Create layers of simplicity


Simplifying our lives can seem difficult. After all, each facet of our lives is interconnected and interwoven with who we are, what we want, how we live, work and play. We also have to factor in the complex, underlying thread of our must-do’s and our must-haves. 
So how do we simplify our lives? Answer.? We create layers of simplicity by working on one thing at a time. 
+ A process. Sometimes in our rush to get things done, we do not stop to think of a simpler or shorter route. So taking one chore, task or project at a time, we could devise a simpler (different, easier, shorter) process. Many of us multitask on a daily basis and multitasking can be simpler and less stressful, if we simplify the processes we work with every day. 
+ Racing thoughts. All through the day, random thoughts slip into our minds while we are knee-deep in our daily responsibilities or unexpected situations. We may think that we don’t have time to linger with those random thoughts. Nevertheless, we can honour them by jotting them down in a notebook. When we have a few moments or a long stretch of time, we can scan our list of random thoughts and explore the ones that seem to hold some value or promise. 
+ Goals. Choosing and setting personal and professional goals is a worthwhile exercise especially when we divide them into short-term and long-term goals. But if those lists run too long, we feel overwhelmed and stifled and we accomplish very few of them. To accomplish more goals, we should simplify our lists by analyzing each goal separately, making sure that it is our goal and not someone else’s and making them realistic, manageable and tagged to a deadline. 
+ Weight loss. 
          Meals – The big weight loss number can be frightening and unless a doctor puts us on a radical weight-loss program, we can simplify losing our extra pounds by reducing our monthly target or aiming to go down one dress size at a time. With simple, healthy meals and a regular low-impact exercise routine, we can ease into a healthy and realistic weight for our body type, our height and our age. Instead of three large meals per day that leave us stuffed, lethargic, guilty, ashamed and depressed, we could have five smaller meals. Instead of a measly serving of fresh green salad, we could make our salad servings larger than the other servings on our plates. 

          Exercise – Exercise can be and fun when we keep our routine simple, short and consistent. A whole hour of weight training plus twenty minutes of cardio can be too much, if we’re not used to this kind of intense workout. Let’s simplify our workout – twenty minutes, three days a week. If we trade our obsession with the big weight loss numbers – 20, 50, 80 lbs – for a simpler and more realistic exercise plan, we can still attain our desired weight. 
+ Home. We may look at our homes and think only of the big picture – renovation, re-decoration and maintenance. With limited time, finances and energy, we feel defeated. But re-modelling, re-decorating and maintenance is more a matter of attending to repairs as soon as possible, if not immediately, decorating one room at a time, one project at a time and a daily or weekly cleanup routine. 
Simplifying our lives, in one fell swoop, is neither simple nor practical. However, we can begin the process with simple, single steps in one area at a time. Moreover, the process can be more enjoyable if we simplify our lives in layers that cater to and complement our personalities, our lifestyles and our dreams.
(Published in the Womanwise Magazine on 29th July 2012)

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