intentional living, Lifestyle

15 More Ways to Simplify Your Life for the New Year

It’s the start of a new year, which commonly stands for a fresh start. And one of the best & sure fire ways to see change is to simplify life. And from personal experience, I’ve discovered simplifying can be done in a multitude of categories. Last year, I shared 15 Ways to Simplify Your Life & it received so much praise that I wanted to share 15 more ways for this new year.

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Here are 15 More Ways to Simplify Your Life in 2023

1. Create a Vision Board

I find vision boards & collages to be a creative & visual representation of my goals & aspirations. It takes me back to the days where I would spend hours cutting out magazines & making collages that I would hang on my bedroom door or closet. Back then, it was usually photos of the Jonas Brothers or Zac Efron, but I digress. Whether it’s digitally on Pinterest or done the old fashion way, I think vision boards are a fun way to really ask yourself what you want to accomplish or strive for & the new year is one of the perfect times to do that.

2. Downsize Your Digital Footprint

We tend to focus on the physical clutter when we are simplifying our lives & tend to neglect our digital space. In the new year, look through your social media platforms & let go of the ones you aren’t using or ones that aren’t benefiting you. Go through your followers & mute or unfollow those who aren’t inspiring you or are providing a negative pool. I also recommend cleaning up your devices, desktops, files, photos etc to make space for new memories & projects in 2023. If you are looking for specific decluttering tips in the digital space, click here to read 15 Ways To Downsize Your Digital Space.

3. Let Go of Clothing You Don’t Love or Use

I love closet declutters! As we know by the countless blog posts I have about said topic like 30 Items You Don’t Need in Your Wardrobe I find it so refreshing to let go of clothing that doesn’t fit, is worn out, or has simply met it’s expiration date. Make space for new items, a fresh style & one that works with your lifestyle in the present moment.

4. Prioritize Relationships That Lift You Up

Life is too short to place your time & energy on people who don’t deserve it. Focus on the ones who lift you up, encourage & help you grow into the person you wish to be. When we waste time on those who bring us down, we are only hurting ourselves.

5. Let Go Of Habits You No Longer Want to Entertain

Every time I think about this point, I picture people rushing for that gym membership on January 1st. And then by March, they are back to their usual routines. My biggest suggestion with letting go of old habits & striving for new ones, is to be realistic. Take baby steps if possible in the direction you want to be in. Habits are better formed this way then going full force all at once. Whether it’s adding a few healthier options on the grocery list or carving out a few hours in your day being active – these small changes will keep the enjoyment alive.

6. Say No More Often

I talked about this concept in my 11 Things I Intentionally Say No To blog post & I’m reiterating this fact because saying no is so powerful. I used to be quite the people pleaser & thought I had to accept every invitation or request that was presented to me. News flash, saying yes to everything simply causes intense burn out. So, in the new year say no more often & put your self care & rest time above certain things. Pleasing people won’t give you more friends, it only hurts yourself.

7. Learn to Gift More Practically

Living a simple life means not allowing excess clutter to enter your home or someone else’s. I’ve learned to gift & shop more practically by choosing clutter free alternatives. During the holidays, I shared 50 Clutter Free Gift Ideas that can inspire any gift related holiday in the future. I’ve learned gifting practically saves you money & allows you to shop smarter.

8. Shop Smarter

When we feed into consumerism & trends of society, we tend to over shop which can become detrimental to our bank accounts. By living a more minimalist life, I’ve learned I can live without so many things society tells us we should have. I prioritize the essentials & even find cheaper & more efficient alternatives. Not to mention when we shop smarter, we are helping the environment as well [ especially if it’s sustainable alternatives]. Check out this blog post on sustainable alternatives & plastic free swaps here.

9. Slow Down Your Routines

Society makes us feel like we need to be busy all the time. We need to be doing more & productively become faster. This is not the case. It’s actually more productive when we slow down some & take our time. Allow ourselves those breaks so burn out doesn’t fester. One of my favorite things to do is have slow mornings on the weekend or whenever I can. I’ll make a warm beverage & just sit in silence for a few minutes before my day really starts. Instead of rushing through our tasks, we should learn to savor them.

