I have a tendency to over-complicate my life. Can you relate? Most often without realizing – but sometimes fully aware – I do things the hard way. Largely because I’m comfortable and familiar with the hard way. It’s my cozy friend.
I can do it without even thinking. And doing things better and more efficient requires me to slow down and learn something new. Meh!
And when you’re already feeling buried by your to-do list, slowing down isn’t an option. Right?
I thought so until I read John Maxwell’s book Today Matters. He shares many powerful lessons in this great book – too many to mention here – but a piece of wisdom he shared from his father stuck out for me the most.
His dad taught him the principle of pay now or pay later. The point is, we all have things we need to do. But how and when we do them is just as important as what we do.
We can choose to do tasks early when they’re easy and manageable, or later when they’ve piled up – becoming a burden. We all “pay later” once and a while and that’s fine. But when we live our lives day after day putting out fires and cleaning up messes – we’re not doing ourselves any favors.
For example, I can let dishes pile up on the counter over the course of the day and clean them up in the evening after they’ve become a mountain of dirty dishes. Causing me to dread the evening ritual.
Or here’s a bright idea… I can take care of them as they’re used throughout the day!
Then my evenings become a stress-free time to do more important things like reading a great story to my kids before bed.
Thankfully, I’ve learned over time that change is good and necessary for growth. I just needed to finally make the decision to invest time in making my life easier and learning how to create a lifestyle of paying now.
Here’s a simple list to get you started, so you can rock out the rest of your life with ease!
51 easy ways to make your life simpler
Get up at least 15 minutes (or more) before your family wakes up. Enjoy the quiet before the day starts.
Do something that scares you – frequently.
Make yourself a warm drink in the morning just for you. And sip it slowly.
Keep a notepad by your bedside and before you go to sleep write down all the stuff that’s trying to keep you awake. Take care of it in the morning.
Write in a journal every day. Even if it’s just a paragraph.
Exercise daily. Whatever that is for you – it’s something!
Let the kids make a mess.
Teach your kids to clean up their mess when they’re done.
Don’t compare your family or life with anyone else’s.
Learn the art of going with the flow.
Order your groceries online for store pickup. Better yet, have your groceries shipped to your home if you can.
Live with the belief you were created for a purpose. Because you were!
Plan your meals at least one week in advance. Cook them all on a weekend day if possible.
Give all age-appropriate children chores. Only leave chores for yourself that they can’t do.
Get comfortable with telling people no.
Live in the moment and don’t be distracted when spending time with your kids and/or spouse.
Read at least 5 pages of a good book per day.
Exercise outdoors whenever possible. A good walk is plenty.
Allow yourself to daydream. It’s good for you.
Watch one less show on TV.
Set and follow a discipline system in your home for your kids. And don’t waver!
Make sure trash always goes straight into the trashcan and never on the counters.
Keep a recycling container in your kitchen instead of allowing recyclables to pile up on counters or on the floor.
Sweep your floors every day.
Hug and kiss your kids and spouse every day.
Stop caring about what other people think of you.
Call a friend and just talk for no reason.
Love yourself – flaws and all.
Give away or throw out beauty products that don’t work for you.
Practice forgiveness regardless of the offense.
Donate clothes that don’t fit or are outdated.
Write out a vision for where you still desire to go in your life.
Take a break once and a while.
Let your kids be bored. It’s good for them.
Make double batches of your dinners and freeze the 2nd batch for busy weeknights.
Take power naps for 15 minutes when you’re feeling sluggish.
Instill a love of reading in your home. Visit the library often.
Grab a glass of water and a piece of fruit instead of another cup of coffee.
Don’t buy unnecessary things like clothing on credit. Pay cash instead.
Give yourself permission to be imperfect.
Allow and encourage your children to be self-sufficient.
Have eye to eye contact with each of your kids daily.
Laugh often and cry when you need to.
Don’t beat yourself up when you have to let the TV entertain your kids once and a while.
Teach your children that disrespect is non-negotiable in your home.
Wipe your kitchen counters clean after every meal and before bed.
Do something you’re passionate about at least an hour a day.
Make simple goal setting a lifestyle.
Be grateful for what you do have and what is working.
Please leave a comment below and share your ideas for living a simpler life. Don’t keep those goodies to yourself!