We’re all looking for ways to improve our lives and get more out of our time on this planet. That’s human nature. And while I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, I am big on figuring out ways to make my life easier and more efficient.
It’s always a good idea to take stock of where you are in life and the beginning of the year does feel like a natural time to evaluate our choices and determine if there are ways we can make our lives simpler.
Here are a few ideas that might work for you.
1. Cut Back on Your Child’s Extracurricular Activities
Running from one event to another adds stress to our already hectic lives. If your children are overcommitted and everyone in the family is struggling with it, by all means, consider cutting back.
2. Be on the Phone Less and With Your Family More
Our smartphones are crucial for our personal and professional lives. But when they take over our lives — that’s a problem. Put yourself on a smartphone schedule and try to manage the amount of time you’re dealing with the digital world each day. In exchange, spend some time in the real world with your spouse and kids. If need be, cut the cord on some of your social networks if they are sucking too much life from you.
3. Spend Less and Save More
Clearly, this is easier said than done. But the fact is, it can be done. Saving more money for retirement, a vacation, or a big purchase allows you to focus on a goal and work to attain it. Spending less money by cutting back on going out to eat or trimming your coffee addiction will reduce the stress you feel each month as you try to make ends meet.
4. Worry Less
This is another goal that’s easy to give lip service to but if you can exercise more, get more sleep, meditate, or focus on doing the things that make you happy, you’ll likely find that your life is more fulfilling and more simplified.
5. Tackle Doable Projects
We often get ourselves in trouble in life by taking on too much and when we can’t get it all done, we feel guilty and overwhelmed. If you try to take on manageable projects, one at a time, you’ll feel more satisfied when you accomplish them.
6. Eliminate Negative or Bothersome People
As you begin the year, take a look at the people in your life. Are they relentlessly negative and filling your days with negative thoughts, as well? If so, maybe you need to scale back the amount of time you spend with them. Obviously, the closer this person is to you, the harder it becomes. But even if the person is in your life a lot, you can discuss with them ways to eliminate their negative behavior and try to put more good vibes into the world.
7. Reduce Stressful Situations
There are many times in life when we knowingly venture into situations that we know are fraught with stress and potential land mines. Resolve this year to limit those experiences. For instance, don’t go out to run errands during the busiest times of the day, if waiting and impatience is a problem for you. If traffic stresses you out, find a simpler, less congested way home. Even if it takes you a little while longer, the lack of stress might outweigh the extra time. You can also find comfort in more peaceful pursuits — like giving back through volunteering or donating to worthy causes.