When life goes rushing by faster and faster, it’s hard to keep up. When so much time is spent going, doing and just living, there isn’t much time to actually enjoy life.

Does this sound familiar?

The question is, how do you get yourself out of the daily routine of chaos? Simplify! Sounds easy, right?

The concept can be intimidating if you’re under the impression that simplifying means taking something away. However, the main principle of simplifying is actually adding quality to life. You can’t live simply unless you are doing things that you love and surrounding yourself with people you love.

“Simplify” is a word that’s likely at the top of many New Year’s resolutions lists. While it’s easier said than done, you can win the resolution war with four steps.

Decide

Begin by making up your mind to immediately start simplifying. You must decide that you are ready for life to slow down and that you are ready to make changes. Decide that you are ready to ease up and enjoy the ride of life each day.

Prioritize

One of the main goals of simple living is deciding what gives you joy and filling your life with as much of it as possible. In return, you will have to let go of those things that suck the joy from your life — the people, activities, habits and attitudes that drain you of energy. The only way to determine what things have to go is to prioritize your life.

This can be done by identifying your goals. While examining what brings joy and satisfaction to your life, spend some time examining your values also.

As you do, notice whether your current life is consistent with those values. If not, where have they been compromised and how might a less-complex life allow you to get back to those values?

Act

After defining your priorities, make changes in your behavior that allow you to achieve your desires. Life should reflect your new priorities and goals.

These changes may be minor, such as setting aside time each week to spend with your family; or they may be major changes, such as quitting your job or going back to school. Whatever you have decided to do with your life, make sure to act upon these changes.

In her book “Time Management from the Inside Out,” Julie Morgenstern shares a technique called “time mapping.” Just as you balance a checkbook to keep your finances in order, you can use time-mapping techniques to keep your life in order.

“Achieving balance means dividing your time into the right proportions for you,” she says.

Reflect

On www.missiontolearn.com, Jeff Cobb shares “Five Reasons why Daily Reflection is Important.”

“It helps you learn from and get past your mistakes, it helps you learn from and celebrate your successes, it helps you make connections and generate ideas, it helps you help others, it gives you perspective and helps you relax,” he says.

Take time each day or each week for yourself to reflect on your life and your priorities. And make sure to stay focused. Simple living takes time and energy. But by constantly reminding yourself of your priorities, you can achieve simplicity in your life.

Brittany Jones lives in Herriman, Utah, with her husband and three boys. On her blog, she enjoys sharing ideas about family life, organizing and decorating.

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