get there, your first have to simplify your life.
Let me show you how to simplify your life so that you can live the life you want!
Why would I want to simplify my life?
Simplifying your life is precisely what allows you to live intentionally. When you simplify your life, you are able to focus on what is important to you. And when you are focusing on what is important to you, you feel joyful and fulfilled!
When you simplify your life, you will:
- experience less stress and overwhelm
- free yourself up to live intentionally
- begin to move toward the life you’ve always dreamed of!
Wouldn’t a simplified life be boring?
No! A simplified life is the opposite of boring! Simple living often gets related to living on a farm in the middle of nowhere, having few relationships, and zero adventure. But, that’s not it at all! (Unless, of course, that IS your dream.) 😉
A simplified life is an exciting life because you minimize or remove things that are unimportant to you and you intentionally use your resources to do things you love and reach your goals.
How do I know what to simplify?
When you simplify your life, you have to take YOUR life into account…not anyone else’s! Only you can know which areas need simplifying. That’s because only you know what is important to you. Only you know your vision for the future.
Knowing what you want out of life allows you to easily see what needs to go. Anything that is unimportant to you needs to go (or at least be minimized). Also, anything that is hindering you from living the life you want needs to go.
Maybe you need to simplify your finances so that you can afford a different lifestyle that’s more fulfilling.
You might need to simplify your home so that mundane tasks and responsibilities aren’t taking over your life.
Maybe you need to simplify your schedule so that you can give what’s important to you more of your time.
Or, you might need to simplify your mind so that negative and untrue thoughts aren’t keeping you from pursuing your dreams!
How do I simplify my life?
Simplifying your life is, well, simple. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It can be extremely difficult at first because (1) you have to get clear on what it is you want in life, (2) you may have to undo years of damage, and (3) you need to replace your bad habits with good habits.
Changing your habits is hard, but super important. This is what keeps you from reverting back to your old ways and resuming your unfulfilling life!
How to simplify your life:
1. Minimize the excess
Excess is anything that is “extra” in your life. These are unimportant things to you, but possibly have to get done. When you think of excess, think about the things that are overcomplicating your life and taking up too much of your time.
It could be household chores, items in your home that you no longer use or love, or unhealthy relationships.
2. Minimize anything holding you back
Take your simplifying one step further by determining what might be holding you back from living the life you want. Oftentimes, these are GOOD THINGS!
These are the things that are harder for you to say no to because it makes you feel guilty. These are things you do because you think you have to, but they leave you feeling drained and overwhelmed. They aren’t a good fit…for your personality, your purpose, or your season of life.
It may seem hard to minimize these good things, but think about this: YOU DON’T WANT TO SACRIFICE GREAT FOR OKAY.
When you look back on your life, you don’t want to have ANY regrets!
What should I do after I’ve simplified my life?
Now that I’ve shown you how to simplify your life, we need to talk about what to do next. After you simplify your life, it’s time to ensure that you are living to the full. It’s important that you have a plan for how you will keep these areas simple so that you can prioritize what’s important to you.
You do this by learning to live intentionally. Intentional living means that you only let people or things into your life that help you live a fulfilled life. Whatever that means to you! And, you actively ensure that you are letting the right people and things into your life.
Intentionality is your secret weapon in your war on mediocrity.” ~Brian P. Moran in The 12 Week Year
Intentional living is about gate-keeping: stopping the unimportant (or less important) from entering in or taking over, and encouraging the super-important to become what your life is ultimately about.
Here are some ways to keep your life simplified and live intentionally going forward:
- Know what you want out of life. Keep your vision for the future ever on your mind.
- Plan your priorities. Schedule the things that are important to you FIRST.
- Focus on the moment. Do today what will lead to the life you want in the future.
If we take care of the minutes, the years will take care of themselves.” ~Benjamin Franklin
It’s incredibly important that you live intentionally in ALL areas of your life. Doing so allows you to keep one area from wearing you down or preventing you from giving other areas adequate energy.
When establishing your vision for the future and how you will intentionally move towards that vision, consider each of these areas: spiritual, relationships, career/occupation, financial, health, and interests.
You can simplify your life by minimizing or eliminating all of the extra or less-important stuff that’s holding you back. Simplifying your life allows you to focus on the things you want out of life! So in the end, you will live a more satisfying life because you didn’t let things that weren’t important to you take over your days.
You will look back and see that you actually lived the life you always wanted.
Theresa Bedford is a syndicated freelance home and travel writer with regular contributions to the Associated Press wire and MSN. She helps everyday people love the life they have through simplicity, organization, and prioritization.