What do the words “simplify your life” mean to you?
What would a simpler life look like? Imagine how your home, office, calendar, or car might look different.
What would a simpler life feel like? Imagine how your mind, body, and energy levels might be different.
Although a “simple life” might look a little different for you than for me, below are three underlying principles for simplifying that we recommend.

1. Mindfulness
The best place to start making a change in your life is to notice the change that needs made. Life is a busy world and often comes with strenuous demands on our time and energy. Technology, which has brought many incredible benefits to our lives, has made it increasingly difficult for us to disconnect from the outside world and simply be in the present moment.
Take a moment to practice mindfulness. No matter where you are – sitting, standing, or lounging – close your eyes and take a deep breath.
You may notice that your mind resists this pause. Our minds are complex and often get stuck in management mode, reminding us to do things we’ve forgotten to do throughout the day. We’re so accustomed to moving so quickly sometimes taking a pause might be difficult! Which brings us back to the idea of simplifying your life:
Think of 2-3 adjectives to describe how it feels to be in your body and mind right now. Comfortable. Overwhelmed. Energized. Drained. Accept how you’re feeling with compassion, perhaps by saying, “I’m feeling anxious right now. And that’s okay.”
Now, think about how you would prefer to feel.

2. Make a personal inventory
Now that you are more grounded and mindful, make a mental inventory of all of the moving parts in your life. What do you feel responsible for? What are the activities or objects that fill your days? How many hats do you wear?
What you might discover is that you’re expecting a lot of yourself! You expect yourself to be on time, to respond to emails within an hour, to cook meals, to grocery shop, to tidy the home, to perform well at work, to keep the car repaired, to send birthday cards, to attend children’s activities, to exercise, to get rest, to spend time with your partner, to call your mother, to… Well, you get the idea!
Think back to a time you felt really good, and remember what contributed to how you felt. Can you bring more of that into your life somehow?

3. Practice gently saying no
In order to simplify your life, you must say no sometimes! Many of us are people-pleasers by nature and feel uncomfortable refusing a request. In fact, many of us habitually take on responsibilities that were never requested because we think we “should.” Often this can be traced back to how we were raised.
Nevertheless, it’s your job as your keeper to let go of assumed responsibilities, and to say “no” to requests that don’t enhance your life.

If saying “no” gently but firmly is a new experience for you, it will take time to get used to. That’s okay!
Thankfully, there are many creative ways to say “no” to assumed responsibilities these days. For example, food subscription services can help if you struggle to get meals on the table. If it’s within your budget, consider hiring a cleaning service. Or for that matter, maybe it’s okay to clean less often! And if your home feels cluttered, consider hiring a professional organizer to help. Remember, you do not have to go it alone!
Parents, consider saying “no” to some of your children’s requests. Many children are enrolled in back-to-back activities, requiring parents to shuttle them all over town. It sets a good example for your children (and helps your mental sanity!) to choose their activities carefully and to spend more unstructured time together at home.

Happy simplify your life week!!