You’ve been living in chaos and, frankly, you’ve had enough! You’ve decided that you want to start living a simple life; only you’re not sure how to go about it. So what now? How do you start turning the dream into reality?
Step one – Define your simple life
First up, you need to know what simple living means to you.
This first step is the fun part – grab a notebook and a pen, take yourself off somewhere quiet where you can relax and write down exactly how you want your simple life to look.
Here’s my personal interpretation of a simple life:
– completely free from consumer debt
– a home that is free of unnecessary clutter and where I can feel at peace
– time to do the things that make me happy
– respectful children who listen to me
Admittedly, that last one might be pushing it a little, but it’s worth a shot!
Once you know what you want, you’re ready to move on. You’re still in the planning stage at this point, so don’t go putting that notebook away just yet.
Step two – Break it down into actionable steps
Now you know what you want, it’s time to start figuring out how you’re gonna get there.
For each of the goals you wrote down in step one, you now need to plan out steps you can take to achieve them.
Here’s what my own definition of a simple life looks like now:
completely free from consumer debt
- stop using credit cards
- draw up a monthly budget
- track spending each day to see where we can reduce our outgoings
- take a shopping list and cash to the stores to avoid overspending
- list debts in order of amount owed
- pay off the smallest debt first (debt snowball technique)
- find ways to make more money to put towards debt repayments
- stop buying crap we don’t need
- put £250 away solely for GENUINE emergencies (new boots do not count, no matter how pretty they are!)
a home that is free of unnecessary clutter and where I can feel at peace
- go through each room and discard any items that we don’t need or love
- sell or donate as much as possible and put any money towards debt repayment
- draw up a realistic cleaning schedule
- clear out the attic
- add plants to each room
time to do the things that make me happy
- go through our weekly schedule
- cut out activities that aren’t either necessary or fun
- cut down on screen time (adults)
- set aside time each day for blogging
- set aside time each day for drawing
- schedule a family fun day each week
- plan a monthly date night and arrange a babysitter
- make time each day for meditation
respectful children that listen to me
- limit screen time
- limit and rotate age appropriate toys
- make time to play with the boys each day
- setup a paid chore system to help them learn the value of money
- set clear boundaries and use positive discipline when they are crossed
It doesn’t matter how many steps you jot down for each goal, but you need to be specific – the clearer the path to your new simple life, the more likely you are to follow it.
That’s pretty much it for the planning part. Now comes the hard bit – the follow through!
Step three – Take action
This step is pretty self-explanatory; you’ve already figured out what you need to do to get you where you want to be, now you need to pull up your big girl pants, lace up your ass-kicking boots and crack on with it.
Do not tackle everything at once; pick one or two small steps and work on those. Take on too much at the beginning and you are setting yourself up to fail. Start small, and build up gradually.
Now, it won’t all be sunshine and flowers. It won’t always be easy. There will most likely be times when all you want to do is curl up in bed and cry, and that’s ok. Take a day off and have fun with the kids, or find a babysitter and take a few hours to watch a movie/read a book/sob down the phone to an understanding friend. Then get right back on it, and push yourself closer to the simple life you deserve.
Hopefully, you now know what you want out of life, and you should have an action plan for how to get there.
Drop me a comment below and share your first steps on the journey towards a simpler life.