Our biggest goal is to do less – happiness through simplifying

Some people have a goal of making a 6 figure income, traveling around the world or buying the latest designer clothes or gadget.

Me? My goal is to have less, want less and do less.

It’s been a gradual move towards this kind of thinking for me and it often is waylaid by the dangerous past time of comparison olympics. It is also stalled occasionally by getting caught up in “shoulds” like “I should take my kids on more outings”.

But most of the time I am able to remind myself that more does not make me happy. In fact, more makes me stressed and disconnected. More means I have to work harder and more hours to pay for the thiFemale Small Business Owner and Homeschoolerngs that come with it!

More has this sneaky way of promising the new, the shiny, the better, the easier – but it rarely delivers. It is like a shonky car salesman who you walk away from feeling a bit dirty.

For me these days, It’s more likely that when I catch myself lusting after a friend’s new car with all its bells and whistles, I see the true costs it would be to me.

Sure I could take out more debt and experience that short amount of glee at my shiny new toy but I would have to spend more time away from my kids, my husband and my own self while I worked for the debt. Suddenly my old 4wd looks much more appealing even though I have to pump the accelerator before starting it every time to get it going.

2017 is all about quality over quantity, you may notice that I blog less but I intend to blog about what I am passionate about. I am on fewer social media platforms both professionally and personally. But when I am there I am not just mindlessly scrolling and clicking the like button, I am connecting and commenting and reading things of value.

It’s no coincidence that 2017 is also our first year of officially homeschooling (still waiting on that registration letter Department of Education but take your time!).

This week I was with my kids at the swimming pool, we had dipped our toes in the water precisely 30 Homeschooling Toodyay Western Australiamins after walking out of the house. While my boys explored their own buoyancy and gently explored their water confidence my eyes drifted to the school kids doing their once a year swimming. 

I pondered the time it had taken for these kids to actually get in the water (compared to our 30 mins) and estimated it was at least an hour. I then compared their water experience (very structured and controlled, shorter amount of swimming time, some pretty dubious telling off by the instructors) to our own (free ranging with some suggestions from me). It seemed an adept example of our learning and life in general. We adopt strategies every day to add value and quality time to our lives rather than more stuff, more obligations and more doing. I am pleased to say my eldest has developed wonderful new swimming skills much quicker than I would have expected.

Some of the big steps for me in this journey have been:

  • Surrounding myself with an environment rich in like minded ideas. I love listening to The Minimalists Podcasts and their documentary was really mind opening for me.
  • Decluttering but focusing on the why not the how. I have tried to declutter often before but now my focus is on simplifying my life I am far more successful.
  • Minimising my wardrobe. I have been doing Project 333 for 5 weeks now and it really made me think about which items I want to keep but more than that it has made getting ready in the mornings so much less stressful. It has also curbed my op shop buying of clothes that are just “ok”
  • Talking to my kids about compulsive consumption. We regularly discuss how when we have less we can just have our absolute favourites and find them sooner, our house has been less of a toy covered clutter without me needing to sneakily get rid of stuff or force the kids to give up their toys.
  • Taking time to think about new purchases, giving them a few days or a week to see if I really want to spend the money to buy them but also the time and cost to use, maintain, store and have them in my life.
  • I spend less time on meaningless tasks (I am talking to you facebook) and more time on conversations with my kids, self care and reading. I have no notifications on my phone (not even text messages) which means I check these communication tools when I intently decide to not when my phone tells me I should.

It’s early in our journey to live a simpler life but I can already feel the benefits. I am less stressed, I can focus more clearly on the present and the quality of my relationships with my family and myself is vastly improved. If you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed or just at a bit of a loss I encourage you to ask yourself – what can I do less of that would create more value in my life today?

Sharon xx

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8 thoughts on “Our biggest goal is to do less – happiness through simplifying

  1. I love this Sharron and have come to the same conclusion for 2017. I am going to simplify, I don’t need the latest of anything I need love, family, friendships and real life. I never sleep with my phone as otherwise it pings at you at night and I have set my notifications to have quiet sound so I don’t feel like it’s demanding me. Look forward to your blogs this year xxx

  2. I love your philosophy and especially your suggestion about turning off those demanding notifications. X

  3. I think this is my life long quest too- to have less, do less etc. I am going through The Magic of Tidying Up in my house this year. I am taking my time! 🙂 I’ve found Marie Kondo’s approach to simplifying really helpful.

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