Are You Too Busy?
Do you have too much to do and not enough time to do it all?
Are you too busy to pursue your passion?
Are you too busy to eat healthy and exercise?
Are you too busy to get eight to nine hours sleep each day?
How many hours a day do you watch TV?
Are you overweight? Do you have enough energy?
Do you struggle with finances?
Are you as happy as you’d like to be?
Are you doing work you love? Would you rather work fewer hours than you do now?
Do you sometimes wish your life was simpler and easier?
Live Simple. Be Happy.
Read on, dear reader. Read. There is hope on the horizon! Many others have been like you, and they have changed their lives by simplifying their lives.
HERE ARE FOUR WAYS YOU CAN SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE
- GET OUT OF DEBT. For one month, keep track of where your money goes. Your bank statement will reflect your rent or mortgage, utility bills, and credit card payments. If you buy your groceries and other items with your debit card, you’ll be able to see those expenses as well.
At the end of the month, itemize the unnecessary ways what you are spending:
Fast food and take-out food. Clothes, toys, devices and other items at your Big Box store. Manicures, pedicures, car washes, housecleaning service, yard work. Any other expenses that are conveniences and extras.
All of the above, although uncomfortable are not necessary. The whole family can chip in and clean the house, wash the cars, do the yard work, cook meals and eat at home. You can do your own manicure and pedicure. The amount of money you spend on these items can be used each month to pay off credit card debt.
- Once your credit card debt is paid off, redirect those funds to create and build an emergency fund. Most people feel comfortable with a fund of $5000, which would be available for a big car repair, or something else unexpected.
- Pay off your cars. After your credit card debt is gone, and you have a $5000 emergency fund created, pay down on your cars each month. Do NOT go back to spending money on manicures, car washes, housecleaning, yard work, etc.
ONE OF THE TENANTS OF SIMPLIFYING YOUR LIFE IS TO SPEND LESS MONEY AND GET OUT OF DEBT. DEBT IS A HUGE STRESSOR IN LIFE. YOU WILL NEVER HAVE THE HAPPY LIFE YOU WANT AS LONG AS YOU ARE IN DEBT!
- GET HEALTHY
MANY PEOPLE DON’T EAT HEALTHY; THEY DON’T GET ENOUGH EXERCISE OR SLEEP. THEY DON’T FEEL GREAT AND DON’T HAVE ENOUGH ENERGY TO PURSUE THEIR PASSION.
Eat Healthy. A healthy diet consists of unprocessed, whole, natural foods. Lots of vegetables and fruit. Fast foods, loaded with sugar, salt, fat, and chemicals are not healthy. All they are is fast, and they really are NOT food. They are fake, human-made, and not what nature intended to nourish our bodies. For your sake and the sake of the health of the people you live with, change! You will get healthy, and save a lot of money! See “Eat Natural to Be Unstoppable Every Day”
Exercise. You can exercise at home. You don’t need to spend money on a gym membership. A good and simple start is walking. Get in the habit of rolling out of bed in the morning, slip into your walking shoes and out the door for thirty minutes. Or in the evening after dinner. T o achieve and maintain good health, at least 30 minutes a day of exercise 5-6 times a week is necessary.
Sleep. Sleep is vital to health, sanity, and life. We need a good rest to do a good job at work. While you are sleeping, the body and mind are being regenerated, and distressed. Scientists tell us we need eight to nine hours of sleep each night. One hour before we lay down to go to sleep, we should not have any time in front of a TV, or Computer or Cell phone screen. The light from these devices makes our brain thinks the sun hasn’t set yet and keeps us from getting sleepy. Try it. Read a paper book instead. After a few nights, you will notice a welcome difference.
- GET RID OF STUFF
ANOTHER TENANT OF SIMPLIFYING YOUR LIFE IS TO CREATE SPACE. PHYSICAL SPACE CREATES MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL SPACE. IT ESTABLISHES ORDER. WHEN YOU HAVE SPACE AND ORDER, YOU HAVE MENTAL AND PHYSICAL SPACE TO CREATE, FEEL MORE CALM, AND MORE IN CONTROL. THESE ARE QUALITIES THAT ARE BASIC HUMAN NEEDS. THEY ARE QUALITIES THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY. You are a busy person. Too busy. So how do you find time to declutter your entire home? As the saying goes, “Eat the elephant one bite at a time.”
