2015 was a crazy, but wonderful, year. I had some lows, but all in all, I feel pretty grateful for the highs. We welcomed our sweet new baby girl, Wren, and I could not be happier that she is here. With each new year I am always making promises to myself: eat (much) less, drink less coffee, try to find balance, etc. But this year I am making a promise to myself to live more simply.
This year I am launching my personal portfolio site for my writing work. Instead of trying to do everything, I am going to time manage better. Here are 9 ways I am simplifying my life. I hope they help you as well! Happy New Year!
1. Time Manage: This year I am trying something new. I am going to blog Monday, Wednesday and Friday in order to make time for client work on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Because I have been blogging every day for the past two years, it makes it tough for me to fit in time for family and clients. Starting TODAY I will be here M/W/F!
2. Try Not to Feel Guilty About Saying “No”: Last year I learned a lot about saying no to projects and to anything that I didn’t feel as though I had the time to fit in. At first it was great! I can say no to things I don’t want to do? Fabulous! However, I started to feel an enormous amount of guilt. Feeling guilty is the worst! This year I am going to work on not feeling bad about saying no. I feel worse when I commit and then can’t follow through, so being honest and saying I can’t is much easier.
3. Let go of FOMO: The fear of missing out…UGH! With three little ones, I have been missing out on all the fun the past month. I am going to work hard on not letting it get to me. In turn, I think I will be more present and tuned in for the opportunities that I can participate in.
4. Let Go: I wouldn’t say I am a control freak, BUT I have been blogging for so long (five years this March!) that it is hard to let go of control. Moving from blogging here every day to three days a week was a tough decision for me, but I know it will pay off. I also have two employees who are doing a fabulous job, and that even allowed me to take two months off. Handing over projects that bog me down was the first step in the right direction and has made me more productive.
5. Get Rid of Junk: Junk mail that is! Over the holidays I went through my email to get rid of junk. I get over 500 emails a day, and it was totally ridiculous. I unsubscribed to all shopping sites (sorry!) as well as sites that I don’t visit any more. Today I am taking the time to unsubscribe to blog sites and add the RSS to my inbox instead. This way I can read my favorite blogs when I have time. Having an uncluttered inbox is the best way to start simplifying in the new year.
6. Use iCal: I am the queen of iCal, but this tip is for anyone is who not using it. Setting up your calendar is so key to living simply. I used to have a personal, work and family calendar. Now I have everything in iCal, which you can color coordinate (blue for Luke, green for travel, peach for blogging etc) and everything is at my fingertips. I couldn’t live without it!
7. Take a Technology Time Out: I took a three day “tech time out” over break, and I didn’t even think about it! It was nice to unplug and be more present. I use my phone and computer to tune in at night, but once I made an effort not to, I realized how much I look at my phone during the day. I put my phone on vibrate and only looked at it when the family was out and about (in case of an emergency). We are all so connected all the time, it can be stressful. Take a few days off!
8. Go Outside: New England is SO cold in the winter, and I feel like I hardly ever get outside, especially with a new baby. However, I just read that all you need is 15 minutes outside to get your daily vitamin D. I am committing to 15 minutes every day to breathe in the fresh air. Being outside gives clarity to your life, and it’s a great way to connect and live more simply.
9. Keep Your To-Do List Simple: I am starting a bullet journal this year for the first time in hopes of making my to-do lists simple. I have a VERY LONG to-do list, and when I can’t get to everything on it, I start to feel stressed. Bullet journaling helps you get more done and takes away the guilt when you can’t get to a task that day. Check out the video to see exactly how it works.
I hope you enjoyed these tips, and I would love to know what you do to simplify. Comment below or visit Facebook and let me know there!