10. Stop Keeping Up With The Trends

You don’t need the new Ugg ultra minis or flair leggings. You don’t need to the newest iPhone if yours is still working great. Only buy trends if you genuinely love it. Otherwise, you are wasting your money on items that will go out of style in a few months or you’ll just get tired of. Stick with classics & buy items that make you happy & fit your style. If certain trends do that for you, great!

11. Lessen Your Screen Time

Downsizing my social media & intentionally choosing other activities other than looking at my phone or laptop screen has helped me stay grounded & relax more often. As a blogger, it’s tough because I’m always in front of my laptop typing away. But I try& schedule in time for reading a good book or spending quality time with family & my husband. Getting lost in good conversation is one of my favorite things & sometimes we can forget that act of connection when we are starring at our phones all the time.

12. Get Outdoors

I want to take more walks in the new year & get outdoors more often. I love going on hikes or just walking through the neighborhood. It’s so healthy to get that fresh air & vitamin d. And I think it’s something we tend to forget. In the dark winters especially, I find short walks to be so relaxing & help me get through the season depression that tends to creep in when it gets darker earlier.

13. Focus on Experiences

Focusing on experiences over material items opens yourself up to making new memories, stepping outside your comfort zone & evolving as a person. I love spending money on experiences & trips over new clothing or makeup now a days. In my honeymoon blog post to Maui, I talked about how the best money to spend in with traveling. And it’s so true. When you let go of the notion to add more clutter into your home & instead venture out and see the world, you are expanding your horizons & getting a taste of what else is out there. And you aren’t creating physical baggage for yourself that will weigh you down.

14. Downsize Your Products

I love simple routines for the efficiency & the quickness. As someone who has rather sensitive skin, I rarely like to experiment with new products & have an array of items to choose from. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” stands true with my lifestyle & my wallet also has thanked me. The concept of decision fatigue can really wear at us & so when we have less to choose from, it becomes easier for us to then focus on the parts of life that matter even more.

15. Live in the Moment

A habit I’m trying to enforce more in the new year is being more present & living in the moment. I think we all tend to live in the mindset of “what’s next?” when we really need to be focusing on the “right now.” How many times do you find yourself scrolling your phone mindlessly instead of engaging in heartfelt conversation? All of a sudden the voices around you sound like the adults in the Peanut specials & you missed every word someone said. Not only is that rude, but you are doing yourself a disservice of escaping from the present moment. Stop rushing your life & worrying about the future so hard. It’s good to plan & have goals, but I think we tend to forget that our future is based on what we do in the present.

How do you plan to simplify your life this year?

-B

Self Growth

Why Rebranding Doesn’t Stop At Your Blog: How To Reinvent Yourself

I’ve gone through personal “rebrands” throughout my life – from switching what sport I was playing, to becoming a dancer in high school [ with no prior dance experience ]. I would change my clothing styles or hair color & hope those small tweaks would lead to a new life for myself. And as I’m in my 30’s now, that rebranding or reinventing myself hasn’t stop & I’ve been itchy for a change. The rebranding process is so crucial in the blogging world & sometimes makes the biggest difference in stats & popularity. It got me thinking, the same results could happen if I continued this with my personal life.

For me personally – going through an extreme loss this past year has changed me a lot. In a grief standpoint, it is quite normal & I’ve spent some time focusing on my healing process & being extra kind to myself. Although they say you don’t want the trauma to change you a ton – I’m actually really happy with the person I am today, regardless that the heartbreak of a loved one passing [ my dad ] was the cause. I’ve became quite the reader these days, I am trying to balance a more realistic lifestyle when it comes to living with intention & I’ve gained a much needed backbone.

