It’s that time of year when people are creating resolutions.
Resolutions can be a good thing.
Eat better. Workout more. Treat yourself and others with kindness.
You’ve heard them all before. In fact, right now people are kind of sharing their resolutions with family and friends. They’re excited about changing their lives for the better. They’re trying to tell others so there is extra motivation to stick with the new routine.
But one issue with many resolutions is that we’re adding something to our lives.
Adding a new workout routine can be tricky because most of us are already too busy for the things we normally do.
So I thought we could look at some ways to simplify life this year. Let’s look at some ways to take things out of our lives so we can live better.
Here are some ideas…
1. Skip Dinner 2-3 Times Per Week
There’s an old saying in many cultures that says:
Eat less. Live longer.
It seems backwards in modern society. People seem to always be eating something. But if you think about it that mentality really hasn’t gotten us anything good. In fact, we’re more unhealthy than at any point in history.
About 31% of kids today have a chronic illness in the US. That seems crazy!
The only solution is to take responsibility for our own health.
One way to do that is to skip dinner 2-3 times per week.
And in the spirit of making life simpler, you don’t have to plan those meals anymore. Just skip them.
What are your top priorities in life?
Have you ever really thought about it?
Many of us have maybe thought that our family is important, but we never really treat it that way. Maybe we have a hobby that we love, but we don’t give it enough attention because we’re too busy with other things and then we get frustrated for not doing what we love more often.
Look at the top 3-5 things in your life. There are no wrong answers.
Knowing your priorities helps you to make decisions. It’ll be easier to say yes and to say no to different things.
Let’s say that reading is important to you. Now when you go to turn on the TV you can remember that television is not really a priority. You can more easily put down the remote and open a book.
Maybe you’ll even cut the cable cord and save some money.
3. Clean Your Closets
This is actually something I’m fairly good at. I actually enjoy getting rid of things.
Where I live we basically have two seasons: Winter and Summer. That’s kind of the case when it comes to close. We have winter clothes and summer clothes.
Every year after a season is over I go through the clothes in my closet. I look for things that I didn’t wear and I put them in a pile to donate. I try to get my wife to do it and she does pretty good, but has a little tough of a time than me.
I also do this with other things in other closets: food pantry, holiday decorations, golf gear, etc.
I go through all the closets, the garage, storage areas and more. Everything that hasn’t been used for awhile goes.
It’s amazing how decluttered you feel after doing this.
And it seems very true…the less stuff you have the simpler your life feels.
4. Clean Your Bill List
Sit down and look at all of your bills. You can go through your bank account from the last month.
Cable, phone, magazines, SiriusXM, etc.
What could you remove from your monthly list of bills that you don’t really need? Most of us could simplify our lives in big ways by getting rid of a few bills.
I just thought of another good one: gym membership. Maybe do that one now before you get in the mood to spend January and February in the gym for your resolutions.
5. Two-Stage Buying
This is a good one and kind of a game changer.
Many of us, certainly not all, but many of us, buy things the first time we think about it. We see something on Amazon and it immediately goes into the cart and we purchase.
Starting this year, start two-stage buying. You can still feel excited about buying something. Put it in your cart, but then take two days to wait before you actually make the purchase.
Put it in your cart and leave. Come back in two days (if you even remember) and see if the excitement is still there. For some things it will be, but for many things you’ll find that you don’t really need the item and that you don’t really even want it.
6. No Multi-Tasking
This is a big one. Multi-tasking doesn’t really work and it can be detrimental to your health. Yet we can sometimes act like it’s a good thing. We’re actually proud to proclaim that we can do multiple things at once.
But we’re only kidding ourselves and it wears on our brain and our body.
Setup your day so that you’re only working on one thing at a time. When you’re eating, eat. When you’re talking with someone, talk. When you’re responding to email, respond to one at a time.
Put the phone down. Leave the other tabs on the computer closed.
7. Fewer Work Tasks
Building on the last one is taking care of what you’re doing at work. You may not be able to control everything, but chances are that you do have some control.
It’s easy to want to please the boss or please your clients. So you say yes to everything and before you know it you’re getting burned out. It’s not healthy and it hurts your work performance. Neil Patel found that when he cut back and got more sleep (more on this later) that he was able to do better work.
Look at what you’re doing at work. Look at the most important tasks and focus on those. And don’t try to cram too much into one day. Give yourself time to get the most important things done. Give yourself time for breaks and time for reflection. It’s all important.
If you cram in too much you’ll only frustrate and stress yourself.
8. Fewer Personal Activities
This is the same as the previous step only for your personal life.
Some people try to cram too much into their personal lives. Too many hobbies. Too many activities with the kids. You can’t do it all. You can do anything, but you can do everything.
You’ll have to learn to say no sometimes, but it again comes back to what you value most. It’s okay to try new things once in awhile, but don’t overfill your schedule with personal things. That will lead to frustration and a complicated, stressful life.
9. Get More Sleep
We just saw how Neil Patel is able to get all kinds of sleep and still do great work. In fact, he is a believer that his sleep leads to better work and a better life.
I can share that I have experienced the same thing.
I pretty much sleep whenever it’s dark. That even means about 9-10 hours of sleep here in Wisconsin in the winter time. I go to bed about 8pm and get up at about 5am or sometimes later. It just kind of happens naturally.
That leaves less time for work and personal stuff during the day, but when I’m refreshed and feeling good I seem to have better experiences during the day.
10. Cut Online Commitments
I like this one.
As an example, I recently stopped using Instagram. I would open it all the time, really just out of habit, on my phone. After awhile I just deleted it from my phone and I haven’t missed it.
I had previously done this with Facebook. That’s right…I don’t use Facebook. I do have a profile, but it has no information and I never check it.
I do use Twitter, but I’ve cut back so that is the only social media I use. I’ve tried to do the same with the number of websites I visit and where I get my information. I do visit new sites often, but I cut back on the subscriptions and things like that.
It’s easy for it all to get to be too much and we can feel like we’re missing out.
Cut back on the amount of information you have coming in and your life will feel simpler.
Life is great when it’s simple. Most of us prefer a simple life. We say that we would love a simple life, but we rarely do anything to actually simplify our lives. Instead we add things and the stress and frustration pile up.
Well that’s going to be different this year. I really believe that if you follow a couple of the tips above that your life can be simpler. I really hope it happens.