This month I’m embracing simplicity. It feels a little anti-climactic to discuss it given I already started posting about the theme, but I suppose that means I can keep at least one section of this post relatively short.
After the chaos of traveling and the holiday season, I’m really want to get back to the basics. While I figured de-cluttering and organizing would be a big focus this month (although truth be told I’ve already gotten a pretty good start on that), I also wanted to find new ways to bring simplicity to my life. A few blogs and articles offered insights, but I ended up using items from this article that I felt were most appropriate for me.
I’m already finding it difficult to keep in mind that I’m more concerned with the process and intention than having a final result or “success.” Despite that struggle, though, I think I’ve managed to create a relatively comprehensive (but not too overwhelming) list of action plans for January.
Purging: As if it weren’t evident from my post last week, I’ve been on a major purging kick. While the list could probably go on and on, I decided there are three general areas I want to de-clutter and organize, though some tasks (like my computer files…) may take more than 31 days:
1. Electronics (email, computer files, book lists and facebook)
2. Around the home (primarily my closet, kitchen and spare room)
3. My work office
Shopping: I’ve noticed when it comes to groceries and household products, I tend to be an over-buyer. I somehow justify that I’ll probably need a particular product in the near future, so I may as well get it while I’m thinking about it. But that leads to more (and potentially wasteful, particularly when it comes to fruits and vegetables) stuff around my apartment and probably fewer dollars in my checking account. No bueno. The same holds true for clothes. I don’t need a new scarf or sweater. Unfortunately that doesn’t always prevent me from adding to a closet that I’m already trying to de-clutter. This month I’m going to be deliberate in what I’m purchasing. Each week I’ll figure out what meals I want to make for the week and actually stick to it (which seems to be my main problem). I’m also going to set a limit on how much I can spend on other items, whether it’s clothing or household items, because the bottom line is I don’t need more stuff when I’m trying to purge what I’ve got.
Single-Tasking: I’ve talked about this before, but I’m really bad with multi-tasking. And by bad, I mean that I do it all the time. As I write this post, I have seven (!!) tabs on my internet browser and five programs running (some with multiple documents…). Yikes. And it undoubtedly leads to feeling distracted and overwhelmed. It’s a wonder I ever get anything accomplished. Taking advice from the list, I’m going to streamline my processes and make an effort to single-task (which isn’t even in my vocabulary). It won’t happen overnight, but that’s the beauty of how I’m approaching my resolutions. I think being more cognizant of when I’m multi-tasking will help me scale back and turn my attention to one specific task.
Simple drinking: Most of you know my plight with Diet Coke. Particularly when I travel, there are fewer things more refreshing than a fountain pop – especially when you can add flavor shots. I gave up pop for an entire year as a new year’s resolution, and while I don’t want to go to quite to that extreme again, I also recognize it’s not something I need. Since I’m more of an abstainer than moderator, this month I’m going to go back to basics and just stick with water, milk, tea and coffee. (I’d thought about incorporating simply eating as well, but that’s addressed through another theme later this year).
One Sentence Journal: One of the most popular suggestions I found for how to live simply is appreciating what you already have. While I thought that implementing this daily task might be the opposite of simplicity, I think the ends justify the means, so to speak. I’m hoping it will help me embrace where I’m at in life and take pleasure in the small joys — like recognizing that I don’t need new stuff. (Plus with Lindsay doing it as well, I can definitely be held more accountable.)
I’m hoping this combination of goals and my health resolutions can get me back on track this month. Armed with motivation and a list posted on my fridge (which makes it sound a little intense, but it’s actually just a good reminder), I’m ready to take on January.