How to Simplify Your Life & Live Intentionally


How to Simplify Your Life | It’s no secret that we live in a world that loves to consume. Almost everything around you is somehow communicating that you need to be more, get more, or buy more.

This may or may not come as a surprise, but that’s not healthy. Not only does it reinforce a toxic view of yourself, but that life of accumulation? It will never be enough.

The practice of simplifying your life, sometimes called “intentional living” or “minimalism” , turns this narrative entirely on its head. It calls out the idea that you need more to be happy, and encourages a life and heart that are content with less.

Simplifying your life doesn’t mean you have to sell everything you own and live like a hermit — intentional living is creating a life of purpose that’s authentically built around your priorities.

simplify your life | intentional living

You know — The “just-in-case” clothes you never wear. TV shows you bingewatch but don’t care about. Even relationships that have become unhealthy, meaningless, and are purely for the sake of convenience. Not all of these things are inherently bad, but life is short, and time is your most precious asset. All of these items are time-consuming, energy-sucking, and may need to be reassessed.

Why Simplify Your Life?

Living simply will help you create a life you love by

  • Reducing stress
  • Giving you more time
  • Leaving you more emotional energy to focus on things you want to
  • Reminding you what matters

A purposeful life is something that’s extremely important to me — it fuels my work, writing, and any blog content. I talk a lot on my blog about intentional living and what it means to be a person of purpose. If intentional living is something you’re ready to pursue, sign up here for my email list.

Choosing intentional living is the best thing you’ll ever do. It looks different for everyone, because really, it just means creating the life that you want, based around what your priorities are. To start this process, the first thing you’ll need to do is simplify what matters.

How to Simplify Your Life

Simplify What Matters

This step is massively important, because it will determine how all the rest play out. In order to create a life you love, you need to figure out what exactly it is that you love.

To identify exactly what matters the most, start by asking yourself these questions:

  • What are my life goals?
  • How do I define success?
  • What relationships do I value most, and why?
  • Where do I want to see myself in 5 years — and what do I need to do to get there?
  • What relationships do I value least, and why?

You don’t need to have a road map for the rest of your life, but figuring out the general areas that you value, that you want to pursue, will allow you to make informed decisions about how to work in that direction. These aren’t just moral values, though that should be taken into consideration.

If one of your life goals is to launch a business, then part of simplifying your time might be to add a space to take businesses classes, listen to podcasts, or meet with a mentor. Simplifying your finances might include setting aside a portion of your income every month towards future business expenses & launch costs.

Simplify Your Stuff

Choosing to simplify what I own has been a huge undertaking for me in this last year. Last winter, I read the book The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, by John Mark Comer, which I cannot recommend enough, and it opened my eyes to intentional living entirely. I realized just how much of what I owned, spent money on, and used my time for were things that not only didn’t matter, but didn’t line up with my own moral compass.

Simplifying your stuff means getting rid of all the clothes you can’t wear, the kitchen tools you LITERALLY never use, even old gifts that you didn’t want. The junk drawer. The closet where everything piles up. Get rid of the stuff you don’t need, and give yourself both physical and mental space for new beginnings and priorities.

Creating a capsule wardrobe is a great way to simplify your wardrobe, saving you time, money, and energy. Make sure to check back soon for a blog post all about how to do just that.

Simplify Your Time

We all have the same 24 hours in a day. How are you spending yours?

On average, let’s say 8 of those hours go to sleeping. Another 8 to a job (at least 5 days a week). Now, another 2 for meals, one for hygiene & showering/getting ready, and you have roughly five free hours in a day. This is, of course, a rough estimate, but it’s worth considering — how do you spend those 5 hours? What do you do with your time when you’re not obligated to be somewhere?

I’ll be honest — I spend way too much time watching TV. After a long day of work, I desperately want to turn my brain off and just unwind without having to think, process, or feel the stress of the day.

But I’m also trying to build a successful business. I’m running a blog, I’m a freelance writer, and I have big plans for where I want it to take me. If that’s going to be a reality, I need to use some of that 5 hours to pour into those goals.

More importantly, my faith & relationship with God comes first. If I don’t take the time to read my Bible every day, spend time in prayer, and connect with the Lord, I don’t want to waste my time watching TV.

I’m also in a committed relationship that’s very important to me. Not only do I love spending time with my boyfriend, but it’s a priority — whether it’s date night, meal prep, or just hanging out, that’s going to sit very high on my list of must-dos every week.

Friendships, volunteering, and special events will all take a seat in those spaces as well. If this feels overwhelming, take a breath! We’re looking at this from a 30,000 foot view point, not a “do-it-all-in-one-day” mindset. The goal here is to determine what you’re spending time on that you should probably let go of.

Simplify Your Money

Breaking down your finances is a topic I could go on and on about (stay tuned on the blog, and I will). Budgeting intentionally, spending wisely, and investing in yourself & things that are important to you are all ways to simplify your money.

There’s a principle — Biblical, actually — that if you look at where you spend your money, it’ll show you exactly what you value. Go through your last credit card statement. Aside from basic — truly basic — necessities, where does your money go?

Do you need to buy new clothes every season? Try every new restaurant as it opens?

If the things that you value most are being trendy or being a foodie, maybe that’s an appropriate response. That’s not even meant as a criticism, to simplify your life is to tailor it to your own values. What you decided in the first section of this blog post, your values, are those accurately reflected in how you spend your money?

Intentional living, simplifying your life, and choosing to create one you’re proud of are goals to chase after, run with and pursue wholeheartedly. I hate to be the one to tell you this, but it’s unlikely that most things will “just work out on their own”. The universe doesn’t owe you anything, and just wanting something doesn’t make it happen.

Work for it. Strive to be better, not because you’re not good enough now, but because you’re capable of more. You’ve totally got this.

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