Ten Simple Living Tips For The New Year
Happy New Year
Everyone is into New Year’s resolutions, and as sure as the sun will rise in the east, those resolutions hit the trash can by March. What will it be this year? Lose weight? Stop drinking diet soda? Find Nirvana in Nepal? Exercise more?
All are admirable resolutions, and all have benefits if you stick with them. How would you like a few resolutions that have, as benefits, saving money and creating less stress in your life? Could you sign on for those resolutions?
The New Year is a perfect time to adopt a frugal lifestyle, or at least start wading into the peaceful waters of frugality. The holidays are over; the hectic tug of responsibilities is gone. Now is a time for reflection and for setting priorities in order. Let’s face it, the economy is not improving, no matter what the politicians and retailers want you to believe. Not only that, but you aren’t getting any younger, and isn’t it about time you take a look at a lifestyle that de-clutters your life and mind, and allows you more freedom to just enjoy life?
If that sounds good to you, then by all means read on! What follows are ten suggestions that will get you well on the road to living simply. You may not be a card-carrying member of the Frugal Club like my friend Paula, but you will at least be within shouting distance of her and her frugal ways.
Pack up Your Cares and Woes
The new gifts have been received and now it’s time to find a place for them. You open the closet and jump back as an avalanche of junk cascades down around you. It just might be time for you to de-clutter!
Repeat after me: new clothes in, old clothes out!
I know men, and women, who cannot fit all of their clothes in one closet. HELLO!!!! What do you need all of those clothes for? Unless you are a business executive who wears a different shirt and suit every day (and then you would only need five of each), what could you possibly need eighty-two pieces of outer clothing for? For the time being we will not mention women and their shoes. Why? Because a lot of women read my articles and I have no desire to turn them against me. J
New clothes in, old clothes out! You will feel better, and you can use the old clothes for rags, craft projects, or just as donations for those out there who only have two shirts and no suits.
Some more suggestions
- Live Simple: Five Steps Towards A Simple Lifestyle.....Installment One
Five steps to take to begin making your life less hectic. A simple lifestyle is a frame of mind, and it begins with little steps and then becomes a new way of living.
How many pieces of loose paper can you find in a walk-through of your home right now? How many boxes of paper will you find in cupboards and closets? You know, all the receipts and bills, all the manuals and documents? It might be time to consider transferring everything online. Scan your documents onto your computer; pay your bills by computer. Get rid of the paper clutter and you will just feel better. Clutter equals slow insanity! If you don’t think so, you should meet my cousin Mary!
Make a Chore Schedule
We all know what our chores are, or at least the core chores (say that ten times quickly) in any given week. Grocery shopping, gassing up the car, picking up kids at school, and on and on. Sit down and make a schedule of the chores that are necessary during your week. Assign a specific time and day for each chore, and then stick with it.
What we are trying to do is eliminate the random distractions that tend to derail our day. Random distractions mean more chores, and more chores is the exact opposite of simple living, and simple living is frugal living. Got it?
Find Peace and Balance
If every little thing that goes wrong sends you into a tailspin, you might want to begin embracing emotional balance. Learn meditation! Learn yoga! Learn to schedule time for just you, to walk through the woods, or sit in the backyard with tea, or just soak in a hot tub with lavender oils.
Find the source of your stress, establish reasonable expectations, and quit trying to control all of life. Sometimes there is great peace in not having control. Try it; you might like it!
The start of the movement for this writer
- Live Simple: Saying Goodbye To A Life That Was No Longer Working
For my health and well-being I began to change my life. I had to ask myself what is truly important and what is just fluff?
Live a Deliberate Lifestyle
Everyone is in such a hurry! Why is that? When did it become stylish to take on more responsibilities than are possible in a 24-hour day?
I propose that you slow up and become more deliberate. Do chores more slowly! Drive more slowly! Take walks more slowly! Spend time with family and loved ones more slowly! Why you ask? Because the joy is not in the destination but rather in the journey, that’s why!
If you don’t have time to do this then make time by eliminating activities that are unnecessary. Seriously! Life is not a race. You are not rewarded with a plaque at the end of your days for having accomplished a certain number of meaningless activities. Slow up and enjoy the time you have on this earth.
Try this idea on for size. Once a week, for three months, sell something on Craigslist or ebay. Why you might ask? Simply because you have too much junk, and this exercise is going to relieve you of some of the junk. At the end of three months you will have removed twelve items from your household that you obviously did not need.
If you would rather, take one item a week to the Goodwill instead of selling it. You get rid of junk and you feel good about yourself in the process. That is a win/win situation any old way you look at it!
Do Meaningful Work
When I was teaching I would tell my students that, as they approached their college years, they should give some thought to what it is they are passionate about. Once they have established what their passion is, they should then find college courses that will help them in finding a career related to their passion.
How many years do we work? I can tell you that I have now worked forty-five years, and during that time, twenty were spent following my passion. Not quite half of my working career was spent doing something I could be excited about, something that was fulfilling. How sad it would have been if I did not have those twenty years. I know for a fact there are millions of people working at jobs that provide no passion for them.
Find the passion! Make it happen! You will be amazed at how much happier you are in life when you are doing something that is meaningful.
Do you feel you live a simple lifestyle?
Downsize on Friendships
Who was the idiot who once said that we can never have too many friends? Well, I’m not buying it! I know people who have thousands of Facebook friends. What’s the point? Give me five closer, reliable friends, and I am set for life. Give me ten and I am a rich man. Anymore than that and my head is spinning. I can’t possibly be a “close” friend with hundreds of people. By definition, close means there is a meaningful bond between two people. I can have hundreds of acquaintances, and I do, but close friends?
Concentrate on making connections with a handful of people; concentrate on forming that bond. It will be so much more rewarding than having hundreds of casual Peeps.
Do onto Others
I will now tell you one of the secrets to happiness. Please, you do not need to thank me, but you do need to take notes. Are you ready? Treat others the way you want to be treated! Did you get that written down?
If you truly want a simple life, then surround yourself with love and compassion for others.
Nothing else needs to be added to that!
The fastest way to forget about your problems, and thus simplify your life, is to help others who are worse off than you. Nothing gets us out of our own minds faster than helping others. Nothing! Do a good deed and you not only forget about your own woes while doing the deed, but you also feel good about yourself because of your unselfish kindness.
I don’t care how tough you think you have it; look around and you will find someone who has it tougher. Reach out and be the hand of loving support for someone else.
Shall we talk about simplicity?
There You Have It
Another ten ways to set you on the path of Living Simple! For some of you, this will require-re-wiring your brain. Too many years have been spent chasing more possessions, more accomplishments, more of whatever. As a society we need to slow down and embrace more of life….not possessions, but life.
There is great happiness in doing nothing. There is great happiness in becoming one with nature, and there is great happiness in getting in touch with the pulse of existence. Modern life is not designed to allow those things to happen, and I, for one, think that is sad.
I wish for all of you a Happy New Year. I hope 2013 is the year you find true happiness, and I hope that 2013 is the year you discover those things that are truly important in life, namely contentment and love.
2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)