Reset Roundup: Healthy Habits For Simple Living

It's the start of a new year and one of my goals from my 2022 Inspiration Board was to live simply. Within the past year or so I have been wanting to simplify my life and be intentional about my priorities. Contrary to the popularity of materialism, I think simplicity is more valuable and, frankly, more sustainable. As Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV) says, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth...but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven...For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also".

In my quest to simplify my life, I have begun slowly implementing new practices into my routines that have made it easier to start making permanent changes in my habits. It is a work in process that I look forward to continuing as, I hope, I will grow an appreciation for my time and resources and the way that I utilize them.

Here are some changes that I have implemented in my life to foster simple living and "reset" my habits:
  1. Declutter – One of the most helpful habits that I have done so far is decluttering. Everything from clothing to makeup products that I haven't used in a while has helped me in lessening the number of unnecessary items that I own. This also goes for digital decluttering too. Going through contacts, emails, files, and apps and deleting those that I don't need is good to do every once in a while. Even unsubscribing from pesky marketing emails lessen the daily overflow of my email inbox.
  2. Organize – After decluttering, I like to make sure that the things that I have kept are organized and easy to access. For example, organizing my clothes by style, creating folders and tags in emails and my desktop, and labeling drawers or jars with what goes where even makes it easier to know where new things go in the future.
  3. Plan – I like planning a lot. It's fun to work the "puzzle" of life and plan when or what things will happen (with chances it may not play out the way it was planned, obviously). I do think that loose planning can be beneficial, though. For example, planning out meals for the week, outfits for the next day, schedules for work and play, etc. can help with time management and maximize the available time to use. Daily and weekly to-do lists are one of my favorite ways that I implement this habit.
  4. Implement Routines – I have always liked the idea of routines but never really put my mind to sticking to them regularly. However, recently I have grown to like them more and have begun to implement them in my daily plans. For example, I have a morning and night routine that consists of reading and doing a few tasks that help to get my day started and slow it down (read: time with Jesus). Other routines that I have found helpful are assigning certain tasks to certain days. Weekends are when I do laundry and other things around the house and Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are the days that I try to get a workout in. I also try to set a consistent alarm every day no matter what I have planned. Whether it's something big or small, daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly, routines set the pace of how much I get done in a day and help me set aside the time to ensure that those things do, in fact, get done.
  5. Create Boundaries – This is a big one that I am still learning and at first glance, it can sound like a negative thing. The boundaries that I have in mind include turning off screens at certain times of the day, utilizing do not disturb, setting a day of Sabbath rest, removing distractions, and limiting the number of plans or obligations you agree to do in order to not get overwhelmed. Of course, serving others is the ultimate goal in life no matter if doing so "threatens" a boundary. Overall, I believe there are healthy boundaries and unhealthy ones. The trick is to choose the right ones.
  6. Get In Community – Loneliness is a threat to our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. God even said in Genesis 2:18 that "it is not good for man to be alone". There are definite advantages to being in a community with others for many reasons. If we isolate ourselves from others and don't have a solid group of individuals that we can serve, go to for advice and encouragement, and get accountability from, we are missing out on a lot that life has to offer. 
  7. Be Intentional – This habit can apply to anything and everything. Some specifics that I was thinking about include being intentional about what goes in and around you, listening better, and pouring into others' lives. Being intentional about what goes in and around you means "setting your mind on things above" (Colossians 3:2), thinking about "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable" (Philippians 4:8), and "not being conformed to this world, but being transformed by the renewal of your mind" (Romans 12:2). Practically speaking this can mean changing what you listen to, read, watch, and conversate about to things that are good. Listening better is pretty straightforward but it does require an inward attitude of putting my own thoughts, distractions, and feelings aside to give full attention to those I'm listening to. Along with that one, pouring into others' lives is about being others-focused and not self-focused.
  8. Give Yourself Grace – Whenever I have a goal in mind it can sometimes be tempting to feel down if it isn't reached. Even though I want to try my best at implementing these habits for simple living, it's also important to recognize that there is grace if it doesn't work out and that all of these "goals" are really futile in the grand scheme of things. There's nothing wrong with wanting to change habits but, in order to truly live simply, it's important to recognize that unless we start each new day with the goal of following Him, then there really is no point to it all anyway.

Do you aspire to live a simple life? What habits do you want to implement or change? ♥

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