This year, Aug. 13-17, is National Simply Your Life week. According to the website, nationaltoday.com, “National Simplify Your Life Week” is observed yearly during the first week of August. Though its origins are unknown, it is abundantly clear that the week is for decluttering and simplifying one’s life, which involves getting rid of physical and psychological clutter that may hinder one from living a “peaceful and stress-free life.”
What do you need to declutter? What is it that would help you live a more stress-free life? Where in your life do you need more peace? There are so many possibilities.
Physical clutter can get in the way of living your best life. Some people find it difficult to concentrate and think clearly when their physical spaces are cluttered. Is there anything like that in your life? The usual suspects are closets, drawers, cupboards, attics and garages. What do you have taking up space in your home that doesn’t belong there anymore?
Last year, I was in Marci Shimoff’s Your Year of Miracles program, and we were challenged to get rid of 20 items a day for the month of March. We could throw them away, donate them or gift them to someone else. I was unable to complete this challenge because I traveled that month, but it’s something I plan to revisit soon.
Do you have too many things? That can be a nod to consumerism or sentimentality. Sometimes, you might be looking to fill a void in your life with objects, and other times, you keep things beyond the time you would normally because they came from someone you care about. Are there things like that cluttering your spaces?
Let’s not forget the car. If you have one, are there things you have in it that could be gifted, donated or thrown away?
Another area that might need your attention is your electronics—computer files, pictures on your phone, unread email or free eBooks you’ll never read. Decluttering your electronics may take some time and effort, but you will be so happy you did.
If physical decluttering is what you need to do, then don’t try to tackle it all at once. Give yourself 15 minutes to an hour each day to conquer something. Keep at it until all areas have been cleared, and by then, it will likely time to start over.
Psychological decluttering can be a little more challenging, requiring vigilance on your part. Here are some examples of things for you to consider:
- Bad habits (addiction, things that rob you of your time without giving much back in return, the way you spend your time) – Your bad habits may be the absence of an opposite good habit. Perhaps you spend too much time at work and have been neglecting your family, you are too sedentary when you want to be more active, or you spend money without thinking about how you will pay for it when the credit card bills come.
- Limiting beliefs – Is your mind cluttered with limiting beliefs that tell you that you aren’t worthy or deserving of anything better, and even sometimes what you already have? This is clutter you can rid yourself of by rewriting the narrative with some positive affirmations about your value and worth.
- Negativity – If your mind is cluttered with negativity, you aren’t the only one. It’s pretty much the human condition. Humans are hardwired for negativity for survival purposes. But hopefully, you don’t find yourself in life-and-death situations very often, so reprogramming your mind for some positivity would be helpful. This can be done with gratitude and mindfulness, among other techniques.
- Stereotypes – When our minds are full of stereotypes, they shrink the world we live in. Again, this is somewhat natural that humans take in so many information bits in a day, they have to find shortcuts. This is adaptive when developing shortcuts for daily activities or systems at work, but when we develop stereotypes to shortcut getting to know people because of some external trait or characteristic, we condemn ourselves to live in a comfort zone that we have narrowly constructed. The remedy? Stick a big toe, then a foot, and one day, your whole self out of your comfort zone and spend some time with someone who is different from you with the goal of getting to know and understand them better.
- Responsibilities – Do you take on so many responsibilities that there is never any time for the things you want? Do you constantly do for others and never get around to yourself? Some people have a lot of responsibilities they didn’t ask for. Others seem to fill their life up with responsibilities of their choosing. You may be doing something you think you have to do, but upon closer inspection, you realize you are taking responsibility that belongs to someone else. When this happens, you need to evaluate whether you want to continue doing it or place it at the feet of the one who should be taking it on.
These are just some ideas to simplify your life in 2023. If you’d like help with any of the things on the list, book a 20-minute, complimentary coaching strategy session with me here. I promise there will be no hard sales techniques used. You won’t be sorry you did.