One thing that I have been very good at for the last few years is keeping the number of possessions I actually have to a minimum. Lately though I have been applying the ‘simple is better’ and the ‘less is more’ philosophy to some other areas of my life;
Every day I would receive hundreds of emails, pretty much all of them being marketing spam that I have signed up to at one point in my life but no longer seems relevant. Up until now however, I have just been deleting them, so they would come back week after week, month after month. Now I am actually subscribing to them all, takes up a bit more of my time initially but in the long run will prevent huge build-ups of useless emails when I decide no to look at my emails for a few days.
Much like my emails, my news feeds was full of the same people going on about the same things. Usually from pages I have liked, or from people I have met at networking meetings pushing their products and/or services. So I have been ‘un-liking’ lots of pages, and preventing them from displaying their updates on my news feed. This gives me a cleaner news feed, filled with the updates from the people who I really do want to know about.
I would consider myself quite a healthy eater, subscribing to the Paleo philosophy 80-90% of the time. The remaining 10-20% of the time I indulge in the luxuries! The Paleo approach to eating, in itself, is incredibly simple and very healthy; it is also called the Cavemen Diet. You basically eat meat, seafood, fresh fruit & vegetables, seeds, nuts, eggs; before eating it, ask yourself, ‘Could I have gotten this back in the days of cavemen?’. If the answer is no, or it was clearly produced in a factory, don’t eat it (or eat it in moderation). If it came off of a tree, out of the ground, or lived off the land, then it is probably healthy enough to eat. It is a great simple way to know what to eat and what not to eat, and to ensure that you are giving your body the best food possible.
I only work about 20 hours a week, out of choice, for a little over minimum wage so keeping control over the finances is crucial. I don’t really buy ‘things’ unless it is critical, or I can afford myself a luxury – I bought myself a new pillow the other day as a treat 🙂 And before that a new winter coat back in January! I would have to say that my two biggest expenses are food, and alcohol when I feel like a night on the town. By swaying away from the cultural norms of materialism and consumerism, I have more money to spend on having a good time which is much more important to me. I only replace clothes when completely necessary as well. I would much rather spend my money on having great experiences rather than having it deliver temporary happiness on a finite object.
I wouldn’t say that I was ever a huge tv watcher but I do find myself, if I am feeling a little bored, flicking the box on and mindlessly watching something. Recently though, I have made the concious decision to, instead of watching tv if I am bored, to spend the time reading. Or, if I absolutely must watch something, to watch a documentary, something educational and informative. I do like watching movies with friends so that won’t stop, it’s just the mindless, sit-in-front-of-the-box-and-stare that seems like a complete waste of life’s passing moments.
Simple changes but a profound impact…
These things are such small changes in how I live today that will have a huge impact on my life in the future. By making a conscious effort now to develop healthier, simpler and sustainable life habits, it frees up more time for me to do the things I enjoy and to enjoy the simple pleasures of life now and in the future.
I would love to hear about the ways that you have been simplifying your life and what those changes mean to you.