If you are also looking to reinvent yourself in some shape or form, here’s where you should start:

Determine Your Why

Why are you looking to make a change in your life? Are you striving for better routines? Are you wanting to cut a bad habit out? Or are you just wanting to help yourself reach specific goals? Determining your why will initiate this game plan for your life. For me, my interest in a rebrand was looking in my closet, & not liking anything I had in my wardrobe. Since the pandemic, I became lazy when it comes to my style & now – I’m looking to rediscover that love for fashion & beauty. And then from there, I wanted to make some personality changes without losing the essence of who I am. I can honestly say, I’m the most sure of myself than I have ever been.

Change Up Your Habits

Are there certain lifestyle habits that are holding you back? For me, I am striving to be the healthiest version of myself, so four months ago, I decided to venture into living an alcohol free life. And ever since than, I’ve been able to take back control of my personality. If you are interested, I can definitely go more in depth on why I choose to live an alcohol free life going into my 30’s. Another habit I’m striving to break is spending far too much time starring at a phone screen. To replace that time & energy, I’ve been spending more time reading actual books which in term, helps me relax & maintain a more calm presence.

Create a Morning / Evening Routine

Morning & evening routines are so popular these days – usually filled with aesthetic concepts. But there is truth in having routines & how they can help ground us. Now, I tend to think of routines in a more simpler way. For instance, setting your morning alarm for a set time, making some form of beverage [ my favorite being chai tea lattes ] & in the evenings – setting aside time to read. Slowing down & creating these rituals can really transform how you take on the busier ends of the week. If you are interested, I can go more in depth on my morning / evening routines lately.

Appearance Can Make a Difference

As superficial as it sounds, changing up your outer appearance can actually make you change internally as well. I’ve been looking through my fall wardrobe & have decided I want to expand my style & add a few new pieces. At the moment, I’m loving neutral shades with mixes of textures. As much as I love athleisure wear, I’ve also fell into a rut where I want to dress much cuter.

Determine Your Goals

These can be short term or more long term goals – but I love planning out goals for myself [ especially with the new year approaching ]. Whether it’s wanting to start a family, adding a pet into the mix or looking to purchase a new home – it’s fun & inspiring to brainstorm on our lives. I think sometimes we tend to just go with the flow & let time pass us by, when there is always something to strive for. Even if it’s a small goal of waking up a little earlier during the week, or trying out a new workout class. Not only do goals make us feel accomplished, but it also allows us to romanticize our lives again.

-B

Minimalism

10 Minimalist Habits That Will Change Your Life

Minimalism is a mindset that can transform your life. Believe me, I know first hand. Although it is common to focus on the visible clutter & how those spaces can cloud our minds & judgments; what if I told you minimalism is far more than this? Minimalism is an intentional lifestyle. And with the simple shift in perspective & daily habits, you too can head down the road to simple & simplistic living. Here are 10 Minimalist Habits That Will Change Your Life:

Don’t Scroll Your Phone First Thing

In the morning, it was habitual of me to roll over on my side, reach over to my nightstand, unplug my phone from its charger & scroll socials for hours before I even got out of bed. Recently, I’ve turned a new leaf & decided to store my phone on my dresser which is a good walking distance away from where I sleep. This way, when my alarm goes off, I have no choice but to get out of bed & turn it off. In the past, I’ve talked about how decluttering your digital space is essential in staying productive. But this also goes with the amount of time we spend on these devices. By limiting my screen time in the morning, I start my day with a clearer mind. Another suggestion is to not scroll your phone right when you get up. As soon as you turn your alarm off, put the home down & continue your typical morning tasks. Go downstairs & drink some coffee in silence. Once you’ve been up for a while, then you can check your messages.

You May Also Like: Minimalism Guide: Digital Declutter

Slow Down

Slow living is what minimalists use to help them live more in the moment. Instead of being in a rush & almost forcefully adding too much on your plate, stop & take a moment to breathe. It’s called living for a reason. No matter what you may be doing, it is so important to truly be present & acknowledge what you are doing. This way, you can learn to better appreciate yourself & your routines. Most mornings, I enjoy slowly getting out of bed, making my way to the kitchen table & just be with my thoughts for a second with a glass of water in hand. Some of this has to do with the fact I am not a morning person whatsoever & I need time to mentally wake up. But this relaxing moment of just being & not rushing out the door or to exercise helps me stay grounded & stress free.

