10 Steps To Live A Simple Life

December 17, 2009 :: Posted by - Summer :: simplicity :: (1) Comment

Empty Porch Swing
Creative Commons License photo credit: geoffeg

One of my big goals here is to learn to live a simple life, one with out so many distractions and complications that seem to stress us out. I’ve already made my simple living goals, but I wanted to map out small steps I could take to reach my goals. Then I thought I could expand it out a bit, make a list of steps that anyone could take towards living a simple life.

I could have made a huge list of steps, because goodness knows there are a lot of ways to simplify your life. But for the sake of simplicity I purged it down to the top ten. In no particular order, here are my 10 steps to live a simple life:

  1. Purge things you do not need and use. If it has been sitting in a box for weeks, months, or even years get rid of it. If it sets gathering dust on a shelf, get rid of it. If it doesn’t fit, get rid of it.
  2. Put a limit on media. That means TV, computer, and even your cellphone. The fewer electronics you use, the simpler things will be.
  3. Create a routine. From a cleaning routine to a work routine, setting a specific schedule and sticking to it will make things far more simple than jumping around haphazardly.
  4. Focus on the good. Yes, it’s easier to focus on all the negative stuff going on. Instead make an effort to focus on the good things. Savor each bite of good, scent of flower, and laugh of a loved one. Things feel a lot simpler when you are looking for the good.
  5. Write down plans. Write down a plan for the day, for the week, for the year. Putting down on paper what you want to get done makes it easier to see what is a waste of energy and what is worth doing.
  6. Breathe. Sit down, somewhere quiet, and just breathe. Repeat as necessary.
  7. Just say no. You cannot do everything, nor should you try to. Say no to extra obligations that will only add more stress to your life.
  8. Spend less. Let’s face it, we’re a consumerist society. Spending is part of our national pastime. But if you want to work towards a simpler life you need less stuff, and that means spending less money. Ask yourself if you really, truly need it to live.
  9. Get outside, be a part of nature. At least once a day get outside and enjoy it. Soak up some sun, get your hands dirty, take a walk. The calming effect this has is amazing.
  10. Go small. A smaller house, a smaller car, a smaller impact. In simplicity, smaller is better.

If you can take these first 10 steps towards simplicity you may find how easy and enjoyable it can be to live a simple life. Once you get rid of the things that cause so much stress, life starts to resembling living again.

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One Response to “10 Steps To Live A Simple Life”

  1. Shannon Says:

    You could not be more right when you say, Things feel a lot simpler when you are looking for the good.

    If I were to add a tip it would be that when I’m out of something, I try to ask myself, can I get by another 24 hours without this? And delay the shopping trip as long as possible, because once I head out into a store I tend to buy not only the things that I can’t get along 24 more hours without, but all the things that I can get along without as well, to “save myself a trip” later. This strategy has been working pretty well. The deal-breakers? Toilet paper and dog food. :0)

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