More than likely, this will be a big project. It may take months, it may take a year.
Start with setting aside one hour a week to get rid of stuff you don’t need. Some people start with their bedroom closet, or a hall closet. You decide.
After a month, increase your declutter time to two hours a week. As you get rid of things, and begin getting things more orderly and neat, you will be inspired to do more and more. See my article on Decluttering Made Easy for a step-by-step approach.
- CREATE GOOD RELATIONSHIPS
You can be out of debt. You can be healthy. You can get rid of excess stuff. If you don’t have good relationships with people, you won’t be happy. And your life will not be simple.
So how do you have good relationships? How do you get along with an overbearing mother-in-law? How do you tolerate an abusive boss, supervisor or manager? What do you do when your next door neighbor leave the barking dog out all night?
There are several ways to handle people problems: Boundaries, termination of the relationship, tolerance, enforcement, and your own attitude.
Boundaries. Boundaries work on a foundation of respect. You have to respect yourself and treat the other person with respect. Be clear about what you will tolerate and what you won’t. Set an appropriate time and private place to have an important conversation about the relationship. Let the person know that you want to have a conversation about your relationship. Let them know what you value about them, and let it sink in. Ask them if they’d be willing for both of you to make changes to have a better relationship. Establish boundaries, gently explaining, and compassionately making a request. If this person is interested in having a better relationship, chances are they’ll be open. It may take several conversations and each of you being honest with one another. If it’s a case say, like a mother-in-law, obviously it is an important relationship and requires your commitment to do all you can to make it work.
Tolerance. None of us are perfect. When we live with each other, or have family members or close friends, there will always be times when we have to be patient, forgiving, and non-judgmental. We don’t have to be a doormat to get along with someone, and put up with disrespect. But at the same time, we can be generous with kindness to someone who may be having a bad day, be stressed out, or not feeling well. When we are generous with our kindness and patience, it almost always generates good energy and quickly dissipates their unpleasant behavior. Remember, relationships don’t work well if someone has to be right, and someone wrong. There’s an old saying, “Would you rather be right, or would you rather be happy?”
Enforcement. If you have been diplomatic, respectful, and tolerant, and get nowhere with the relationship, you may have to resort to enforcement. In the case of the neighbor who refuses to get the barking dog out of their back yard so you can get a good night’s sleep, you may have to call the authorities. If your supervisor or boss is abusing you, you may have to go to Human Resources or the Labor Department. Although your boss may hate you for it, it’s doubtful you’ll lose your job after he or she has been put on notice. This is especially important in the case of sexual harassment on the job.
Ending the Relationship. There are times when you have to say “enough is enough”. The most precious resource we have in life is our time. Why waste time on a relationship that brings you misery, disrespect, and abuse? One important tenant in living simply is not having people in your life who waste your time and make you unhappy. We’re all grown-ups here, folks, and you can let go of someone and let them be miserable all by themselves, without dragging you down. Don’t waste the precious time in your life on people, places or things that don’t make you happy!
Your own Attitude. Take responsibility for everything that shows up in your life. When someone is not being the way you would like them to be, remember you are part of the equation, just by being there. No, you are not responsible for their bad or unkind behavior. When you are responsible, then you have the power to change your situation. I have seen some amazing situations change dramatically by taking complete responsibility. It’s not always easy, but almost always has a better outcome. It’s the stuff leader s are made of.
LIVE SIMPLE. BE HAPPY.
Putting the suggestions in this article into action is not easy. By doing these things you are going against the norm. You are stepping out of the mold. You will have to teach your children. You will have to say NO many times, to yourself as you break bad habits, and to others who don’t want you to change. But what’s the price you pay if you keep going along with the status quo? You wouldn’t have read this far if you didn’t want your life to be different. There are so many people today who are as Henry David Thoreau said, “Living lives of quiet desperation.” Leave your desperation behind. Get off the treadmill. Many people who have simplified their lives by getting out of debt, found they were able to quit the job they hated, and do something they love. Or others have found they had the money to go on wonderful vacations with their family without going into debt! Still others have found such a beautiful quality of life just by getting healthy. And others are amazed at how much peace they have in their lives because of the quality relationships they have with family and friends.
Live Simple. Be Happy. Set a good example for your kids and the world. There are many doing this. You can find them on the web and You Tube. Let them inspire you!