The lazy hazy days of summer are coming to an end and everyone is feeling the push into Fall. Here on the East coast we will still get some beautiful summer like days, but the crispness in the air can be felt edging us forward. Kids are back at school, work and clients all seem to be back from vacations now and ready to go, our clothes are changing and we may even be feeling like we want to eat differently. I have been thinking a lot about how I can add more time affluence into my life and stream –line a few things in my day, how to simplify my life.
Food and Nutrition
I know that I want to eat well. It has been enough of the “extras” all summer and it’s time to ditch the chips, the extra alcohol and sugary desserts. So what does this really mean to me? It means it is time to clear out my pantry of all those goodies that I just can’t resist when they are right in front of me! I am not a saint! It means eating more mindfully and paying attention to what I am actually ingesting. I know what to do and I am sure you do to. ( If not send me an email and we can discuss it further.) like to simplify by having the healthy foods around that I want to eat ie. Avocados, unsalted/unroasted nuts, grass fed beef, hormone free chicken, lot’s of green veggies, berries and drink lot’s of water. I also like to settle into a few easy recipes that I know how to make so it doesn’t take me long to prepare my home cooked meals. I like to visit the farmers market and get the bounty from the summer. I can either make a weeks worth of meal planning so I know what I want or need to buy or I will act like a Parisian and buy what I want on my way home from work. By spending a few moments planning I am actually simplifying the process.
I personally have been finding that less is more. I use to have a lot of different clothes in my closet but I always tended to wear the same things over and over again. There were certain things that I loved and would always gravitate towards them. Now I only keep in my closet what I love, is in good condition, I know the outfit around it already, and it is ready to go. It simplifies my life by knowing what goes with what and what fits. There are several books that can help with this de-cluttering of closets. Clear your clutter by Feng Shui by Karen Kingston can inspire anyone to get organized! Marie Kondo is also a bestseller in this department!
In Tal Ben Shahars book Happier he talks about making a Life Map. This Life Map takes a look at where and how you want to spend your time. How much time do you give to work, family, friends, exercise, hobbies, and so on. Tal would talk about how when he was single he loved his work and would work all the time. He than got married and wanted to spend time with his wife and than children. He also wanted to see his friends, go out with his wife, and get his exercise in. So he had to do a life map and see how he could make time for it all. He would love to go out with his wife every night but that wasn’t possible so they planned one night a week out. He made his choices accordingly and gave up those things that were time wasters for him. By doing a Life Map you can see where you want to spend your time and how. It will simplify and manage your time so you can choose where you want to spend it and with whom.
Do you exercise because you have to or you love what you do? In her book No Sweat, Michele Segar talks about choosing an activity that brings you pleasure when you exercise. If you see it as a gift you will be more likely to schedule time for it. Can you find things that you like to do with your family or friends like hiking or biking? Or do you prefer walking? Can you walk to work so you accomplish both? Are you better in the morning or evening? Can you take a break at lunch time? Choose 3 days a week and find something fun and active to do. Just do it. It helps your brain think clearer, your serotonin rises, and you become happier. Make it easy and doable and fun.
Your home is your sanctuary. Does it feel like that to you? Fall is a great time to throw out all broken items, items not used, gifts you never used, piles of magazines or newspapers, books you no longer want. Clear out and simplify your environment. Have the things you love around you and that bring you pleasure. Hold it up and say “Do I love you?” if not say “Thank you for being in my life but it is time for you to go now.” It is one way to make it easier to say good-bye to things that you no longer want. Once you have organized your home you will find that everything has a place. Spend some time priming your environment and putting things around you that give you positive boosters like photos of loved ones or quotes that inspire you for example.
Do Less Not More
Rather than filling up your calendar with every event imaginable learn to say no and give yourself some space and time. The idea of simplifying your life is to create a home that is easy to keep organized, a closet that has organized clothes that are easy to choose, exercise routine that works easily for you and gives you pleasure, and time to spend with the people that value you and make you feel happy. This is your life and the choice is yours.