Sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to do so you can do the things you really want to do. Simple living is simple … eventually, but there are parts, especially in the beginning, that can be really frustrating.
The First 5 Most Frustrating Things About Simplicity
1. Not knowing where to begin.
When you don’t know where to begin simplifying your life, that first step feels overwhelming. It’s helpful to know that you are not going to start in the wrong place. You can’t. No matter where you begin, you will be able to create momentum for the next change.
If you can’t choose, write down the areas of your life that you want to simplify like clutter, debt, and diet on different pieces of paper or index cards. Put them in a hat and choose one. Start there.
2. When family and friends are not on board or even supportive.
Start with your own stuff and demonstrate the benefits of simplicity. Don’t nag or beg. Just keep your eyes on your own paper and simplify. When people in your life begin to see the change in you, they will get curious.
Next, find support elsewhere. Joshua Becker’s book, Simplify was great support and inspiration for me, and the communities I’ve discovered through blogs and social media have really helped me stay the course. Because of the warm community I’ve cultivated, I never felt alone in my simplicity journey.
3. Navigating the holidays and other traditions.
Getting simple doesn’t mean you have to give up everything you love. Less is not nothing. It’s less. That looks different for everyone and doesn’t happen overnight. Take it slowly and do what’s best for you and your family.
Use minimalism around the holidays to take a good look at what you most enjoy and what means the most to you on special days. Create more time and space to engage more deeply in those things, but cutting out a few of the others. For more inspiration, read about an aspiring minimalist’s meltdown when she gave up presents for her birthday.
4. Saying no.
It’s hard to say no, especially to interesting opportunities, but you can’t do it all, or at least you can’t do it all well. Our inherent fear of missing out makes us worry that we won’t have other opportunities, or that maybe “this was the one” but there will be more. There will always be more.
When you say no and start getting really intentional about what you say yes to, you will become better aligned with your purpose, passion, and true desires. If you aren’t clear on what your desires are, learn how to create goals with soul with Danielle Laporte’s Desire Map.
5. Finding time to declutter or simplify.
Simplicity creates time, but it takes time to make the time. That is frustrating. If you don’t have large blocks of time to make progress, use the time you do have. Here are 25 ways to simplify your life in 10 minutes or less.
If you don’t think 10 minutes is enough, experiment and commit to 10 minutes a day for 30 days. At the end of the month, you’ll have devoted 300 minutes to simplifying your life. That will make a difference. If you want more time, hide your television and devote that time to simplicity instead.
All of these frustrating things can surface anytime depending on what’s going on around you, or inside you, but these solutions will help.
I asked friends on Twitter to tell me the most frustrating part of simplifying for them and the response was big, too big for one blog post. I’ll be sharing the frustrations and solutions over a 3 part series. If there is something that is frustrating to you about simplicity, please leave a comment and I’ll do my best to offer a solution in an upcoming post.
Even with all of these frustrations, taking the steps to live more simply will be rewarding. It will change the way you think, live, love and how you navigate the world.