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Simplifying your life can be very overwhelming. Kind of ironic that while making an effort to simplify you may be overwhelmed. You can’t simplify your life overnight. You can’t do it all at once. You must take small steps and work toward a goal. What is that goal? How do I know if I live a “simple” life you ask? I would venture to say that all of us (myself included) could simplify our lives. My idea of living a more simple life may be different from yours which is what makes us individuals. What you need to realize is that when you simplify, often you get more accomplished, you sleep better, have been eating habits have a better perspective (mental outlook) and feel more balanced overall. These things are also extremely important ideas for coping with struggles in life. You know coping skills are not always innate – they often have to be practiced. It is hard to “practice” for possible life-changing events because you don’t know what is around the corner or when to expect the challenge. That is why simplifying is so important.

Today we will start with a small list sticky note size. Write down 3 things that are most important to you. Not sure what the top three things are? Think about what you value most in life? What are your goals? What makes you the most happy? When you answer these questions you will most likely find the things that are most important to you.

Put that sticky note somewhere you can see it, on you computer, or your refrigerator, bathroom mirror anywhere that you will see it and it will remind you of what you are working toward. Ultimately, this list is what you will use to help you simplify your life. If the things you are doing, worried about, and overwhelmed with are not things that are helping you to achieve your small list then you should think about simplifying those areas of your life. You want to work toward making time in your life for the items on your list.

Setting a goal of moving your life closer to what is important is one of the best things you can do to simplify. As your life changes and evolves so may your small list. During my sons’ most intense treatment for cancer last year my list was temporarily focused on his care and meeting the basic needs of my other 2 kids. Any other priorities I thought I had took a back-seat. One of the reasons I was able to cope with his cancer relapse was that I remain focused on my small list. It sometimes takes a crisis for people to realize what is truly important in life. We have been living in crisis mode for nearly 5 years so sadly I have a lot of practice seeing what is important.

It is okay to revise the list of priorities in your life. That is a healthy activity that should be done once a year. Start today, make your list and set your mind to focus on getting back to what is most important to you and your family. You may find the act of putting your priorities on paper will provide you with a sense of accomplishment and empower you to do more to simplify your life.

I plan to write once a week about simplifying life. I am choosing Wednesdays as my simplify day at Coping101! Each Wednesday I will have another strategy for simplifying. I hope that the ideas are easy to apply to your life and something you come to look forward to in the coming weeks.

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