Five Essential Mindsets for Simplifying Life

There’s no doubt that life can be complicated and messy at times. We’re constantly reminded of how difficult it is to balance our careers, relationships, family, and other areas of our lives – especially with the way that technology has changed the way our work lives have gone. But there are ways to simplify things and live a happier and more fulfilled life! In this article you’ll find five essential mindsets that you need to make your life simpler.

When I first started exploring simple living, I felt overwhelmed by all the changes that I felt like I needed to make. “Out of control” clutter in my home and office, an overbooked, hectic schedule, and too much spending were cluttering up my life. I thought if I could make those changes, it would be a whole new, simpler world for me. That was my first mistake.

It can be tempting to believe that if your outer world is calm and organized, you will be more present and enjoy all the bliss-filled benefits of living a simplified life. Ultimately, you’ve got address your inner world by redefining how you measure success and what elements of life truly matter. Sure, if you declutter and organize your space, it’s nice but that’s just one part of the equation. The key to simplifying your life starts with changing your mindset. Once you change these essential mindsets, the changes will take place from the inside out and you’ll find things are much easier.

Having a simple life can be very rewarding. Try developing these five mindsets and you’ll see how your external reality starts to match your inner ideals.

Mindsets That Can Help You Simplify Your Life

The most important way to simplify your life is to develop self-confidence and clarity. This may sound easy, but how well do you really know your values and priorities?

Something as simple as living simply can make you happier. It starts by being intentional about what you want and saying “no” to things that don’t matter. Once you’re intentional, managing your time becomes much easier — which is at the heart of living a simpler life.

The Way I Live is Aligned with My Personal Priorities

It might be hard to turn down an invitation to dinner with friends when it’s your son’s birthday, but it doesn’t always come easy. What about a new job that requires extensive travel and time away from home? Or a bigger home with more space…and a bigger mortgage?

There’s no substitute for invaluable experience in business, so it’s never easy to make a choice. However, if you know what really matters to you, then you can have the confidence to follow your heart instead of following the herd.

Simple living means fewer possessions and less stress. This leads to more space in your home, drive, and mind.

If you’re struggling to define your priorities, I invite you to take a deep dive into what really matters in life and how to create a better future for yourself.

I’m not defined by what I own

Most of us know—in theory—that we are not limited by what we own. But can our actions, at times, contradict our vision?

I say this with compassion because I know firsthand how tough it can be. Sure, I’ve come a long way in the past few years but that doesn’t mean I have it all figured out yet. For example, there are times where I catch myself believing that owning certain clothes or books will make me a better human. Translation: I’m still working on it. Truth be told, we’re all still work in progress.

When I notice thoughts like these, I take a step back to remind myself of what really matters to me.

I try to be present and aware of the world around me. I don’t always listen to my inner voice, and I don’t always believe in myself in a way that is true, but this mindset is becoming more consistent as I practice it. The more I believe in what I am worth, the less susceptible I am to being defined by what I own and even less so by the things that I do.

My Focus, Energy, and Time Valuable

We might value our time in different ways. You could see your time as an unlimited commodity that you give without consideration, or you could respect its value and learn how to protect it.

If you want to find balance in life, you must make it a priority. More control over your time is more freedom, and the ability to live simply and on your own terms.

These are questions you can ask yourself to help determine if it’s time to value your time more:

I ask myself: “Is it okay to not set boundaries? Or am I too quick to sacrifice my time and energy?”

Do I often feel overwhelmed by my to-do list? Am I aware of how much time and money has been wasted as a result of meaningless activities?

I spend so much time on my physical possessions, caring for them and cleaning up after them. But are they really worth the time I’ve sacrificed?

The next time you’re thinking of sacrificing your time to do something, try writing a list of all the things you’d do if you had more time. Then the next time you’re tempted to short-change yourself, take a look at what you’re giving up.

By knowing the value of your time, you can better make decisions to protect it.

I Can Balance Intentions with Expectations

A mentor  taught me a powerful lesson: when you have children, your intentions and expectations will balance each other out.

Let’s say you’re using a bow. You want to aim for the bullseye, but in order to do that you close one eye, focus on the target, and aim your shot perfectly.

You are finally able to let go.

In archery, whenever you release the arrow and take your hand off the string, it will fly forward on its own. Unfortunately, no matter how good your aim or how skilled you may be, there’s always a chance of a gust of wind coming in and blowing the arrow off course.

No matter how much you plan and prepare in life, things often don’t go according to plan. You still aim for the target, but once you let go of what is outside your control, you release those expectations and don’t get disappointed.

Living simply requires effort and patience. If you want to live a life with intention, it’s important to know when to let go and allow things to happen. This is the ebb and flow that leads to simplicity on the inside.

Define How Much is Enough

Many people don’t have a clear idea of how to be “enough” (whatever that means) and this creates a complexity that keeps them from being simplicity.

People often find that they don’t have enough time or money to do what they want. It feels like there’s always something else to chase and as a result, life can never be simple or slow.

But most of the time “someday” never shows up. That new car doesn’t make any work easier, and once we’re done paying for it, we still feel tired after a long day. The only way to really improve your situation is by taking action.

Too often, the list of things-to-do just keep piling up. One more thing always turns into one more thing—in fact, it never ends.

You might feel like you’re stuck in a never-ending cycle of doing the same things over and over again, but the good news is that you have the power to break this cycle any time. This all begins as you cultivate a mindset of gratitude and “enoughness.”

Ask yourself questions like, “What do I need my _______ to do?”

How much do I really need to be happy?

Why do I think that if I don’t feel happy right now that ________ will do the trick?

What am I willing to sacrifice in order to find greater wealth? Can happiness be found without sacrificing what I already have?

Many people make the mistake of thinking they need more than they actually do. To simplify your life, it’s important to define what “enough” means for you and use that as a guide.

We are often so busy trying to chase after more, more, and even more success. But sometimes we need to remember that it’s the simple things in life that bring the most joy – not more stuff.

Want to begin living simply?

What mindsets have helped you with your simple living journey? And what mindsets are you still working on? Share in the comments!