I subscribe to a cyber newsletter called, "Get Organized Now", by Marcia Garcia. The following article was in my email box this morning. These tips fall under the "I wish I'd said that" category. I truly need to embrace these thoughts:
What would it be like if your life was simple, organized, and carefree?
1. Mind set: What does organized, simple, and carefree mean to you? After deciding to simplify your lifestyle, the next step is choosing the definition of the words. I looked up these terms in the dictionary and all of them have many different definitions. For example, simple means: easy to understand, not elaborate or artificial, not ornate or luxurious, unaffected, not complicated or complex, sincere, not sophisticated, naïve. Organized means: to form into a whole from parts, to systemize, to give organic structure, to combine into an organization, or to arrange into a desired pattern or structure. Carefree means: without anxiety or fear, requiring little care, free of worries and responsibilities. So what do these terms mean to you?
2. Identify your priorities, values, and goals, both long term and short term: Everyone feels differently about her life priorities. For many of us, it might be our jobs, possibly career advancements, our families and friends, good health, and community involvement, among others. So it is very important to determine what is most important to you. Keep in mind your personal values and also your goals for the future. Always think ahead and look at the big picture.
3. Evaluate how you spend your time: Do your priorities match up with your time? One way to check this out is to list your top 4 or 5 priorities and then take a schedule and map your time out for one week. Is there any overlap between the schedule and your list? If not, it might be time to re-evaluating your time and determine whether some of the things you are doing are really valuable.
4. Begin simplifying an area of your life: Start small and with one area of your life that will allow you more breathing room and space. Your wardrobe might need to be streamlined, you may have too many media distractions, or your kitchen or meal planning areas might need updating. Other areas include paperwork, bill paying, editing closets and drawers, or organizing a room or area within your house that particularly bothers you or takes up too much of your time.
5. Create a personal sanctuary: Everyone needs a space of her own in which to relax and refresh. It could be a room or even a corner of a room that is your own personal escape. It might be a big comfy chair for reading or even the bathtub for soaking in a nice bubble bath. It should be an area to which you can retreat. Family and friends should respect your right to privacy allow you to enjoy time by yourself. Make sure you love it and that it is comfortable--big comfy pillows and throws, pictures and paintings, plant life, and some candles.
6. Live simply, be frugal and maybe even become a minimalist: It simply comes down to the rule 'don't let your stuff own you.' How much stuff does one family or one person need or use? Do you have too much stuff? Do your life, mind, and space feel cluttered? Are you living outside your means because you buy too much? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, re- evaluate all the stuff cluttering your life that is preventing you from living a simple life.
7. Live healthy: Remember to take care of your body, since you only get one in a lifetime. Make time for the necessities of life - exercise, healthy food, plenty of rest, and water. If you follow these 4 simple guidelines, you might be surprised at how much better you feel and how much your health may improve.
8. Find your inner peace: Living simply is not just about your personal space but also about your mindset and your heart. Live honestly, help others, and be the person you truly want to be. Allow yourself to live life to the fullest. This might mean taking a hard look at yourself and your life. Are you the person you want to be or have things gotten out of control? Find your control and be the person you want to be.
9. Find something you love and do it: Everyone needs to find a creative outlet and something she enjoys doing and at which she can succeed. There is a wide variety of choices that can be made, including gardening, painting, sculpture, and writing, flower arranging, knitting, or sewing - among others.
Regardless of your definitions of living simply, carefree, and organized, there are always ways you to improve. Remember - it is not instantaneous and will take time, but it is possible for everyone.