Two things that you can do to live simpler every day are 1) write out a plan for your day and 2) set a time to reflect.
The Challenge with Living Simply
The challenge with living simpler is that throughout our daily routines we have literally thousands upon thousands of options in every area at all times. The 24/7 news cycle and social media only add to this challenge. Food options are also available around the clock. The internet allows us to shop or communicate around the clock and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The goal to live simpler is not just about focusing on tasks but it’s also about preparation. Get started by thinking about what you can purge from your daily routine. What do you do every day that you don’t really need to do? Personally, part of the issue is trying to fit too much into one day rather than spreading out my tasks. That’s another symptom of the news and social media cycle all around us.
So Much To Do
We feel the need to buy now, cook now, read now, travel now. Everything needs to happen right now. The truth is not everything needs to happen right now. Most things can usually wait. To live simpler we must train our minds not to think about the 10 things that we are doing to feel accomplished but rather the 1 thing that will help us to feel productive and even refresh and reset us.
We are at our best when we are refreshed. We get more done, we’re kinder to those around us, and our energy is at its best. And guess what? People notice! That’s right. When you are refreshed and your best qualities are shining through people around you will take notice without you having to say a word. When we think about what it takes to live simpler we often think of more complicated things but being refreshed should be at the top of the list.
The Obstacles of Reducing Stress
Reducing stress can be challenging not because of the practices that help us to reduce our stress level but rather because of all of those obstacles that are getting in the way of us getting to healthy habits and practices. Furthermore, what are you doing that is really stressing you out and you know that you would be better off removing that activity from your schedule?
Action item: Choose 2 things today that you will identify to remove from your daily routine whether it is making task lists, getting on social media, ok maybe just choosing one type, or shopping, cleaning, whatever task that could be considered busy work take it out of your routine. We are so used to adding things to our routine out of habit but not necessarily out of necessity or what we actually want to do. When we do more of what we enjoy it feels less like work and we are much more productive and ready to live simpler.
Now that the runway is clear let’s look at how simple we can make your day. The more you have going on around you the more opportunity to focus.
Live Simpler Everyday
The best part is that you will be able to repeat these steps every single day if you need to. All you need to do is rinse and repeat these steps for results.
Write out the plan for your day.
The practice of writing out your plan puts us in a highly effective space because it instantly creates boundaries around our activity. When we write out our plan for the day we remind ourselves of what’s truly a priority to us. This prevents unnecessary and draining tasks from entering not just our daily routine but ultimately our daily lives.
The beginnings and ends of our days are especially important. You want to be sure to start the day out well because our mornings set the tone for the rest of the day. Even when we have the worst days, if the beginning of our day goes well, it will help to endure the remainder of our day. Think about how you can bring yourself joy every day, whether it is through a podcast, texting or talking with a friend, a conversation with your spouse, or play time with a pet. We live simpler and better when our mornings go well.
The end of the day is just as important if not more important. We want to be sure to unpack the day as best we can. Do your best to talk with someone about big issues weighing on your mind and heart. The only thing that we should sleep on is a big decision but even then we should find someone to talk with about it so we don’t burden ourselves when we go to sleep. Don’t keep exercise or a meal too close to bedtime so your body has a chance to rest.
Set a time to reflect.
If you’re anything like me you won’t take the time to reflect if you don’t set a time to do it. If remembering to take time for yourself is difficult, try setting an alarm. I know, right? Alarms are for the mornings. But they can also be really helpful throughout your day to keep you on task with reducing stress, not just adding to it.
Set a time for anything that is helpful for you whether it’s exercise, breathing, winding down for the night, or literally anything that you feel will add to your ability to live simpler and not take away from it.
Note: If you are planning a wedding, ask your wedding party, bridesmaids, and groomsmen to help out in this area. This is something that can be helpful to you during the difficult planning process and they will be happy to help in any area that you need.
It sounds so simple but the secret is that by taking time to reflect we are also doing a lot more just like in our first step. We don’t have to focus on these things but when we take time to reflect we are being intentional about taking time for ourselves. To live simpler mostly means to provide ourselves with enough space. We are relieving stress by evaluating how our day went and giving space to allow our emotions to be revealed.
From there, we give ourselves the opportunity to respond accordingly to our emotions. We also get to think about our plan for the next day. So, what does successfully setting a plan to live simpler look like? Well, when we reflect on our day hopefully we can then think about what we want to write down for our plan the next day.
Another great action item is to do breathing exercises to help reduce your stress level. Here is a video from Johns Hopkins University with a breathing exercise for you:
That’s it! As hectic as your day may be these 2 steps are going to change everything for your daily routine.
Next, find a time of day that works best for you to implement these steps and live simpler!
Please share these tips with someone who you think might find them helpful. I know they are not the flashiest suggestions but from practice, I can assure you that they work! Check this blog regularly for more tips on how to reduce stress especially for hose planning a wedding.