18 Ways to Simplify Your Life in 2018
1) Write Down Your Priorities For The Year. Focus all of your energy on those items. If something comes up that doesn't align with your goal(s), then just say no. Simple as that.
2) Simplify your morning routine. See if you can get it down to 10 minutes or less. Know how long it takes you to get your makeup and clothes on, grab some hard-boiled eggs for the drive to work, and have your lunch packed the night before. Makes such a huge difference in the busy mornings.
3) Decide what you're going to wear the night before. Related to #2 above - laying out your outfit for the next day is SUCH a timesaver. No more trying on 10 things in a hurried rush and feeling frantic as you race out the door first thing. Leaving the house calmly and on-time is the key to having a good day, I'm convinced.
4) Keep a roll of quarters in your car. This is such a lifesaver when you find yourself at a parking meter and you simply reach for the roll of coins rather than having to panic and search under your seat cushions for that random quarter you swear you dropped the other day.
5) Ask for "no gifts" at your child's next birthday party. I have done this for both of my kids since they were born. They each have everything they need (and then some), and do not need 30 new toys at every birthday. In a never-ending quest to reduce the clutter in my home we have instilled a no-gift policy, which I write on the party invitations. We believe that the guests' presence is gift enough and just want friends to help us celebrate the happy occasion without the added pressure of finding/bringing a gift.
6) Stop the glorification of "busy". This is a big one and something we've started implementing since having our second child. There is just no way you can go to every birthday party, Sunday brunch, after-work happy hour, etc when you have jobs and kids. Say no to 50% of the things you're invited to and watch your schedule free itself of the endless obligations.
7) Organize your purse/wallet. I don't know why but this always makes me feel like a new woman. Take everything out of your purse/wallet, throw away old receipts, cut up cards you no longer use and dump the heavy change into a jar you keep in your house. I keep a few makeup items and hand wipes in a zippered pouch, my electronics in another pouch (earbuds, chargers, phones, etc) and then my wallet and keys are just loose. This way if you transfer purses, all you have to do is transfer the pouches.
8) Stop the comparison game. This one is especially hard with social media displaying everyone's highlight reel. But in actuality, you never really know what someone else is really dealing with, so don't judge their life based on their Instagram feed.
9) Meal prep on Sundays. I use "meal prep" loosely as I don't prepare elaborate meals, rather we try to grill a bunch of chicken breasts, roast veggies and boil eggs for breakfast on Sundays so we have the basics of our meals ready for busy week days. This doesn't have to be fancy, and there are a million ways to meal prep, but for us, this works and helps us when we come in from work at 6:45 and need to get dinner on the table rather quickly.
10) Clear Out The Clutter. Clutter holds us back mentally and physically. Set aside some time on a weekend to go through just one problem area in your house. Start with the area that bugs you the most. Maybe it's your kitchen, your family room, your mudroom, etc. Start there and you'll be surprised at how quickly it becomes addicting to get rid of the stuff. Make space so you can live, breathe and relax when you are home. I'll be posting more on this topic because I feel so strongly about reducing clutter!
11) Use it Up, Wear It Out. This is one of my life mantras, you could say. One of my favorite ways to reduce clutter is to be purposeful about using up the items we already have in our possession. My husband is famous for opening another jar of pasta sauce when we have a half-full jar in the fridge already, and it drives me NUTS. Use everything up completely before buying or opening another and you'll be amazed at how much less cluttered your home becomes.
12) Unsubscribe. To the millions of promotional emails, newsletters, magazines you never read, etc. It will greatly reduce the mental and physical clutter.
13) Know Where Your Money is Going. This one is hard. Really hard. I would much rather live in an ignorant, blissful world where no one knew or cared what I spent, but my darling husband insists we track every cent and know where it's going and what it's doing for us. We've been doing this for a few years now and I have to admit it is very helpful to us for family financial planning purposes. At the end of every month he sits down, opens all of our online banking accounts, and looks at every dollar that's come in and out, so we always know what we're spending in each category (utilities, groceries, entertainment, etc). At the beginning of the year we set financial savings goals and at the end of the year we assess where we are and how we did. This is scary initially but I highly recommend getting your financials in order if you haven't already!
14) Consolidate Debt or Better Yet, Pay It Off. Taking care of debt is so important in the quest to live a simpler life. If you have debt on multiple cards/accounts, consider opening an interest free credit card, transferring all of your balances to that card and work towards paying that card off monthly. Eliminating debt can be such a huge weight off your shoulders and does wonders for your emotional and mental peace of mind.
15) Go 24 Hours Without Spending Money. This one is harder than it sounds, but serves as a great way to increase mindfulness related to spending. How often do we whip out our wallet to buy something we don't need? That morning latte, that overpriced salad at lunch (guilty!), or that knickknack? Try to go one day without spending a dime and see how you do. It's tough!
16) Detox from Technology. Who else lays down on the couch after a long day and before you know it you've spent an hour mindlessly scrolling through Instagram? Hopefully it's not just me. This year one of my goals is to spend that time in a more productive manner, like reading actual books, exercising/stretching or goal setting.
17) Identify Your Most Important Relationships. At a certain point in your adult life, you start to realize who your true friends are. Your ride-or-die compadres. These may be old friends or new friends, but all that matters is that you make an effort to keep them close. It may be weeks (or even years) between visits, but when you see each other it's like no time has passed. When you're so busy with work and kids and life it's hard to make the time for friends, but at the end of the day, these are the people who have been there with you through it all....who know what you're going through and and these are the ones you must work to keep in your life.
18) Give Back. Volunteer in your community, at your child's school, at the local shelter...anywhere you can make a difference. One of my goals for 2018 is to get Everly involved in volunteerism so she is introduced to the concept at an early age. Spending time helping those that may be less fortunate is the easiest way to see that what you have is enough.
What are the ways you hope to get organized for 2018?