Simple living to me is a way of living that focuses on simplicity with regards to everything you do, from how you design your homes to eating habits, fitness/workout routines to emotions and relationships with other people. Living simply looks different to everyone and depending on your own personal experience, values and views on life and what is important to you.
I’ve begun my journey to minimalism about 2.5 years ago, and it’s simply the best thing I’ve done in my life so far. I can’t tell you how much the minimalist mindset has simplified my wardrobe, my relationships and most importantly my mental bandwidth, and outlook on pretty much everything that happens to me in life.
I have come to realize that minimalism isn’t just about removing material belongings, but it’s also about prioritizing what is important in your life.
By the way, did you know that priority comes from a Latin word that means ‘first’? It’s first been used in the 14th century and existed in a singular form until the mid-20th century when the corporate world started to use it in plural form as ‘priorities’.
There’s no one size fits all when it comes to simple living. But here are the basic tips I’ve put together based on my personal experience.
Spend more time doing what you love
Adventures, hiking, going to festivals, learning about photography – are some of the things that make me feel happy and content. I’m at my happiest when I’m doing what I love and get in the flow. Everyone has something that ignites their soul. Find your ‘thing’ and do it often.
Simplify your fitness
Instead of spending lots of money on unused gym memberships, fitness gear etc. find the activity that you enjoy and stick to it. If you think you hate all exercise, try some different types of exercise that you’ve never tried before.
I just can’t stand running. I’ve pushed myself for months trying to get into it. All the runners are fit, aren’t they? But I quickly realized that my body absolutely hated it and it wasn’t going to work.
My fitness routine currently varies from week to week and is a mixture of swimming, walking, hiking, and bodyweight exercises.
Be present more
Being present and mindful – are the words flown around a lot. We are so guilty overthinking the future, or analyzing the past that we don’t give enough attention to the present day.
It’s a human nature perhaps – and you can’t always be present. Whether you get excited about the future or get sad thinking about the past – make sure you don’t get dragged down into rabbit hole of thoughts too much – pull yourself up and appreciate the present. You’re lucky to be alive and life is a wonderful thing!
Simplify your travel
Less is more when it comes to travel too. I used to be an over-planner. I used to plan the hell out of my travels. Spreadsheets of itineraries, packing lists, daily schedules and constant fear of something going wrong and not being able to see or do it all. I used to come back from my travels feeling exhausted rather than rejuvenated. The simple truth is that you’ll never be able to do it all – so why not just relax and do it slowly? Want to pack less? Think what is a must-have rather than what is nice-to-have. Planning less, and packing less – have changed my whole travel experience big time.
Declutter and downsize
One of my favourite quotes is ”The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t”
Decluttering for me is a regular process. It’s not only about material items that you own, but it’s also about my mind, commitments and relationships. Things change, people change and life pulls you in different directions all the time. It’s important to check-in with yourself every 3 months at least, and think about what is most important to you.
If you are wondering where and how to start decluttering, here’s a post I wrote on how to start decluttering your mind, time and home
Learn to budget and track monthly spending
If you know me, then you know that I love spreadsheets. Organizing, listing, ticking boxes – is in my DNA and I can’t help it. If there’s one area where my spreadsheet love comes handy, it’s monthly budget setting and expense tracking.
If you’re new to budgeting, you don’t need complicated spreadsheet whatsoever – simply start with 50/20/30 rule. This basic rule is to divide your net income by 50/20/30 – spending 50% on needs, 30% on wants and allocate 20% to savings.