You don’t have to turn your life upside down to live more simply. That kind of abrupt change can be almost counter productive to simplicity. My life does look completely different from what it did 8 years ago, but not because of radical change.
8 years ago I …
- was diagnosed with MS
- had more fatigue than energy
- did not have time to be creative
- was in debt by more than $300,000 if you count the house
- was too busy to intentionally choose how I wanted to spend my time
- was always on my phone (even while driving)
- engaged in crazy dieting and was still overweight
- felt like I was under pressure all the time
- was constantly trying to catch up
- did not even think about decluttering
- worked all the time
- measured success by what I earned or accomplished
Today I …
- am healthy. I still have MS, but MS does not have me
- wake up by 5:30 am and meditate and workout
- am creative every day
- enjoy a debt free life
- take regular digital breaks and never use my phone when driving
- feel light and eat food I enjoy
- let things go and don’t feel like I’m missing out
- am clutterfree
- do work I love
- measure success by how I treat people, including myself
In today’s culture of overnight success and 30 day prescriptions, an 8 year transformation might not sound that exciting. It was slow and steady, but enjoyable. It wasn’t radical change. It didn’t freak out my family and I didn’t burn out trying to force things to change. What I learned through the process is that lasting, meaningful change rarely happens overnight, but it’s always worth the wait.
A simple life is built from tiny moments.
Years define life. Months define years. Days define months. Hours define days and minutes and moments make it all worthwhile.
Gretchen Rubin says “The days are long, but the years are short,” and while time may seem to rush by when we look back, if we pay attention to the minutes and moments and make those simple, one at a time, we can create simpler lives.
The problem is that until we simplify, we don’t have the time or attention to notice the moments and so they rush by too.
Simple moments make a simple life.
Instead of giving up because there is too much decluttering, too much debt, too much of everything, create and engage in one simple moment. Make it a priority and then do it again. Those moments will help you direct your attention to creating more simplicity and cultivating simple moments more consistently.
Each simple moment offers the opportunity for connection, happiness, peace, love and a simpler life.
If you want to turn your attention to simplifying in a more engaged, consistent way, please join me and some of my friends for a Simple Year.
“A Simple Year curriculum has me on fire! I have made simplicity a true priority this year, and am genuinely carving out space in my life–literally and figuratively.”
Erika – Simple Year 2014 course member
Here is a list of the topics being covered:
- January: Clutter with Joshua Becker (Becoming Minimalist). Motivation and steps to get started removing the clutter from your own home and life.
- February: Busyness with Courtney Carver (Be More with Less). A slow down guide for the chronically busy.
- March: Travel with Colin Wright (Exile Lifestyle). Recalibrating your life to focus on passions. Packing (for travel or for life).
- April: Kitchen with Jules Clancy (Stone Soup). The secret to a clutter-free kitchen.
- May: Digital with Tammy Strobel (Rowdy Kittens). How to develop a healthy relationship with technology.
- June: Work with Courtney Carver (Be More with Less). Simple ways to enjoy your work and develop a micro-business (even with a full-time job).
- July: Money with Joshua Becker (Becoming Minimalist). Rethinking the purpose (and desire) for money.
- August: Stay Simple with Brooke McAlary (Slow Your Home). Never-fail techniques to create a simpler home that works for you.
- September: Fitness with Matt Frazier (No Meat Athlete). Keys to enjoying exercise and getting the most from your effort.
- October: Food with Jules Clancy (Stone Soup). How to empower yourself to make the best food choices for your body.
- November: Relationships with Tammy Strobel (Rowdy Kittens). Self-care and simplicity.
- December: Gratitude with Rachel Macy Stafford (Hands Free Mama). Techniques for cultivating gratitude and changing your life’s perspective.
“Participating in A Simple Year 2014 has offered me the opportunity to focus on several areas of my life and reconsider, unclutter, and ponder changes that I would not have pursued without the program. The structure of the course allows you to dig in as little or as much in each area as you care to or can manage. For me it’s been life changing.”
Carole – Simple Year 2014 course member
The cost of A Simple Year: 12 Months of Guided Simplicity is $149 (less than $13/month) and begins on January 12, 2015. The helpful inspiration and interactive nature of the course make it well worth the cost.
Over 400 people participated in the program during 2014 and we received encouraging feedback:
- “Signing up for and participating in “A Simple Year” has been one of the best things I did in 2014.” —Kathy
- “The course has been life changing.” —Carole
- “Simple Year has made an amazing difference in my life.” —Lynne
Learn more about the monthly topics right here. -> A Simple Year: 12 Months of Guided Simplicity. Early-bird course registration will be open through November 14th.
“A Simple Year should come with a warning: this course will change your life, if you let it. I’ve learned so much. I found new places in my house to declutter, cooked some great new straight forward and healthy meals, and finally sorted my digital files and got them under control. I have some great blueprints for preparing a budget and starting a blog.”
Stephen – Simple Year 2014 course member