Here are my thoughts on simple living:
Buy less and give more. Malcolm Forbes said, “He who dies with the most toys wins,” but he was wrong. Consumption and accumulation create clutter but not happiness. Decide what you don’t use anymore and give it away. That other phrase, “One person’s junk is another’s treasure” is more apropos. I used to give things away via freecycling but nowadays I donate them to Goodwill.
Declutter. Do you know about the reverse hangar test? Turn your hanging clothes by 180 degrees and remove whatever you don’t take out in six months. Or, how about the box test? Put loose papers, office supplies, pots and pans, whatever, into a box. Toss or donate whatever remains in the box after a predetermined amount of time. I did the bookshelf test by recognizing I kept books as trophies so I got rid of them. Why own a book when I can check it out from the library? Do you know about the national emergency library?
Drink water after you wake up. I can’t stress this enough. The best way to awaken your body is by replenishing nutrients lost during sleep. Water is the best drink for you, so drink as much as you can. Squirt lemon into it. Read a book while drinking.
Eat healthy. The next time you reach for a soda or a bag of chips, ask yourself if you can be equally satisfied with a bottle of water or a bag of nuts. Strive for a carbohydrate-free lifestyle. Go paleo.
Watch less TV. You can save money by ditching your cable bill and replacing those channels with an over-the-air antenna and streaming.
Take digital sabbaticals. Unplug for a day, a weekend, or a month. Learn to re-enjoy life without a glowing screen. An easy way of doing this is by leaving your phone home when you take a walk. Messages and notifications will be there when you return.
Make time for people. The person without a social life is the person who dies a hermit. I don’t want to be secluded from life. Do you? Keep up appearances doing activities that matter to you and connect you to others.
Create a routine. Stick to it. For instance, I go to sleep with an empty email inbox. I either reply to messages or archive them for future action. I do this every night; and I awake in the morning knowing any messages are new. Here’s my 10-year-old process.
Say no. We live in a culture of yes, feeling bad if we say no. But it’s important to say no so we’re not distracted by things that don’t add value to our lives.
Accept you’re not perfect. It’s OK to deviate from your simple life. You can come back when you’re ready.