What is a simple life ?
Some might paint a serene peaceful outskirt village with little or no electricity.
Growing our own food in the garden, tending to our farm. Maybe we’d be fishing or scavenging for herbs and wild mushrooms in the nearby forest.
Whatever you picture in your mind is most probably the ideal image of what a Simple Life may look to you.
But how about the people in the city who want to lead a simple life ?
How does the simple life in the city look like, for real?
We don’t have the luxury of a large land mass to farm on. Some of us aren’t even near any kinds of rivers that can provide fish or worse, some of us don’t even get to see the ocean. It’s a million miles away because we’re so inland.
So how does this work ? How can a simple lifestyle apply to us city folks? The urban dwellers. The fast paced dog-eat-dog world of the concrete jungle. Is a simple life even possible?
Here are some rules when living a Simple Life in the city.
1. Eat for energy and nutrition
A lot of people over eat. We eat more than our required amount on the daily. We satisfy our cravings for burgers and fries and large gulps of coca cola with two scoops of vanilla ice cream. We put more rice on our plate than we ever need to. We basically eat our whole weight.
Now if you’re not like some people, who besides the luck on having a high metabolic rate, exercise and participate in a healthy lifestyle, you can not afford to over eat yourself silly.
Okay, let’s do a run down of a typical start of the day.
At the office, you meet up with a colleague for a quick breakfast ,you get your coffee pick-me up or maybe even go without breakfast most times, maybe you bring it along with you and eat it in the cab and gobble it down as fast as you can.
Then you go for a big lunch to fuel your engine throughout the day (if you didn’t have breakfast). Then you stop for a cigarette outside and have a slurpee because the 7-11 is right next door. Then as quick as a whistle, it’s tea break. Some sugary pastry and tea will do the trick to end the craving of a lazy afternoon at the office.
Then you make reservations for dinner (that’s way past the time you should actually stop eating) or maybe you order in because you’re too tired to cook or even eat sometimes. Some of us have such a hectic work day that we don’t even get a decent time to eat anything. I can basically go on and on.
This is a vicious cycle that will not only deteriorate your health but burn a hole in your pocket.
People spend almost $500 or more a month, just on eating out everyday. You don’t see it but yeah it’s happening. It amounts. Not taking care of your health will create complications as we age. That will make our already hectic life even more difficult to manage.
Eat for nutrition and eat because you need energy replenishment (and no I don’t mean Energy drinks).
What you put into your engine will eventually mess with your insides and show on the outside, trust me I’ve been through that road. You need to keep physically healthy so you can maintain a well balanced life. You become more productive. You’ll unlock the highest potential of your mind and create a positive and intentional lifestyle. This will lead you to the other levels of simple living.
2. Clean out your Closet for the Basics
Take a real good look at your wardrobe. What are it’s contents? Have you used each and every one of them this month? I bet you some clothes still have tags on them. We don’t need all this stuff to confuse and frustrate us on the daily.
Simplify what we wear and we simplify our decision process for the day. The faster you organise your life, the easier and simpler your life can be. Only then can you take things slow.
If you’d like to challenge yourself, check out Courtney Carver. She’s the starter for Project 333 . Click on that to understand more.
What it is is, it’s a challenge to do a capsule wardrobe every quarterly of the year. You can only choose 33 items, which includes your clothes, accessories and shoes. You can only use these items for three months. So for three months, you solely depend on this one capsule wardrobe.
Also check out Erin Elizabeth‘s “Building Basics” video if you’re curious to know how to create a capsule wardrobe. And yes there’s even a short cut for men. Watch Matt D’Avella and his minimalist way of getting together a capsule wardrobe for the guys.
3. Declutter Your Mind
Which basically translates to, managing what you can control and don’t sweat about what you can’t.
We love to fill our minds with unnecessary information, problems and noise. Life doesn’t have to be like that. It can be manageable, certain issues can be avoided and you don’t have to take up any responsibility that isn’t yours.
We always stress out about the things that aren’t within our reach or our control. This causes pressure in us cos we tend to overthink and complicate it. Understand that not everything is your responsibility and that you can’t be the hero of everyone.
You have to get rid of this insatiable need to please, impress, get involved or get your hands dirty when you don’t need to.
Take a step back and breathe and let it all cool out. Life will be simpler when you view it with patience and love. Don’t overthink and complicate easy things. Know the difference.
4. Do everything with Intention
Food– Fair enough, we eat when we’re hungry. Yes. So eat for nutrition , and to satisfy your hunger, not to gobble down food like you’ve not eaten for days. Of course, you may tend to your cravings once a week or once every fortnightly. Just remember to chew your food and savour it like the French do.
Sleep– We should sleep or nap when we’re sleepy (or stretch and do breathing exercises if we are lack of oxygen) but the undeniable truth is, most of us overextend our bed time and push our eyes and our minds to the max. As far as we can, just so we can finish the last season of GOT. We must listen to our body. Pay attention to what it’s telling you cos that’s the only way to know if something’s wrong on the inside.
Acts of Love/Kindness– We do something special for someone just to get compliments and praises. We force our love on someone only because we need them to satisfy our insecurities. That’s the reason why we tend to argue or find fault with our loved one all the time. Why do we do this to ourselves and especially our partners? Isn’t love unconditional and sincere? Check your intentions daily. There’s a difference between honest love and loving blindly.
Attendance/Absence – Attend an event because you really want to be there or really want to show your support and love. Your sincerity will be noticed and remembered.
Speech/ Actions – Understand why you do what you do. Or say what you say. Even words need to have intention. Say it because you truly mean it. Because you are transparent and sincere, you will lessen complications and dilemmas.
Always begin the day with positive intentions in order to garner good projections.
Be clear and clean in your heart and all good intentions will start to flow.
This adds value to your life.
Simplifying how you process and project your actions will create a space in your heart and your mind.
5. Create a system that works
Organization. Develop and create systems in different parts of our life in order to lessen the stress of the day to day living.
You may think “Oh no, all this rules and order is not me. I’m messy and unorganised and I love it.”
Take a step back and look again at how you view organization. There’s such a thing as organised mess (if you fancy that). If you keep yourself in check of where and how you place your things and keep valuables or important documents, you’ll definitely be able to retrieve it quite easily thus, a more simpler life has been put in place just due to organizing.
One major tip for organization is keeping your wardrobe and things in an order where you can decide easily, you can find things easily and lesser things will get lost into the abyss of stuff.
Organising consultant Marie Kondo is an expert that has stormed the western World about how to keep your life organised. Her method of “Spark Joy” is a way to own items but with intention and purpose. And once an item has lost its purpose, it will be put aside to donate, throw or sold. Her folding laundry videos are trending and she’s even featured on a lecture on Google Talks and has made an appearance on the Ellen Show. She’s one of my organising mentors and her methods work.
These are just some ways to simplify your city life. We’ll share more and more as months to come because we strongly believe that life can be simplified through these tried and tested methods.
Millions of people have already started on this lifestyle. Some move to smaller homes to live mortgage free and own less and so they have lesser living space to clean and maintain, some sold their life materials away and live on the road, some go for a zero waste life and some contribute to a minimalistic low impact carbon foot print.
Whatever the method, so many urban dwellers have converted to a minimalist life. To simplify day to day tasks and gain more time to be able to experience actual Living not just existing.
Hope this has given you some ideas on how to live a life you love. We’ll catch you on the next wave.