Seven Steps to Simplicity: Easy Ways to Calm the Chaos
by Monica Ricci
We are born simple beings. As we grow, we attract more and more "stuff" and chaos into our lives. In order to get back to a level of simplicity as an adult, you must actively choose it and make changes to achieve it. Here are seven ways to create simplicity in your life:
1. Identify what is causing chaos in your life. Too many activities, too many "voluntary obligations," too many priorities, too much debt, toxic relationships, too much clutter in your home or workplace...all these things can be raising your chaos level. The first step is to identify what is adding chaos, which is NOT adding a significant amount of joy, happiness or value to your life.
2. Turn off the television. The average American watches in excess of 20 hours of television per week. With this in mind, turn off the T.V. one night a week to have quiet time to yourself or with your family. Don't worry...the news will continue to happen even if you're not watching it!
3. Stop spending time with toxic people. This is a tough one, but well worth it. Refuse to spend your precious time and energy on those constantly negative people in your life. Life is short. Spend it with those who love, support, encourage and inspire you!
4. Take a stand at the holidays. I know people who dread the holidays because of the tremendous stress involved. If it's the gift-giving tradition that causes you stress, one way to lessen it is to have a policy that you will abide by. You get to decide what that policy will be. It may be no gifts for anyone, yourself included, Pollyanna name- trading, gifts only for children under 16, a spending limit per person, or whatever you come up with which will work for you. Whatever you decide, let your friends and family know well in. advance of the holidays and tell them that you'll be sticking to it. They may not believe it at first, but you will reap the rewards when you find yourself enjoying the holiday season again.
5. Cut your hair. Sound silly? How much time, effort and aggravation is it to deal with your hair every day? If your hair is high maintenance, consider a new style that will take less time and effort. Any stylist worth his/her salt will be able to give you a hair design that will fit your face and hair type and will still be easy to live with.
6. Scale down your possessions. Every single thing you own, from your three toothbrushes to the four winter coats to the shoeboxes you're saving "just in case" takes something from you. It costs you time and energy out of your life because it all has to be maintained, stored, cleaned, moved or sorted through at some point. Plus, it all takes up physical and mental space. Everything you own also owns a piece of you, so now is the time to start parting with all those things that don't bring you joy or value. You will be giving yourself the gift of more energy and space.
7. Evaluate your time commitments. Look at how much time and energy you're spending on activities, organizations, clubs, social groups, etc. Really evaluate how much value or joy they give you in relation to what you invest. If you find that some have outlived their benefit or aren't making you happy anymore, just stop spending your time there. You'll then have more time for the ones you do enjoy.
Monica Ricci has been an organizing expert since 1998. She is a leader in her industry, an organizing consultant, speaker and author, and can be seen on HGTV's popular tv show, Mission:Organization.
Monica Ricci may be contacted at http://www.CatalystOrganizing.com or firstname.lastname@example.org