Finding Simplicity

How to find simplicity

Hey friends!

It’s amazing to me that despite my most valiant efforts to simplify my life, after going through the KonMari method of tidying, experiencing real (material) poverty in the basurero of Mexico City, and all my other endeavors on this quest, I still struggle with keeping things simple. I know that there will never come a point where I can say “I’ve arrived.” There may be moments where I catch myself truly living in the moment – intentionally doing chores around the house, breathing in the fresh air on a crisp autumn day, listening when someone is speaking without thinking of what I’m going to say next – but these moments can be few and far between.

It seems like it’s my natural tendency that when things are crazy, I want to make them crazier. I’m not sure if this is a stress response: “Oh, this is something I don’t want to do or feel discouraged about, but this other thing looks shiny, let me buzz over here a minute and START A COMPLETELY NEW PROJECT.” Stop. Hold the phone. Arie, you gone cray cray. What is “cray cray”? From The Google:

One article that really resonated with me recently is Zen Habit’s Really Simple Goal Setting. Essentially, it’s the idea of setting ONE goal (or sometimes, task) at a time. Right now, I have (what feels like) a million things going on, and I found myself last night wondering if I should start a completely new project. It seems shiny and new, but how about I go back and actually finish the ones I started? Unfinished projects are not new to me: I’ve more often than not started projects and never finished them (see: knitting and the atrocious amount of yarn I donated during KonMari). But to a perfectionist, type A sort of person, is a project ever really done? There is always more that could be done. I tweak a little more, tweak a little more, until oops I just completely restarted the project from ground zero.

So much time, money, and energy is wasted this way.

It’s time to refocus.

And June is the perfect time to do so.

Here is my roadmap moving forward to keep me on track and help me not to overcomplicate my life, even when I feel the crazy in me bubbling up from the depths:

  1. Begin the day with prayer/meditation to get my mind, heart and priorities right.
  2. Single tasking.
  3. Take stock of what all is actually on my plate right now. Get brutally honest and list them out. No task or responsibility is too small to be on this list.
  4. Create a list of what I want to be spending my time on. Move towards this in some small way every day.
  5. Learn to be okay with, and in fact schedule time to be with, boredom.
  6. Schedule time to plan or chase down ideas for new projects, knowing that I don’t have to start them today. Set a timer and be done with it to avoid hours of endless Pinteresting. [How the times have changed… my bad decisions have turned from drinking into the wee hours of the night to Pinteresting past my bedtime… I guess that’s the #Late20sDifference. #GetWild]
  7. Mind map to declutter my thoughts and refocus along the way.
  8. Learn to be content, especially when finishing projects. Done is better than perfect.

June is the new January. It’s time to refocus my goals and create a roadmap that will get me there. June is exactly halfway through the year and as a dear friend pointed out this morning, there is a New Moon on Saturday which signifies new beginnings. Aren’t you ready for a new beginning? I know I am.

How do you practice simplicity in your daily life?

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  1. Brittney says:

    I am the complete opposite of type-a…I have ADD (clinically diagnosed) & my therapist says I’m also a perfectionist. I too never complete projects or find that I am researching and researching and researching until my eyes have glazed over & I’m so hyper-focused on something that I don’t even know what I’m reading or doing anymore. All of this used to drive me mad. A few things that have helped me.
    1)stop getting ready to get ready (& just do it). An old boss told me that once.
    2) I have finally accepted that finding joy in something new & wanting to learn about & do everything is just who I am so why try & deny it, the more I settle into it, the less hectic I feel.
    3) Create more than I consume.
    4) Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted….I think Bob Dylan said that not me haha
    5) Reflection. When I am in the moment, I am there. When I sit back later that day & give thanks, that’s when I really find that I’m able to meditate on the small things that happened if that makes sense.

    • Dear Brittney,
      Wow. So much truth in all you said here! Especially #2, I am constantly trying new things, learning about new things.. Sometimes I put things down as quickly as I picked them up and move on to the next thing. I’m glad to know I’m not alone! And that there is joy to be experienced in that process as well. That is a new perspective you’ve given me.

      Thank you so much for your advice and insight!!

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