I’ve been stressing about writing this blog post for a while. After all – it’s the first one! It needs to be great. Really, really great! No pressure though, right? But a very wise spiritual leader appeared in my living room (ok, my husband walked in) and reminded me to just keep it simple. Yes, simplicity. Now that I can work with.
I heard this great quote the other day by organizational guru, Peter Walsh: “There is happiness and abundance in simplicity”. I love that, don’t you? Life is so hectic and we all feel it. We all have obligations, work, family and a thousand other things on our plates. But here’s the thing: simplifying your life will allow you to be more in control, calmer and HAPPIER. It will allow room for stillness and peace to enter your life. And that’s what we’re looking for right?
We can’t exactly just stop doing our work because it’s overwhelming, or just not pick the kids up from school. Here’s the trick – keep simplifying simple. Check out these few ideas that could really change the way you live and feel every day.
1) Make simple food choices: It’s really easy to overthink our food choices. There’s a ton of confusing information out there! Here’s a really easy rule of thumb: the fewer the ingredients, the better it is for you. When possible, choose foods with no ingredients – like a piece of fruit or cut up veggies. If it grows in nature, then go for it. If you have to stop and think about what kind of tree your favorite chips grow on, it’s probably best to avoid.
2) Exercise for a quick pick-me-up: Put on your sneakers and get your blood moving. Hands down it’s the easiest (and cheapest) way to feel better quickly. And it’s been proven time and time again to be really effective in lifting your spirits, and making you feel energized and more motivated. Start with something manageable: even 20 minutes will make a big difference.
3) Clear the clutter: Boy, did this one take me forever to learn! But it works. Whether it’s your desk, your car or your kitchen table, minimizing the clutter will help you feel more organized and in control. Go through everything one by one and either trash it, file it or deal with it right away. You’ll be left with a neat and organized workspace that helps you feel refreshed.
4) Menu planning: There’s nothing better than coming home at night and knowing what you’re going to cook and having the ingredients handy. Pick one day a week to plan your meals and then shop for the items you need. Once you make this a habit, dinner will become so much easier to manage and you’ll also make healthier choices! I’ll admit, I’m still working on this one! It’s a goal of mine for 2011 to be consistent about meal planning.
5) Start small: If you’re ready to make a big change, starting small is key. It’s nearly impossible to overhaul your life in one day. And quitting your job may be out of the question if you’re looking to reduce your stress level, but what if you vowed to turn off your computer each night an hour earlier? Or what if you woke up 30 minutes earlier and started your day with some easy stretching or yoga? These simple and small things could make a big difference in how you feel. Gradually build up and move toward your ultimate goal by adding in other small changes.
Simplifying your life is an integral part of feeling balanced and in control. And think about it – the more you can manage all the little things in your life, the more you’ll have time for YOU. Massage on Saturday? Sounds a heck of a lot better than cleaning the house, right?
Tell me – what do you do to simplify your life?