I’ve spoken quite a bit about my longing and desire to simplify my space, my schedule and my routines after spending years of filling and piling on #allthethings. Last year I set on a mission to do just that, and I’ve created a list of 5 Ways to Simplify in 2019 for any friends out there who may be feeling the weight of the world as well.
Present over Perfect
A year or two ago, I read Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist and she shared a story about how a small church was growing really fast. The pastor explained he was in shock and how he did nothing to add to this growth and an older pastor pointed out the pastor of the small and ever growing church was the one who kept putting more chairs out. More chairs = more people. For me, I always thought the more chairs the better until one day it hit me – too much of a good thing is still too much.
I honestly didn’t want more chairs because more chairs meant dividing myself even more. Not a single chair was getting the best of me or my full attention because I had a million others to tend to at the same time. With that, I lost the chance to build deep relationships, fulfill dreams and goals of mine and to instill good habits and routines into my schedule. I was just going with the flow and jumped from one thing to the next without thinking it through.
A Simplified Life
Shauna’s book lead me to search for different ways I could simplify all the areas in my life, whether through decluttering, saying NO, and/or prioritizing everything I longed to do and decide what is right for the season I’m in and what has to wait. I stumbled upon Emily Ley’s book, A Simplified Life, which helped me do just that – simplify my life and my routines, and I’m eager to share my top 5 Ways to Simplify in 2019 with YOU!
10 Ways to Simplify in 2019
1. Choose a Planner and USE IT.
I am a paper junkie. I have an obsession with purchasing new planners, journals, and stationery but I’m not always good at using them to their fullest potential. Until now – I’ve changed and used my planner day in and day out. I don’t make it pretty like all the planner creatives out there because that just adds another “to do” on my list. I use my favorite blue pen and write in everything I could potentially get done each day. I like to do this with a hot cup of coffee in hand and right after returning home from dropping the kids off at school. I make a list of my Top 3 Priorities and then fill in everything below. If I get to it, GREAT. If I don’t then I write in “look at yesterday” in the next day’s to-do’s and finish those tasks first. Friends, it doesn’t have to be an expensive and popular planner. The magic is not in how the cover looks or what washi tape you use to decorate your pages. The magic is in using it daily!
I’m currently using The Simplified Planner – Thin Happy Stripe Daily – it is currently out of stock but look at that Pineapple Cover our friend Jessa designed!
2. Say NO to the extra chairs.
Make a list of all the things you’ve committed to. Star the ones that bring you joy and then prioritize the others. Ask yourself these three questions to help you decide what stays and what needs to go:
- Does this bring me joy?
- Is this something God has called me to do?
- Am I doing this out of guilt?
3. Do the Prep-Work: Create a Mourning Routine & an Evening Routine.
Once you get into the habit of following routines, they become just that – routines. It feels weird at first but after awhile these routines become good habits that will better your character, mood, and creativity. If there are new routines you’ve been longing to add into your daily schedule, feel free to add those in (i.e. gym, vitamins, rest time, etc.) My daily routines include planner time, cleaning times, reminders to fuel my body (hello, I was forgetting to eat because I just kept going like the Energizer Bunny!), rest time and preparation for the following day.
4. Create a Weekly Routine.
We’ve talked about our Block Schedule and how it’s changed our work-life and friends, let me be the first to tell you it’s changed my home-life as well. When you say YES to all the invitations, you lack routine and consistency in your schedule. One night you’re visiting this person and the next night out doing that thing, and while all of those YES’s seem good at the time, they interrupt the consistency your body, soul and mind crave. A weekly routine alleviates the pressure to do everything at once and to say yes to everything presented to you.
5. You’ve decluttered your schedule and routines, now it’s time to simplify your space.
I whole-heartedly believe in Simplified’s Ruthless Declutter Challenge and cannot thank Emily Ley and her team enough for putting this challenege together because my space will be forever changed by it. It starts by grabbing a trash bag and being ruthless. Throw away any and all trash. Would you believe me if I told you each area of my home and workspace had bags upon bags of trash of things I was holding on to “just in case?” Just in case, what? Join us March 11th as we share our experience in participating in Simplified’s Ruthless Declutter Challenege on our Instagram!
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