One element of living simply is to move forward with intention and awareness. By taking time to analyze why you’re doing what you’re doing, you feel much more connected to your life purpose. Just like Plato said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Now, I still think life is worth living, but I think in order to look back over our lives with a sense of fulfillment, we must take time to analyze what we are doing and why. We need to take a look at how we are spending our time, the state of our relationships, and just get a sense of if our lives are going in a direction we are proud of. Here are some questions if you’re starting to simplify your life.
1) What am I hoping to gain from living more simply?
Is there a picture you have in your mind about what simplicity might bring into your life? Is there a part of you that is making a choice because you are running from problems? This question is aimed to help you think about what it is you want to gain by living more simply. The idea here is to write out something less specific and more broad, “like a life that is filled with purpose.” The next question gets more into the specifics of simple living that draw you in!
2) As I’ve read from different simplicity book, I’ve been keeping a list of common aspects people are drawn to in their simplicity journey. What elements stand out to you from the list below?
Balanced Work Schedule
Letting go of mainstream culture
Connection to nature
More free time
Cooking more from scratch
Eating more healthy
Attention to overall wellness (physically, mentally, emotionally, relationally, spiritually)
More time for sleep
Less clutter (again, emotionally and physically)
Use of public transportation (for those who live near cities)
Awareness of values
Would you add any to this list?
3) How are you with the skill of saying “no”?
Those who simplify are often called to practice the art of saying “no.” No to more stuff, no to more social engagements, no to lives that no longer fit. Think about how you are with the word “no.” By saying "no" we are telling ourselves that we are important. It’s great to think about the needs of others, but not to the degree that you are constantly neglecting yourself. Self-neglect and criticism can quickly lead to depression. What’s the balance you have of tending to yourself and also being aware of other’s needs?
4) What’s most important to you in life? How is the way you’re living (spending your time) in line with that value?
This question invites you to pause to see what your top values in life are. Is your day to day life a resemblance of that? Sometimes we live with "someday syndrome"...pushing off things that really are important to us. We need to be patient for things in life...all good things take time...but what I'm saying is have you at least taken a small step to make your life be in line with those things that are most important to you?
These questions are just a kick-start to your simple living process! Simple living is not about cutting back on things that bring fulfillment because of a price tag. It means cutting back on things that really don’t fit with your values and saying “yes” to more of what does. It’s a path to connect more with the aspects of your life that are most important to you. Happy rooting!