Five Ways to Simplify Your Life

 In Jason Bunger

Years ago I made a decision that I was going to live simply.  I basically came to this decision out of necessity.  I looked around and noticed that I could only do a few things well.  I noticed that I did not have an unlimited supply of time, money, emotional energy and leadership influence.  However, we are living in a world that is getting more complex by the day.  So in order to remain simple and steady, I have dedicated myself five principles that that helped me remain simple.

  1. Win the Morning

What happens in the first few moments of the day effects every thing else in the day.  I came to a couple conclusions about early mornings.  First of all, mornings are the only time of the day that I can really focus and not be interrupted by events and others.  The solitude of 5:00 a.m. is not available at 5:00 p.m.  Spiritual and physically disciples that are not done early in the day, will likely not get done at all.  Secondly, the decisions that we make in the first few moments of the day involving prayer, attitude, diet, and priorities will set the tone for the entire day.  I have determined that if I can start the day with a series of small “wins” it gives me momentum for the rest of the day.  Also, it is really hard to recover from a bad start in the morning.

  1. Write Down Your Goals

I encourage you regularly (yearly, weekly, daily) to write down your goals.  Professor Robert S. Rubin of Saint Louis University) is one of many people who write about SMART goals. He uses SMART as an acronym that meaning that goals should be:

  • Specific (What exactly am I going to do?)
  • Measurable (How will I know I have done it?)
  • Achievable (Can I realistically do this?)
  • Relevant (Is this goal actually meaningful? Will it make a difference?)
  • Time bound (What is my deadline?)

 3. Spend Your Time with People that Give You Life

There are people in your life that give you joy and excitement.  They “charge your batteries” when you are around them.  An hour with them can give you enough laughter for a week.

There are other people with whom you will never have a positive conversation.  They will frustrate, discourage and depress you.  I have also come to the conclusion that these people not happy unless you are miserable.  Do not feel guilty limiting your time with these people.  They need to spend their time around other people who are already miserable.  A person has the right to choose to be miserable, but they do not have the right to make that choice for you.

Recently, I read “Simplify” by Bill Hybels.  According to Hybels, we owe it to the people in our life to be our best.  One way we become our best is spend our time around people that give us life.  This means, that it is our responsibility to those we love, to spend time around people that we love to be around.  The best thing you can do for the people you love is to make time in your schedule for the people you love today.

  1. Eliminate Distractions

The Internet, social media, cable news and all forms of video gaming are simply distractions from what and who is really important.  Put down the screen, enjoy the people in your life and chase after what you want.  Quit allowing media to highjack your time and emotions.  You don’t have to attend every argument you have been invited to attend.

  1. Be In The Moment

I cannot overstate enough how much of life we are missing by simply not being present with those in our midst.  Talk to the person at the table instead of texting on your phone.  Look at the person’s name tag and call her by her name.  Ask someone how they are feeling.  Then, tell them you will pray for them.  Simply be present with the people you are present with at the time.

These things may sound overly simple. But the secret to change is not found in being complicated, but rather in being consistent.


Photo credit: Jeannette Manger
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