“Purity and simplicity are the two wings with which man soars above the earth and all temporary nature.” —Thomas à Kempis
Simplifying your life will bring balance, freedom, and joy. When we begin to live simply and experience these benefits, we begin to ask the next question, “Where else in my life can I remove distraction and simplify life to focus on the essentials?”
Once we’re able to answer that, we will understand what is important in our own lives.
How to Simplify Your Life
Based on our personal journey, our conversations, and our observations, here is a list of the 10 most important things to simplify in your life today to begin living a more balanced, joyful lifestyle:
1. Your Possessions – Too many material possessions complicate our lives to a greater degree than we ever give them credit. They drain our bank account, our energy, and our attention. They keep us from the ones we love and from living a life based on our values.
If you will invest the time to declutter the non-essential possessions from your life, you will never regret it. For more inspiration, consider Simplify: 7 Guiding Principles to Help Anyone Declutter Their Home and Life.
2. Your Time Commitments – Most of us have filled our days full from beginning to end with time commitments: work, home, kid’s activities, community events, religious endeavors, hobbies… the list goes on. When possible, release yourself from the time commitments that are not in line with your greatest values.
3. Your Goals – Reduce the number of goals you are striving for in your life to one or two. By reducing the number of goals that you are striving to accomplish, you will improve your focus and your success rate.
Make a list of the things that you want to accomplish in your life and choose the three most important. Focus there.
4. Your Negative Thoughts – Most negative emotions are completely useless. Resentment, bitterness, hate, and jealousy have never improved the quality of life for a single human being. Take responsibility for your mind. Forgive past hurts and replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
5. Your Debt – If
Find the help that you need and learn how to get out of debt. Sacrifice luxury today to enjoy freedom tomorrow.
6. Your Words – Use fewer words. Keep your speech plain and honest. Mean what you say. Avoid gossip.
7. Your Artificial Ingredients – Avoid trans fats, refined grain (white bread), high-fructose corn syrup, and too much sodium. Minimizing these ingredients will improve your energy level in the short-term and your health in the long-term.
Also, as much as possible, reduce your consumption of over-the-counter medicine – allow your body to heal itself naturally as opposed to building a dependency on substances.
8. Your Screen Time – Focusing your attention on television, movies, video games, and technology addiction affects your life more than you think. Media rearranges your values. It begins to dominate your life. And it has a profound impact on your attitude and outlook.
Unfortunately, when you live in that world on a consistent basis, you don’t even notice how it is impacting you. The only way to fully appreciate its influence in your life is to turn them off.
9. Your Connections to the World – Relationships with others are good, but constant streams of distraction are bad. Learn when to power off the phone, log off social media, or not read a text. Focus on the important, not the urgent.
A steady flow of distractions from other people may make us feel important, needed, or wanted, but feeling important and accomplishing importance are completely different things.
10. Your Multi-Tasking – Research indicates that multi-tasking increases stress and lowers productivity. While single-tasking is becoming a lost art, learn it. Handle one task at a time. Do it well. And when it is complete, move to the next.
Simplifying your life is a core aspect of minimalism. To learn more about this lifestyle, visit this primer on minimalism.
hats off wordings
antu halder sbmc says
Biken Shrestha says
Awesome Article .
Strange or not i have always thought like this , this morning i decided to search this just for fun . In reality i dislike TV , only good programs are Discovery Channel , NG and CNN and i watch from time to time . I dont watch movies , new ones from last years are boring , last movie i watched was Thor in 2011 . I love fruites . Dislike geting to atatchet to objects and ppl . I enjoy walking in the park . Have only the main things that i like . I dont colect stuff .
you should give this a thought : maybe it’s good to attach to people, not in a possession meaning of course . It’s nice to feel good between other people and beauty of nature. After all we are all connected at a quantum level but at some point in time we lost the way to sense it. We just glimpse the sensation to be whole with the world sometimes but maybe with practice this can be a permanent sense.
I enjoy walking in the outdoors as well. It’s quiet and peaceful.
My few possessions are inexpensive, durable and practical. They require little time and money to maintain.
This article puts into words what I’ve been thinking on for months – maybe years! – now. But all this time I’ve been struggling to find balance and I’m beginning to realize that there is no real way to achieve this – at least for me. There is only the necessity to rid my mind (and household, of course) of some very burdensome things – like too many goals. The hardest part is letting those goals, sometimes called dreams, die. Sometimes these are the things one knows perfectly well are only getting in the way of living happily IN THE MOMENT, and fully appreciating the gifts this life has already given us. How to do this is painfully difficult.
Whether these dreams/goals can one day be resurrected is always a possibility. But – at least for me – I have to believe that these possibilities or gone, or I’ll never move on.
Anyway, This is a great starter list and shows that minimalism is so much more than just getting rid of excess knick-knacks. Its a way of life that I look forward to achieving.
For perspective, prioritize your goals realistically with your income and a calendar.
Absolutely true ! I loved it..Goes to my fav’s :-)
i know, right!
Always great to learn such valued things in life !! Good Job.
Frank|Modern Monkey Mind says
Josh, I’ve been reading through your archives the last day or two and really enjoying it. Thank you for all your great work!
unnikrishnan .a says
simplicity , as mentioned is very important aspect to be happy in life. unwanted complications and material aquisitions are not as we percieved in the beginning. it will
work as a clutter and spoil the beauty of life. Also it leads to defocussing the real life.
As we mature, we have different aspirations.
Bonnie Jo says
Thank you – I enjoyed this very much and have bookmarked it as a reminder to myself. Funny that I am using screen time to minimize and I need to minimize my screen time. :)