Do you crave a slower, simpler life?
12 years ago, when my husband and I left the ratrace of a large, landlocked big city- we moved back home to sunny Florida seeking a slower, simpler lifestyle to raise our family. And although it is hard to live simply with two careers and two busy girls, we are always looking for ways to keep our lives as simple as possible. Here are a few things we have learned over the years:
1. Simplify your stuff- So many people are ruled by their possessions, managing and maintaining all their "stuff" takes up much of their time and money. Learn to live with less, regularly declutter your home, get honest with yourself before making new purchases, and you will find freedom and peace in yourself, your home and your bank account.
2. Simplify your schedule– Say "NO". This sounds so easy, yet it is so hard to do. There are so many demands on us these days: work, family, friends, volunteer opportunities, children's activities, I could go on and on…figure out what brings you the most pleasure and what you consider as an important use of your time and resources, then say no to everything else.
3. Simplify your finances- Getting out of debt was such a emotionally liberating experience for us a few years ago, after years of living with credit card debt and auto loans, we were tired of feeling like we were never getting ahead. Do the work to get out of debt, then commit to STAYING out of debt- you will feel so free and at peace.
4. Simplify your lifestyle- I believe one of the secrets of being a happy person is learning CONTENTMENT- learning to be happy WHERE you are, with WHAT you have, and WHO you are with is so important. Always striving to have something new, improved or better can be physically and emotionally draining. The world says you can have it all- career, kids, expensive cars, beautiful homes, luxury vacations, but it comes at a price- YOUR SANITY! The sooner we decided NOT to have it all, the sooner we started getting our sanity back.
5. Simplify your home- Besides decluttering and trying to stay organized, simplify your home's decor by choosing a simple colorscheme, maybe removing a few accessories or collectibles…give your home room to breathe and don't feel like you have to decorate every nook and cranny. Your home will instantly look larger and more spacious.
6. Simplify your meals- I love to cook and prepare a delicious meal, but not every night of the week! Most nights are VERY simple, and we have developed a regular weekly menu that goes something like this: Monday- Soup, Salad, Sandwich or Baked Potato Bar, Tues- Tacos (or Mexican) Wed- Pasta (or Italian), Thurs- Seafood, Fri- Pizza, Weekends are open for entertaining. This has helped with my meal planning immensely! Also click HERE for my printable weekly menu planner and grocery list to help you simplify mealtimes at your house.
7. Do what you love- Sometimes you can't put a price on your happiness, I would rather adjust my lifestyle and make less money doing something I really love than make a ton of money in a job that makes me miserable.
8. Delegate- As my kiddos are getting older, they are getting more responsible and I am learning to let go and delegate household tasks to them- it's good for me, and it's good for THEM!
9. Define your priorities- Sometimes life goes so fast, we are barely keeping up! Take some time to really evaluate everything and figure out what is important to you- WHO is important to you, and figure out practical ways to LIVE OUT YOUR PRIORITIES on a weekly basis, then rearrange your lifestyle to reflect what is really important to you. Click HERE to download a fabulous book by Michael Hyatt that really walks you through how to do this!
10. Let go of perfection- This is one I battle with every day- if I could learn to let go of perfection, my life would be so much simpler. I am learning that I cannot please everyone all the time, and that's ok. I cannot maintain a spotless home all the time and that's ok, I cannot always say the right thing at the right time, and that's ok. I was uniquely and wonderfully created- faults and all by a loving God, and by his Grace, I am learning it's ok not to be perfect!
As I mentioned earlier, I am always on the hunt for ways to simplify my life- if you have any ideas (big or small) please share them in your comments- I would LOVE to hear them!
For more ideas on this topic, check out this fabulous book-