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Welcome, 2018! This year brings lots of changes for my growing family! And I’m happy to report that, thanks to some serious growth and self-reflection, there are some things I’m just leaving in 2017. For instance, having too much on my plate.
My one “Goal” for 2018 is to Simplify. Simplifying doesn’t have to mean becoming a minimalist or refraining for doing anything fun. There are so many other ways to simplify your life, so I’m going to share some creative, no-nonsense ways you can simplify to be more present in 2018!
1. Keep track of time spent doing all things.
One of the major ways I keep my life on track is by using Google Calendar. Not only is it simple, but it syncs to my iPhone calendar automatically and I can keep my husband in the loop by sending him Google Calendar invites to things we have scheduled (because, let’s face it — he isn’t going to remember unless he sees it pop up on his phone).
You read that right — I purposefully block off downtime in my Google Calendar and it is non-negotiable! So what if sends me someone an invite? Sorry, I’m busy.
That’s right. Give yourself some time to breathe and make it non-negotiable!
2. Unsubscribe, unsubscribe, unsubscribe!
I cannot even begin to tell you how many “Hurry! Super Sale!” emails I received this holiday season. Truthfully? Very few of them were ‘super’ in any way; and most of them were from the same handful of retailers. It’s… daunting. And totally and completely unnecessary.
Simplify by cleaning out that inbox and I promise you’ll feel so much better about checking your emails!
3. Get comfortable saying “No.”
If you’re like me, the times I feel most overwhelmed are the times I’m most over-committed. It took me the last 5 years to become comfortable enough saying “no” to things that just don’t serve me or my family.
So I’ve turned that around to suit me — if I say yes to too many things, I won’t have time for the things that really serve me and my family. And, honestly, learning to say no has been a godsend. However, there is still a learning curve for my friends and extended family. It takes a bit more understanding on their part to see why we’re unable to commit to everything.
Try to simplify your schedule by saying ‘no’ more often.
4. Take advantage of Giant Eagle Curbside Express Delivery Service.
One of the things I found most difficult with two children is running errands. Grocery shopping became the bane of my existence. The lugging of children out of the car, into the shopping cart, dealing with tantrums, and navigating other shoppers. It’s exhausting.
5. Save time cooking by using a pressure cooker.
Look, my husband has been “team pressure cooker” for the last 5 years, and I’m on a recent convert (hello, popular electric pressure cooker!). But anything that cuts down on the time it takes to prepare a healthy meal for my family is a win.
Some of the pressure cookers also have a slow cook feature as well, so if you’re looking to toss something in the crock pot in the morning and have it ready by the time you arrive home from work, this would be perfect at helping you simplify your meals.
6. Take 5 minutes out of your evening to plan your day tomorrow.
Take 5 minutes out of your evening routine and sit down with a pen and paper. Nope, don’t open your email and create a task (you’ll get too distracted from your inbox).
7. Purge items that no longer serve a purpose to your family.
This is a big one. Like any family, we’ve accumulated ‘stuff’ over the years. Kids stuff, kitchen stuff, other stuff… and it rarely continues to serve a purpose, right? So get rid of it!