Simplifying Life

There is a lot of talk in my group of friends about how busy our lives are.   We all have kids, a couple of mums work full time,  some work part time, some are stay at home parents, some are single mums and a few of us are married, and none of us feel as though we have enough time in the day to do anything for ourselves.   We feel rushed and reactive rather than relaxed and responsive, and I think we are the ones who will pay for the lifestyle we live now, long term.

We have to learn how to slow down and enjoy the journey.  Smell the roses.  Spend the time we want with our children and husbands in the way that we imagined our lives would look years ago.   We need to let go of disappointment and toxic people, and simplify our lives so that we can enjoy our lives.

How does one simplify their life?

  1.  Declutter.
    Lets face it.  We probably don’t need half the stuff we have in our homes.  Keep those things that are sentimental, and those things that are important but get rid of anything you haven’t used in the last 6 months – 12 months.    Don’t forget to look under the bed!

  2. Plan an hour each week for ‘Power Hour’.
    Gretchen Rubin in her book ‘Better than Before’ says that this hour is for those jobs you hate doing. It might be BAS statements, tax, cleaning shoes/windows/blinds…the shower etc.   It’s one hour every week that you schedule into your routine to cross off those jobs that you don’t like.  Before your hour power comes around, know exactly the next task you want to cross of the list.

  3. Schedule catch ups with friends on a regular basis.
    Some friends like to catch up for dinner once a week, or every Saturday they might meet for breakfast. Some like to catch up fortnightly or even monthly, schedule time for friends, because catching up with friends reinvigorates your soul.

  4.  Schedule fun with your family in the calendar.
    Marking the calendar ahead of time with events gives you a chance to look forward to events coming up.   If its something you really want to do….make sure the event becomes a priority.

  5. Schedule when you want to take some down time.
    Busy mums know that if you don’t put it in the calendar – it doesn’t happen.  If you need time on your own, whether its to take a walk, read a book, see a movie, have a coffee – it won’t happen if you don’t schedule it.  I am becoming a scheduling convert after years of thinking that flying by the seat of my pants would work…the only way that seems to work for me is that if I schedule what ever it is that I want to do in.

  6.  Schedule everyone in the household on housework tasks.

Add sub-Train up a child in the way that he-she should go, and when he-she is older he-she will not depart from it.- Proverbs 22

Okay this verse may not have been written for the context in which I use it….but let’s get real for a minute.  If parents don’t teach their children to do housework – who is going to teach them?   Think about their future flat mates, wives or husbands just for a minute?

The other obvious benefit to teaching our kids chores is that they can help out around the house and take some of the daily pressures off their busy mum.    Home should be comfortable for every person in the family, BUT not at the expense of one person.  Today our eldest is 13, but in 5 years time she’ll be 18.    Hope the time doesn’t go too quickly.

Most children will resist their job sheet…but ‘consequential incentives’ work a treat. If the goal is more time for fun and adventure its amazing what you can get the kids to do.

7. Turn the Television and computer off and go outside.
This is a great way to simplify our lives.  We only have our television on in the evenings and I must say that I love the quite.   I often put music on and I feel much better in myself for doing this.  The kids spend more time outside on their bikes and scooters  or do craft activities, read or play lego.   The noise of television isn’t good for our souls, so when you turn it off the heaviness of life seems to disappear.  It’s far calmer than it used to be when we used the television more often.

We might think we are addicted to the internet but if you want to feel better about your life and feel more connected to what’s going on around you and the people around you – get off line and move away from the television.  Spend more time off line than online.  Use the internet and television as a tool rather than a place of enjoyment.  The internet and television does not love us.  It stops us living life to our full potential by keeping us captive to what’s on next, and as a result we feel disconnected from our lives and dissatisfied.

I have figured out that Life is busy.  Its always going to be busy, but its how we respond to the busyness of life that will make or break us.   If we want a simpler life we need to do something different.  Change the way we live our lives. We need to stop looking outside of ourselves for happiness.

Take a moment and describe the life you would like to live, grab a calendar and schedule, schedule, schedule.   Change your thoughts.  Change your world.

Insanity- Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.

 

 

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