It’s a new year full of new hope and new promise. Many of us start the new year with resolutions or diets or workout regimens, hoping to shed some holiday weight or gain some new perspective or success. This year I didn’t make any bold resolutions or promises, but I did choose a word for the year. Simplify.
Last year was all about being deliberate about my choices and what I did. I found this gave me increased success with my blog. I wrote more posts, I gained more followers, I engaged more, and I even got nominated for an award. So what is it that I want to simplify this year?
“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” ~ Hans Hofmann
If you read my last post of 2018, 10 Things to Inspire You This Month, and read all the way to number 10, you know that I have had some recent upheaval in my personal life. My parents are both in their 80s, in failing health, and I live halfway across the country from them; so I am making monthly trips to visit, take care of business, and spend time with them. This experience has made me see the value of simplifying things in my life.
I plan on simplifying my skin care routine, my clothing options, the clutter around my house, my extra activities, and my personal baggage. Letting go of negative energy as well as personal belongings that no longer bring you joy or satisfaction can in itself be joyful and satisfying!
Be it Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui or Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix or just reducing the number of commitments you have by learning to say “No,” we could all use some simplifying in our lives. We can’t please everyone all the time, and those two little letters can be so liberating!
Living with a chronic condition like fibromyalgia, I have learned how to pace myself so as not to overdo it most of the time. But I do have flares and experience some level of pain every day. So anything I can do to make my life easier and lessen the impact on my health, the better.
My Top Tips for Simplifying My Life
- Goal setting. Write down your monthly goals. From there, break them down and make your to-do lists. It’s more realistic and attainable to set some short-term goals than some big, lofty New Year’s resolutions that get forgotten or abandoned a few weeks into January.
- Write it down. I live and die by my Outlook calendar sync’d to my phone. But I also keep a written planner so that I can write down my to-do lists and cross things off with satisfaction. Everything is color-coded (work, personal, volunteer, blog, medical.) It helps tremendously when my fibro-fog or brain fog sets in to know that I have written things down. And check your to-do list before you go to bed at night. You can get those random things out of your head and onto paper so you can sleep easier and know what’s ahead for the next day.
- Make time for your health. My mornings start with yoga and gratitude before shower and coffee. I have written many times about why I practice yoga and how it helps with my pain. I love starting my day with a clear mind and a grateful heart. It sets my day up for success. But if mornings aren’t your thing, try to carve out a few minutes of your day to meditate, take a short walk, or do a little yoga. The mind-body connection is real. We cannot possibly start simplifying our lives if our physical and mental well-being are in line.
- Carry a water bottle with you. Staying hydrated is important. Being nice to our planet is vital. You can save money and take care of your body and be eco-friendly by using a water bottle and reusable straw for your daily water intake. (Read more about the importance of hydration in this post on Hydration and Fibromyalgia.)
- Make mealtime easy. Start doing meal prep. Make some of your breakfasts or lunch ahead of time if your mornings are rushed. Packing your own lunch is healthier and cheaper than eating out. Cook something on Sundays that you can use a few nights during the week, like a roast. Use a crockpot or Insta-pot for meals. I made Insta-pot spaghetti last week – oh my. So easy. One pot to clean. Ready in about 15 minutes! It used to be a 3 or 4 pot process for me and so much cleaning, but no more!! I call this a fibro-friendly meal (I used gluten-free noodles and plan to try spaghetti squash next!)
- Get organized. Clean the clutter. Clean your closets. File those bills. Whatever that area of your life that is disorganized, organize it. One of my goals for simplifying my life is to clean my closet and reduce my clothes. Twice a year I typically review my closet and donate those things that I no longer love, don’t fit, are out of style, etc. I am planning on downsizing things like purses and luggage this year that just don’t get used. This has become important as my brothers and I go through things in my parents’ house that they didn’t take with them when they downsized. Ask yourself: what is really important to keep in your life? What brings you joy?
These are the top tips I use for making my life easier. There are tons of other ideas for simplifying your life. But you have to start somewhere, and I like to start in manageable chunks to achieve some success!
What are your top tips for simplifying your life? Do you have a “word” or goal for 2019? I would love to hear about it in the comments!