5 ways to simplify your life this year

The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook and by doing so you can simplify your life, it is easier than you might think.

5 ways to simplify your life this year Photo by Brett Jordan

Let's promise to be wiser this year by letting go of everything we can that doesn't add meaning to our lives. Let our motto be, simplify, simplify, simplify! Trying to keep up with everything is exhausting and wastes time. Everyone complains about not having enough time these days. For some, that's true as they juggle two or more jobs while trying to manage their household. 

But, many of us waste time on needless errands, eating out, watching TV mindlessly night after night, and hanging out on social media. We have more time than we realize; simplifying our lives is a great way to take charge of our lives and start living lives that matter. Here's a short and manageable list of simple tips to begin making the most of your life.

1. Setup simple monthly goals for yourself
If you're a person who thrives on making and keeping New Year's resolutions, that's great; keep making them. But most people give up on their resolutions before January is over. Instead, decide on 1-3 meaningful monthly goals to which you'll commit. Stack the odds in your favor by organizing your life into smaller, more manageable chunks. You'll gain momentum and finally start making progress.

2. Apply a smart budget for your needs, wants, and dreams
Managing your finances can get complicated and overwhelming really fast, which could be why many people avoid the issue for as long as possible. It's easy to feel stressed and overwhelmed when we don't know what to do or where to start, especially if no one taught us how to manage money or create wealth. There's something called the 50/30/20 rule that might help. People who've never been good at managing or saving money find it to be an easy system. Here's how it works: Spend 50% of your monthly income on living expenses (your needs), 30% on lifestyle expenses (your wants), and 20% on savings and debt (dreams).

One thing that keeps so many people from starting and following a budget is that it can be so complicated! So, why not consider giving the 50-30-20 approach a try? Even if you can't follow the 50-30-20 percentages initially because you have to increase or decrease the three categories to fit your situation, you'll feel empowered and in control of your money and that is a good thing since not everyone has savings or parents that can bail you out when times get rough.

3. Organize your life by starting with your closet
Declutter for a simpler, happier life, starting with your closet, sounds easy and but it requires you to have a goal in mind. Life is simpler, easier, and feels happier when you clear your living space of things you no longer use or need. Sort through your closet to find clothes you no longer wear or items that still have tags on them that you've forgotten about or are not interested in. Free up space in your closet for new clothes; enjoy a well-organized, clutter-free closet.

4. Prepare your lunch the night before
While there isn't anything exciting about making your lunch the night before you go to work or school, it's a great way to simplify your life. It's a money-saver, too, because you won't be going out to eat as much or ordering takeout. Plus, it's better for your health because you'll make better, healthier choices. You'll feel better, be less stressed, and save money. Don't forget to breathe happiness.

5. Use the cloud
Why waste the time sorting through digital files on your computer or smart device when you can simply save them to the Cloud? Searching for documents and files can be frustrating and such a time-waster. Saving files to the cloud is easy and convenient and frees up tons of space on your devices. There's no shortage of file-saving Cloud options; you can upload and save just about any type of file. Plus, you can access your files from anywhere the instant you need them.

Unlock your best life this year by simplifying your life to enjoy more of what life has to offer instead of wasting your energy and money on things that don't matter or add meaning to your life. Be the better version of yourself by going simple.

Justin Richardson Canadian Garbage Collector Extraordinaire