"Our life is frittered away by detail...simplify, simplify."
~ Henry David Thoreau
It is no secret that I am a goal driven person. I like to set goals, I like to make plans, and I like to take a look back and see what I have accomplished. I feel that many of us in our current society have this same mindset. It seems to be the norm.
Lately, I have started to take a long, hard look at my life and my lifestyle, and I have come to the conclusion that there needs to be some changes. I have been caught up in the fast pace of our lives. I have become so engrossed in the busyness of life that I feel I have forgotten that I need to live the life, not just rush through it.
With this realization, I have set my intentions on becoming a person who makes the most out of each moment in my life. I have set my intention to truly experience life – as it happens, not as a reflection upon something that has happened that I just let fly by. I intend to enjoy the experience and live each moment in appreciation.
With these intentions comes a rather large challenge. We all have so much going on in our lives. Work, school, family and friends, our commitments to others, our passions, and our interests all demand time and effort from us. To be able to maintain our lives we end up having to rush from one thing to the next with little or no time to enjoy what is actually happening. When we are doing one thing, our mind is already on the next on the interminable list. I have found that I need to simplify.
I have tried to simplify my life on many past occasions, but I haven’t found an approach that works with any consistency. I usually end up making radical changes to my life that prove to be so disruptive that I don’t stick with them. Even when I am successful at simplifying, I soon allow something new to occupy the space I have freed.
This has prompted me to try something new. I am going to challenge myself to taking steps in a new approach, and I am going to make the challenge long enough that, if I stick it out, will help make the changes I will make into a habit.
I am describing my challenge to you in hopes that you, too, might take this challenge up.
My 30 Day Challenge:
The challenge consists of 2 parts.
I will make a list of all of my activities and commitments (to myself or to others) – an ever-growing list in my case. Having created the list, I will make one more commitment – unless it is absolutely necessary, I will not add anything to the list for the next 30 days.
Beginning with a list of all of my activities and commitments (to myself or to others) – an ever-growing list in my case – I will choose:
- One item that no longer serves me, and
- One item which I can complete in a very short period of time (with my current resources)
- One item that is of great importance to me
Having chosen these 3 items, I will do the following:
I will completely remove the item that no longer serves me. If it is a commitment to somebody else and it does not serve me, then I will talk to the person, explain the situation, and let them know that I will not be keeping the commitment. If it is something that only affects me, then I will give myself permission to let it go.
I will complete the item that I can get done quickly. I will make the time, now, to get it done and off my plate. Remember – do not replace this item.
I will take the time and effort that is freed up by this mild simplification and I will divide it into two equal parts.
The first part I will dedicate to exploring and enjoying the process of working on the item, chosen from my list in the simplification part, that is of great importance to me.
The second part I will dedicate to allowing myself to enjoy and truly experience all of my activities and commitments. This will give me an opportunity to slow these down slightly and get more from them.
I will keep things at this level for 30 days. At that time, I can evaluate how I feel about the process and reflect on how my life has changed by just taking these two simple steps. I may well decide to continue the process with another round…and another…and another… I may also find that this process doesn’t suit me, and so I will just move on. But I do commit to this for the next 30 days.
That’s it. It is a very simple process. I have always said that simple does not mean easy, and I expect to find this a very challenging process. Not adding anything to my list of commitments or activities for 30 days will be the most difficult part for me.
I hope that some of you will take this challenge up alongside me. I will be doing a check-in 30 days from today to let you know how the process went for me – and there will be opportunity for you to let us know how you did as well.
Do you think I’m crazy? Are you crazy enough to try this along with me? Leave a comment and let the community know if you plan to join in. We’re listening.