While dancing I am reminded to keep life simple — keep priorities in perspective. Perhaps it has something to do with being in motion. When I could ice skate well (before I grew older and apprehensive about the implications of a nasty fall!) my mind would naturally organize and determine what mattered most and deserving of attention while flying around the ice rink. Now that happens best while dancing or swimming.
We get tons of advice on the importance of simplifying our lives so that there is more time and energy for what matters most, and for each of us the list is specific, and sometimes endless. What to do first? Where to begin? We know simplifying our lives is necessary, and most of us have made great strides in that direction, but how do we keep focused on the goal, reserving more quality time for what we value most?
Keep one work in mind — UNCLUTTER.
UNCLUTTER your household.
UNCLUTTER your life-style.
UNCLUTTER your finances.
UNCLUTTER your job.
UNCLUTTER your health.
UNCLUTTER your personal life.
For women and men there are a specific set of issues to “unclutter” as well.
There is no specific order required as you go about these changes. Start with what makes sense in the moment. Take small steps with things you can easily adjust so that you feel a sense of accomplishment. Keep lists and reminders for things more difficult to modify. But most of all keep moving toward your goal of simplifying your life.
And, we all must look at the hard-core issues that support our goal for a less complicated existence. Things like rent v/s own a home, getting rid of the car and using bikes, legs, and public transportation, not having a phone, getting rid of cable service, not making the bed , eliminating all unnecessary extras, and building a very simple wardrobe, to mention a few.
I suspect most of us are not quite ready to tackle these hard-core issues, but we may be able to scale back to a place that feels comfortable for us. Only a few weeks ago I heard from several young families of their decision to discontinue cable TV service at this time. The conclusion was that it cost money they would rather use in other ways for something they had little time to enjoy due to active and busy lives. Resources were evaluated, priorities modified, and action taken to make a helpful change for these families. We all have the power to make such modifications.
Elaine St. James has written a nice little bedside book that gives useful suggestions and ideas about how to unclutter our lives. Worth the read… Pick one thing that you could begin to modify today and get started!
St. James, Elaine. (2001). Simplify Your Life: 100 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Things That Really Matter. MJF Books.