The Most Important Things to Simplify

This year, we published a new rendition of one of our first discussion course books, Voluntary Simplicity. We’ve long believed that addressing consumerism is a key tenet of living sustainably and addressing the environmental challenges of our times. After over twenty years of offering the Voluntary Simplicity course book, we’re excited to bring new perspective to a timeless practice.

The new course book, A Different Way: Living Simply in a Complex World,  highlights how we can choose simple living as a way to make our own paths in life: paths that allow for investing our time in the things that matter most to us. While creating this new course book, we were excited to connect with Joshua Becker, who is featured in the new book and who maintains the Becoming Minimalist blog.

In the spirit of living simply and finding a different way, this week we’re sharing an excerpt from one of our favorite Becoming Minimalst blog posts: The 10 Most Important Things to Simplify in your Life. To read the full post, click here. 

Simplicity brings balance, freedom, and joy. When we begin to live simply and experience these benefits, we begin to ask the next question, “Where else in my life can i remove distraction and simply focus on the essential?”

Based on our personal journey, our conversations, and our observations, here is a list of the most important things to simplify in your life today to begin living a more balanced, joyful lifestyle:

Your Possessions – Too many material possessions complicate our lives to a greater degree than we ever give them credit. They drain our bank account, our energy, and our attention. They keep us from the ones we love and from living a life based on our values. If you will invest the time to remove nonessential possessions from your life, you will never regret it.

Your Time Commitments – Most of us have filled our days full from beginning to end with time commitments: work, home, kid’s activities, community events, religious endeavors, hobbies… the list goes on. When possible, release yourself from the time commitments that are not in line with your greatest values.

Your Goals – Reduce the number of goals you are intentionally striving for in your life to one or two. By reducing the number of goals that you are striving to accomplish, you will improve your focus and your success rate. Make a list of the things that you want to accomplish in your life and choose the two most important. When you finish one, add another from your list…

Your Connections to the World – Relationships with others are good, but constant streams of distraction are bad. Learn when to power off the blackberry, log off Facebook, or not read a text. Focus on the important, not the urgent. A steady flow of distractions from other people may make us feel important, needed, or wanted, but feeling important and accomplishing importance are completely different things…

To read Joshua’s full post, click here. To check out NWEI’s newest course book, click here.  



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