Monday, February 7, 2011

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify


As I work on trying to simplify my life, one thought keeps coming to mind.  Peacefulness.  Once I have simplified the areas that cause me stress, that sense of peace will fill in those corners.  I decided to type in the word "Peacefulness" into Google Images to see what popped up and this is what I found:

 This is peaceful - can you imagine waking up to that every morning?  Or relaxing in the evening and watching the sunset on the calm water?  It makes me feel peace just looking at the picture.
 And, of course, this picture (which I've used in other posts).  My dream would be to live on the beach like this and just be able to have windows open and sit on a porch listening to the water.  I can almost smell that salty air.
Or this . .. how nice would it be to relax on a summer evening with your feet hanging in the off the pier into the water? 

Do you sense a theme?
I sense peace no where better than when I'm relaxing by the water.  (no, we did not move by the water - how I wish!)
What these pictures do give me is that concept of how I hope to wake up feeling every day once I accomplish my list of simplifying tasks.  As I thought about this concept I had several areas that just kept popping up over and over; the more I thought . . dwelled . . obsessed over them, I realized that those were the areas that I needed to conquer this year in order to be able to look back at the end of the year and say, "Yes, I did simplify my life this year." 

So, what did I do?
I made a list.  You are shocked, aren't you? haha  Acutally, I put my computer away, pulled out my spiral notebook that my husband gave me in my stocking (because he knows me well and knows I LOVE paper), and started making a list of the areas that need to be made more simple.  While brainstorming this list, I kept the areas pretty general because I wanted no more than 12 areas to work on - that one a month idea so that there weren't too many ideas!  Also while brainstorming this list, I jotted down the first things that came to mind within those categories because, obviously, they wouldn't have been in my mind to begin with if I didn't have something that needed to be simplified, right? (I did not make comprehensive lists for all items yet)  I'm sure you are wondering if I came up with 12 areas and . .not yet.  Really.  I was kinda surprised myself.  But remember, these were really general so a lot of things sometimes fit into one area. 

What's on my list?
Are you ready?  I'm not going to tell you.  Really?  Seriously.  Nope, not going to do it.  At first I was, but I don't want to write out this whole long list; instead I picked the top two things that I'm focusing on first (partly because they are already in progress and because they were staring me in the face the most) and will share those items.  Once those are tackled, I will let you know what I'm working on next. 
So, the first general item was (drumroll please):
Grocery Shopping
The specific things I wanted to accomplish to simplify this area were:
1. Join and give it a trial run - Joined and so far, loving this!
2. Go through all of my recipes and make a master list of our go to favorites that we love I have my list and it is really helping planning meals!
3. Make a monthly meal plan - all it entails is 5 meals of the 7 each week from our list of favorites - not a complete menu but a guide to help with stockpiling groceries done for Feb.
4. Design a weekly menu sheet that fits our needs done and I love it!
5. Stick to the grocery budget by using the above tools
6. Type up all recipes that need to be filed and clean out my recipe books Instead, I created a new binder, which is much less stressful to use!!!

The second general item was:
My Working Desk
The specific things I wanted to accomplish to simplify this area were:
1. Completely re-organize my files so that they include files that are relivant to us today and to incorporate my monthly teaching units into the upstairs file cabinet.
2. Set up a desk top file that will house all of the day to day things that usually land on my desk.
3. Clean out my desk top/cubbies so that it is visually neat.
4. "Decorate" my bulletin board so that it is more visiually appealing
5. Modify/rework my daily/weekly routines so that they are easier to accomplish within the timeframes I have set
6. Design the "perfect" (haha) to do list
7. Keep up with my month to month goal list to accomplish those things which are most important I feel like I have a handle on this and am making good progress.  I don't accomplish all the tasks but I am able to cross at least half off each month.

Now you can see why I didn't want any more than 12 general areas because there are alot of sub-items in each category.  I've already marked what I've completed and will (try) to come back to this post and update the items; than when I link back to this post in future updates, you'll be able to see what was done (yep, I think you are THAT interested LOL) 

So, with all of that said - lets go SIMPLIFY!!!