Prioritize Your Energy Wisely

Lately with blogging, I’ve had to prioritize my routine to what is actually working vs. what is a complete waste of energy. I felt like I was comfortable in such a sedentary lifestyle where I would spend hours on my laptop trying to create content that would hopefully boost my success rates. I realized some of the things I was doing showed no change in results. As I started to cut back in my tasks & prioritizing just a few, I began to develop more of a balance. This mindset can be used in all aspects of life whether it’s with friendships, work or even your free time.

You May Also Like: How To Be More of an Intentional Blogger

Don’t Rush Your To Do List

When it comes to making a list of daily tasks, I like to consider them things I’d like to do vs. things I have to do. Rewording it this way releases the pressure & stress of completing said tasks. And ever since I shifted my mindset, I am more inclined to finish the list no matter how long it may be. I noticed when I get myself stressed out over anything, it causes this self sabotage in my mind. The more overwhelmed I feel the less likely I’ll actually accomplish it. Another tactic I discovered with handling my to-do list is the 3 item to-do list method which is determining 3 of your most important tasks of the day & write those down. This will help you understand the power of priorities.

Move Your Body

Sitting on the couch, hunched over a laptop all day isn’t good. As a blogger, I need this sentence drilled in my mind. I’ve learned my creative juices need a break once in a while & a 30 minute or one hour workout won’t hurt me. It will actually benefit me in keeping a healthier lifestyle & clear my foggy writers block. Getting outdoors & breathing in the fresh air is an added bonus. I’ve been reminding myself to get out in nature even if it’s simply helping with yard work or just reading a book on our deck under an umbrella. That vitamin d has truly made a difference.

Practice Gratitude

Whether it’s a daily journal entry or a short statement in your head, practicing gratitude will help you see life in a different light. I truly believe when you start focusing on the good, the good things start flooding in. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t devalue other emotions other than happiness, but to develop a sense of grace & understanding of life’s situations. Even on your worst days, think of at least one thing you are appreciative of & you will notice yourself releasing such negativity & feeling much better.

Be More Present

One of my biggest pet peeves is when I’m having a conversation with someone & that person is faced down & glued to their phone screen. All you hear is the occasional “mhmm” or “ok”. Instead, truly engage with the person. Look them in the eye & add valuable rebuttals. Developing relationships & friendships are one of the main highlights to our lives. Put effort into the ones you want & let them know they matter to you by putting the phone down once in a while.

Focus on Quality Time

After a long day of work, my fiancé & I love carving out a few hours in the evening just for us. Whether it’s eating dinner together or watching a tv series or simply having an un- erupted conversation; having this quality time with each other is something we always look forward to. I think it’s easy for people to believe they don’t have time for certain “so called meaningless activities”. But I’m here to tell you these moments aren’t meaningless. They are what maintains your relationships & friendships.

Nightly Clean Ups

Before you go to bed, make sure all the dishes in the sink are cleaned off or put in the dishwasher. Meal prep & have it set for the week a head or the next morning. Make sure the living area is picked up & arranged in a tidy manner. Quickly wipe up any noticeable stains or crumbs on tables.This should not be a deep clean but simply a short reset for the next day. This way, you start your next day on a clean slate. Nothing bothers me more is waking up to a messy house. These nightly clean ups reduces this stress.

Create A Donate Bin

Decluttering can be quite the task if you do it in one sitting. Having a designated bin either in your closet or spare room can help you. Anytime you put on an outfit you end up hating or doesn’t fit, throw it in the bin. Did you find some decor or gadgets you no longer wish to use, put them in the bin as well. Once the bin is full, you can then send it on its way when you have the time. This allows you to continuously downsize your space on a regular basis.

By keeping these 10 habits in mind, you can slowly shift into a more simple & intentional lifestyle. Let me know in the comments other habits you do to make your routines more at ease.

-B