7 simple living tips for the new year

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Are you ready to make changes in the new year? If life has become complicated, exhausting and overwhelming, consider these simple living tips for a calmer, less stressful new year.

A smiling woman wearing gardening gloves in a field.
Photo credit: Depositphotos.

Although the reasons behind searching for a simpler lifestyle are many, the goal is the same: a meaningful way to find balance, peace, and fulfillment in this increasingly busy world. A significant life event such as birth, death, marriage or career shift may prompt you to seek a simpler lifestyle beyond just doing less. 

You want to find ways to make more room for the things that matter most to you. Simplifying your life involves:

  • Finding joy in simplicity.
  • Reducing stress.
  • Focusing on the essentials to create a life that reflects your interests, values and priorities.

What can you do to make your life simpler? Use some or all of these seven simple living tips to help create the life you want in the new year.

Pursue a simple life

Living life simply requires a conscious effort to reduce physical and mental clutter and focus on quality over quantity in all aspects of life. Yet this means different things to different people. 

For some, it might involve cutting back on possessions or commitments. Other people might simplify their lives by introducing a daily ritual for seeking quiet moments of reflection and connection.

Declutter possessions room by room

Decluttering is often the first step towards embracing a simpler life. It’s more than just a cleaning spree; it’s an exercise in identifying the possessions that genuinely add value to your life. 

For example, you might find decorative items in your living room that collect dust or that halter dress pattern that you’d forgotten about. Choosing a few cherished pieces makes the space more inviting and less cluttered. 

Clearing out unused kitchen gadgets can make cooking more enjoyable and your workspace less chaotic. Using decluttering tips to clear your home room by room can positively impact your mental well-being, making your home a sanctuary of peace and simplicity. 

Cut back on commitments

In the efforts to lead fulfilling lives, sometimes people over-commit. To simplify, start by evaluating your commitments.

Ask yourself which activities align with your values and bring you joy. For instance, if gardening is therapeutic, keep it in your routine.

However, if attending weekly community meetings has become more of a chore than a pleasure, it might be time to step back. This conscious choice of commitments allows for a simpler and richer life in experiences that truly matter.

“We recently moved to Maine, where single-use plastic bags are banned. Therefore, we had to get in the habit of bringing reusable bags when we shop. I never realized how much all those extra plastic bags from shopping added to clutter and stress until we didn’t have them anymore. Even if I move to another place, I don’t think I will give up my habit of bringing my own bag.”

— Leah Ingram, Southern Maine on the Cheap

Journal to uncover personal priorities and goals

A woman writing in a notebook with a pen.
Photo credit: Depositphotos.

Journaling is a powerful tool for self-discovery. It can help you articulate your goals, reflect on your life and make decisions that align with your true self.

For example, writing about your day can reveal patterns in what brings you joy or causes stress. This understanding can guide you to make changes that simplify your life.

Journaling about your dreams and aspirations can help you focus on what’s truly important. Writing in a journal helps to set the stage for a life aligned with your deepest values.

Embrace home cooking

Home cooking is a delightful way to simplify your life. It allows you to control what you eat and connect with creating nourishing meals.

For instance, preparing a simple vegetable stir-fry from scratch ensures you’re eating healthy. It brings the satisfaction of creating something with your hands.

Engaging in simple cooking practices, like fermenting vegetables, can be a joyful and fulfilling hobby, connecting you more meaningfully to the food you eat. You can also use a free garden planner to create a kitchen garden to provide fresh veggies for your homemade meals.

Use AI and technology wisely

In today’s world, technology and AI can be incredible tools for simplifying life. ChatGPT, for example, can help you organize your thoughts, plan your week or even learn new hobbies.

Imagine using AI for weekly meal planning or learning the basics of knitting. These tools, when used wisely, can streamline routine tasks. Doing so may free up time to engage in activities that bring joy and simplicity to your life.

Spend money mindfully

Mindful spending is a key component of simple living. It’s about making intentional choices with your finances, focusing on buying necessary things or truly bringing you happiness.

For instance, consider whether it will add value to your life before buying the latest gadget. Instead, look at essential kitchen tools that stand the test of time. This approach simplifies your financial life and fosters a more thoughtful, sustainable and intentional lifestyle.

Create a relaxation routine

A woman is meditating on a yoga mat in front of a window.
Photo credit: Depositphotos.

Incorporating a relaxation routine into your daily life is essential for simple living. Relaxation could be as simple as setting aside time each day for a cup of tea in silence, practicing yoga or reading a book.

These moments of relaxation are vital for unwinding and reconnecting with yourself. A relaxation routine may help to reduce stress and enhance overall well-being.

Adopt some or all of these seven simple living tips to take the first steps toward a more balanced and fulfilling life. Remember, the essence of simple living lies in slowing down, finding beauty and joy in the ordinary and making conscious choices that align with your values and life goals. As you look towards a new year, weave these practices into your routine and watch as your life becomes more relaxed and peaceful.

Sarita Harbour is a homeschooling, homesteading mom and a long-time business and finance writer. She created An Off Grid Life to help people become more self-reliant. Sarita and her family live off the grid in Canada’s Northwest Territories.

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