First Steps Toward a Simpler Life

How is it going so far in your quest to develop a simpler life? If this questions seems confusing, I invite you to read IMG_5767-1-768x1024my post of January 13, 2016, entitled “A Simpler Life.“ In it I suggested that we begin the new year with the intention of making our lives simpler by assessing some of the things that may be out of control. For example, we may be very, very busy, and yet may be spending very little time with the people in our lives who are the most important to us. And we may not even enjoy many of the things that are eating up our time and energy. Some of us may want to focus on the amount or kinds of things we eat or drink, and often along with this we want to get more exercise on a really regular basis. Or we may have decided that this is the year that we absolutely will clean out the garage or basement or attic or closets and NOT fill them up again. Whatever strikes you as being most important is the place to put your attention and ask yourself the question “How will I know when I have enough?” Stay with the question until you get some clarity, and then take whatever action seems important to take.

A note of caution. . .do not take on too big a task. If you do and are like many of us, you will burn out very quickly. One of the yearly jokes at the gym I go to is noticing our dismay at how crowded it is early in the morning during January. Someone will remember to remind us that we just have to wait until February for all those new year good intentions to wane. And it always happens. Most of us cannot go from rarely going to the gym to going 5 days a week and have that last very long. So whatever you decide to work with in answer to the question “How will I know when I have enough?” plan to take one baby step and then another one. In my own case I really want to clean out my office. I suspect I could have that intention for several years–in fact I KNOW I could because I have! Instead of tackling the office, I could decide to remove the piles from the floor and put the things away. Which I did! Now on to the first bookcase! An excellent book for “decluttering” in case you have not seen it is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.

I invite you to select a focus for February. Something that for you is feeling just “too much.” Ask yourself the question “How will I know when I have enough?” If your answer is something like “I know right now! I cannot deal with this any longer!” Then, that is it. That is your Sign of Enough! The next step is to decide what baby step you would like to take to make a change. And after you have been successful with that step, take the next one.

Good luck! Just stick with it! Do not be like one of the just-for-January-gym-folks.

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