A wonderful article on voluntary simplicity by our newest guest contributor, Tess Pennington, who will be Doctor Prepper’s special guest Wednesday night at 8PM CDT on the Doctor Prepper show. For more information about our radio shows and to subscribe to our podcasts, visit http://bepreparedradio.com.
There are times in your life when you realize that things are not as they should be. A vital component is missing in your day to day life, but you are unsure what it is. There is so much chaos and clutter spinning around you that nothing seems to make sense the way it used to.
You realize that the lifestyle to which you’ve become so accustomed is a necessary evil, a constant struggle between the life you want to achieve and the life you have to give up right now to achieve it. But you don’t have to live your life dreaming of what it could be – you can stop spinning and start simplifying right now!
It starts with a willingness to change and the willingness to realize that you need to get back to basics and focus on the things that matter most, not at hopefully achieving those things at some time in the future, but right now.
Shifting Your Direction
Those who live a stress filled life tend to be very familiar with the Three C’s: Chaos, Clutter and Confusion. It does not make for a happy existence. In fact, it drags you and your spirit down. In plain words, it’s toxic. In order to avoid this altogether, start making minor changes in your life to naturally shift your perspective. Peter Holy, founder of 123 Feel Better, calls them micro movements. The key to achieving your goals, according to 123 Feel Better, is to break your goals down into their smallest, most manageable parts. Where you may feel tired or overworked attempting to achieve a single, massive goal in one fell swoop, simplifying that goal into micro movements will seem like you’re hardly working.
Realizing that you want to take this journey towards simplicity requires some preemptive planning on your part. To begin this, you must find some time to reflect and think about what is important and how to enhance those priorities. For example, if family is a main priority, start scheduling a designated family time. The football game can wait. Or, if you have been putting off planning your off-grid home, sit down with the family and start planning what you want your homestead to incorporate. Nothing should interfere with those designated priorities. Here are some additional tips.
- Sit down and contemplate the priorities in your life. What matters most in your life? What can you live without?
- Set short and long term goals to get to your simplified destination.
- Break down each goal and create micro movements, or mini-goals, that will help you to achieve success
- Take actionand start integrating your micro movements into your daily life.
6 Practical Tips to Simplify Your Life
After shifting your direction toward simplifying your life, you will find that you only need a few things to really make you happy. Somehow in the middle of everything, you realize that whatever void you had in yourself before, filling it with superfluous products, services and habits often leaves you feeling just the opposite – unfulfilled.
Many are adopting this voluntary simplicity. In fact, trend researcher Gerald Celente has been quoted in saying that “between 5%-7% of adults are pursuing some type of voluntary simplicity.” It should be no surprise, then, that the percentage of those who are simplifying their lives are also the same percentage of individuals who are prepping. Preppers are already practicing living a more simplified lifestyle. Here are a few tips to help you begin your road to a simpler life:
- Simplify your finances - Having debt creates a lot of unwanted stress and uneasiness in your life. Start making steps to live within your means and start paying off any unnecessary debt. Do some research into what credit solutions seem right for you. There are websites available that can give tips on how to reduce debt. Creating a manageable budget can also be an invaluable tip to reducing credit and stress.
- Simplify your life- Get back to the basics and downsize your life. Start weeding out the areas in your life that cause you pain, suffering and confusion. Sometimes you have to weed out those toxic friends, stop hanging out late at night in order to get up early, learn to say “no” to people. Over-committing yourself can also cause a build up of chaos. Start prepping! Preparing for emergencies beforehand creates a safety cushion to fall back on in case an emergency arises. It eliminates the headache of gathering supplies in a high stress environment. There are plenty of sources to start your preparedness journey.
- De-clutter Your Home and Office – It’s easy to have those organized “catch all piles” laying in strategic places around the house. But the more clutter that piles up, the more disorganized things are in your life. Clutter brings an uneasiness to life. Make a short term goal to clear these piles out. If you are not using these items, then throw them away, give them away or sell these items in a garage sale.
- Simplify your health – Research has shown that stress takes it’s toll on a body. Those who live a stress free life are more inclined to live longer, be healthier and overall pleased with their life. So, start getting some fresh air every day. Additionally, cutting back on those greasy junk food items is another way to clean and detoxify your body.
- Rely on yourself – What a great concept! By relying on yourself, you will find freedom. This is the threshold to prepping. Once you realize that you can be self reliant, everything changes. Your goals change, your attitude changes, you change.
- Feed your spirit – This is often a highly overlooked area. If you do not feed your spirit on a regular basis, it will not grow. That is the missing component in most of our lives. We forget how important this is. Try and do something every week to be at one with your spirit. Some people meditate, some pray, some go to Nature to be in thought, some climb mountains – find what brings you peace and continue doing it. Because, without a spiritual foundation, we are lost.
The Time/Energy Yield
In the spin cycle we call life, we spend our time and energy on work and other distractions that keep us from doing what we need to thrive. Rather than spending our time on what’s important in life and sitting back in quiet thought, we have to entertain ourselves with thoughtless television programming, gossip websites or magazines, etc. It’s important to relax, but these activities will not relax you. They will only stimulate you into not moving or thinking. Your time/energy yield is not a positive reflection of what you are trying to accomplish. An example of good time/energy yield would be: rather than exchanging your time for excessive work at the office to generate more money to buy more food at the store; take that time, and rather than going to the office, spend that time building and developing a home vegetable garden. You will use your time and energy to not only fulfill your consumptive needs, but you will be feeding your spiritual, emotional and physical wellness needs at the same time.
It’s a new day where anything is possible. Simplifying your life will create more room for you to do what you need to be at peace. I’ve read stories of people who dreamed of living near the water. So, in order to save money, they sold their McMansion, their gas guzzler truck and bought a boat. They found a creative solution to their problem that ended up being the right decision not only for their stress load, but also for their spirit.
Making the realization to simplify does not mean that you are giving up your life in order to live a life of poverty. Quite the contrary, it means to getting rid of the non-essentials that cloud your life. By ridding yourself of these non-essentials, you begin to clear the distortion and haze, and begin concentrating on the important things in life. This sensible lifestyle creates a well balanced and harmonious living environment. Think of it, you are deliberately taking the reins and slowing down your life to actually give yourself the opportunity to look at the beauty and treasures surrounding you.