Simplify your Life
I want to share with you one very important “rule” which I apply on a very regular basis:
The “Simplify your Life” rule.
“Simplify Your Life” means in fact: organise your actions, assets and costs in such a way that you can finance and enjoy your desired life-style comfortably.
Every now and again I just sit down and reflect on the present situation. How am I doing on the “Simplify Your Life” rule?
How much time do I spend on things I do not want or need? Am I not spending too much money on unnecessary things? That magazine, I receive automatically every week, do I still like it? Is it necessary to take the car and could I not take the bike (to be honest, this is rather my husband thinking it and not me)? Do all my books in the cupboard still make me happy or could I make other people happier with them? That old bike in the garage, what else could I do with it?
“Simplify Your Live” is not about cutting costs.It is about becoming aware what does add value to your life and of course the costs of these actions and goods. The important thing is that you should feel good about these actions and assets. You may want to rethink your priorities every couple of months and take action.
- If the added value is too low compared to the costs, abandon.
- If the added value is there, but you cannot afford the costs, start thinking on how can you make this need affordable.
- If the value is there and the costs affordable, keep a status quo.
It sounds straightforward and logical, but it often is harder to do than you think. Take implementing this rule slowly and go for the “low hanging fruit” first.
At home I started for example by cancelling certain subscriptions to magazines, selling furniture sitting already for years in the basement and giving clothes and books away (de-clutter your house and you de-clutter your mind).
But you can take it one level further as well and apply it to decisions about organising your work, where you live and how your organise your social life. For instance, when we were still living in Brussels, I started concentrating my working hours over periods of three weeks instead of spreading them over four weeks, enabling me to spend one week per month in France. Later on we even decided to move to France altogether, simplifying that process even more.
Before making our latest big decision, moving back to Luxembourgand making our French home our holiday house, we were having multiple discussions again on the “Simplify Your Life” rule. Surely, keeping the house in France and adding a house in Luxembourg would increase costs and burdens. On the other hand, direct access to the type of work we like so much, improved interaction with professionals in our line of work and improvement of our social life in Luxembourg, Belgium and Netherlands, would become much simpler. To us, the added value of the move outweighed the obvious costs and seemed to increase the “simplicity” effect. So we decided to go for it.
Finding the balance, making choices and implementing the decision is where you have to be courageous. You may have to take risks making your decisions. Unless you are able to look into the future, some impacts of the decisions made, can only be discovered by implementing the decisions and living the consequences.
Key question each time is: Does the decision add value, does it make my life simpler and do I happily pay the price for it?
Let us know how you would “simplify your life”. What would be good for you to abandon as a burden? What kind of decisions have you taken to balance value and cost?