Life always provides an excuse to stay busy, overwhelmed, cluttered and crazy. Who has time to declutter, the financial resources to work less, or the strength to say no? It’s so much easier to just keep piling it on. The piling on seems easier than change, but only until we start to drown in the life we created.
I wanted a simpler life long before I created one, but instead I leaned into the excuses and ignored what wasn’t working. If life were simple, I wouldn’t have gone back to work six weeks after my daughter was born. If life were simple, I would have contributed more. If life were simple, I wouldn’t have spent my twenties maxing out credit cards and incurring other debt.
Instead of choosing what was simple, I chose what was easy and created a complicated life.
If life were simple …
I asked people on Twitter how they would complete that sentence. I wanted to know what you would do if things weren’t so complicated. If life were simple I would …
- enjoy the day-to-day things more
- read more books
- do yoga every single precious day
- nap every day…. zzzzz……
- love more
- live abroad for a while
- work out every day
- stop worrying about money
Based on those responses it sounds like a simple life would be healthier, and more enjoyable.
But here’s the thing, life won’t simplify itself. Life is messy and beautiful and complex. It will always come with ups and downs. Life always offers lovely moments and highly stressful situations. If life won’t become simple, what’s the solution?
Instead of waiting for life to be simple, create a simple life.
Reclaim your power to change by admitting and deeply owning the idea that you created the life you are living. The choices you made all through your life made your life. And if you want to unmake it and make something new, you can. Admitting and owning may trigger guilt and regret, but instead of getting lost in that, use it as inspiration to stop wasting time and to start making change. Recognize your power to create the life you want and let go of everything standing in the way, including guilt and regret.
When you take the time and energy to create a simple life, you make time and energy to better handle the messy stuff. You develop the space and capacity to appreciate what you have, understand your capabilities, and to react with more grace.
Complex things still happen when you simplify your life, but a simple life removes the drama, the extreme, and much of the worry. With simplicity you can make better decisions and bounce back faster.
Figure out Why
This blog offers hundreds of articles on how to simplify your life, but if you don’t know why you want a simpler life, the hows will only provide temporary change.
My whys started with better health, and when my health improved, I wanted a simpler life to spend more time with people who lift me up. When I was healthier and my relationships improved, I wanted a simpler life so I could do work I love instead of work that drained me.
Once you discover your first why, simplicity will offer a big, beautiful snowball effect that will change your body, home, heart and soul.
Figure out why by completing this sentence. If life were simple ______________________. Use that why as motivation to change, leverage to make tough choices, and as a reminder of what matters most to you.
I am still discovering new whys and editing, simplifying and pruning my life because I want to continue to make room for what matters, for what makes me smile, for love, travel, health and freedom. Share your whys in the comments below. They will inspire you and all of us to create a simple life.