I’ve spent this year focused on a year of Simplicity and it took me through a path that I didn’t know was possible at the beginning of the year. Am I better for it? Yes. I encourage you to work toward a simpler life, a better life. Here’s what I’ve learned along the way:
1. If you are miserable, it’s simpler to change your life. Sure, it may seem comfortable to stay where you are. But a life of misery? Change it. Figure out how to change it right now. I’m in the middle of my life change – it was scary and it was difficult, but once I made the change, I knew it was the right decision. Be bold, be brave and make the change.
2. Strategy saves the day. When you are overwhelmed with everything going on, break it down into smaller, simpler pieces – making a written list of what you have to do makes you 7x more likely to remember it.
3. Simple is significant. Easy doesn’t mean lazy. Easy can mean smart, efficient and thoughtful. If things aren’t making sense, look for the simplest path.
4. Play to your strengths. You are really good at a lot of things; embrace them and use them. It’s a wise move to use your strengths to help improve your life.
5. It’s OK to take time to heal. You can’t do everything and you need time to recover. You deserve to spend time on yourself doing the things you enjoy.
6. Don’t put it off. It’s far simpler to suck it up and get it done than to have something hanging over your head for days, weeks or years. Get it done.
7. Say Yes! When you have the chance, make a conscious effort to say, “Yes!” more than you say, “No” – get out of your comfort zone, try new things and stretch yourself.
8. Shut Your Mouth. I’ve learned the more I’m quiet, the more I learn from others and the more the world is revealed. Try it and see where it takes you.
9. Unplug Yourself. Want extra hours in your day? Turn off your TV, put down the phone, get off the computer.
10. Do what you love every day. Carve out a little time each day doing what you love. It could be going for a run, a hot bath or spending time with your family. When you make each day matter, you’ll discover that you are living a life of meaningful purpose.
11. You are wired to make a difference. Don’t settle for a life less than what you deserve. Your life has significance and you are making a difference.
12. Be aware of your mistakes. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, this year and more. But I’ve learned from many of them – I’ve noticed the more I’m aware of what I’m doing, I’m also learning and growing from it.
13. Spend less than you earn. You know what is stressful? Trying to figure out how to make ends meet. If you are able, adjust your spending habits to live within your means. It may be difficult, but it’s simpler.
14. You are worth it. And you always have been and always will be.
The simpler life will make you reevaluate your perspective, adjust your strategy and improve your routine. It may not be easier in the beginning – but working toward the simple route will be worth it.