The first week of August was “Simplify Your Life Week,” which, ironically, is an often daunting task for Baby Boomers who have spent a lifetime organizing, planning, working and scheduling. Did you miss it? We did too; indicating it is time to simplify.
Fortunately, celebrating this week (in any week) can have a positive impact on the rest of your year, and perhaps set into motion a whole new – simpler – way of living for a lifetime!
According to Leo Babauta, author of “The Power of Less,” a simple life doesn’t mean cutting out things that are important to you. Rather, living simply is a way to enhance and enrich your life by eliminating the distractions so only the important things remain.
“It means getting rid of many of the things you do so you can spend time with people you love and do the things you love. It means getting rid of the clutter so you are left with only that which gives you value,” Babauta says.
For those who want a very simple way to simplify, Babauta has a two-step checklist:
Identify what’s most important to you.
Eliminate everything else.
For those who want more step-by-step direction to create a lifestyle that is both abundant and enjoyable, the following is a little more detailed, but still simple:
Determine the top four or five things that are most important to you and write them down. Use the list to evaluate all other commitments, tasks, even “things” that come into your life, and only keep those that enhance your life without taking away from your Top Five.
Learn to say “no.” Sara Fisher, certified professional organizer and owner of A Simple Space, reminds her clients regularly that, “No is a complete sentence.”
Try a media fast. With the plethora of delivery systems available – TV, radio, internet, magazines & newspapers, junk mail, smart phones – it’s easy to get bogged down with “information overload.” Go on a “media diet” and try to limit exposure after your “fast” is over.
Simplify your wardrobe. A cramped closet isn’t just daunting to look at, it can make more work when you have to iron clothes that have been wedged into an overstuffed space. Pare down to those items you wear regularly, keep one or two seasonal special-occasion outfits, and donate the rest.
Slow down. Eat slowly, drive slowly, breathe slowly. Doing so allows you to “be present,” Babauta says, and helps you appreciate what you’re doing with less stress.
Downsizing. Babauta recommends considering a smaller car, a smaller home and evaluating what is truly “enough.”
Finally, Babauta suggests, “Always ask: ‘Will this simplify my life?’ – If the answer is no, reconsider.”
Each Windsong active retirement community was designed with Boomers in mind, with home designs that maximize accessibility, minimize hassles and provide opportunities for homeowners to simplify, enrich and enjoy their lives. Attractive floor plans, low-maintenance exteriors, accessibility and natural light abound, as do neighbors with similar life-stage experience.
We’re the experts at simplifying your life, which is why we say at Windsong, Life’s a Breeze!