New: Simple Living Interviews
I’m excited to introduce you to other bloggers who have simplified, or are simplifying their lives and experiencing all the benefits that come along with simplifying or minimalism. In this new monthly simple living interview series, I’m asking each blogger to answer the same questions so that we can see similarities and differences in their individual journeys.
I write about several different topics here on Setting My Intention – decluttering, meal planning, movement, mindfulness, budgeting…not for the purpose of being efficient and productive, but because they are often the first steps on the simplifying journey.
I hope this series encourages you to take one more step towards simplifying your life in a way that is right for you! I know I need the encouragement to keep simplifying for me and my family. Enjoy, and let me know what you think in the comments below!
My name is Shakira. I live in central London, and I write a blog called Miss Simple Living to inspire you to live healthy, happy and clutter free.
What initially attracted you to simple living?
Growing up in London and living there, I quickly fell into the routines of the big city – having a full-time job, buying a lot of things that I did not really need, running up debts, always going to the latest in places to be seen. I never seemed to have any time to myself and had a complete inability to say ‘no’ to people – resulting in a feeling of being drained of my time, energy and money.
It then all began to change when I read a blog called Zen Habits by Leo Babauta. The blog was all about bringing simplicity to your life. He talked about matters such as decluttering, letting go, reducing debts, finding focus, and making conscious choices to what really matters to you in life.
In all, it took me around twelve months to do but step by step, I decluttered my house removed the items that did not add any value to my life. I also made a conscious effort to reduce my debts until I was completely free of debt and this allowed me to work part-time. Finally, I learned to say no to people and this is turn meant I had more time to do things I had always wanted to do but never had the time.
What are the benefits that you have in found in simply living?
The benefits of living simply are that I have much more time for the things I really enjoy doing in my life. Whilst I still work part time I spend the rest of my time being involved in the things that I really enjoy like writing, reading, hiking plus volunteering in my community.
I take more time to consider the things that I spend my money on. Plus I have made time for the people who are important in my life. Most of all, it has really made me feel a lot happier, calmed my mind, and really appreciate what I have right now and enjoy the every day.
If someone wanted to start living simply, what advice would you give them?
Firstly, grab a pen and paper. Write down:
- the things that you really enjoy doing,
- the things that you are passionate about,
- who are the people that are really important in your life,
- things that you would like to give a try, maybe a new challenge. You should have a long list.
Secondly, start by clearing the clutter out of your current life.
You could start with decluttering your physical space at home and start to get rid of things that no longer really serve you.
Next, understand the mental clutter that can be going on in your head. Use a journal, start with just five minutes a day write down what you are thinking about, or how you are feeling at the moment, what are your energy levels like, anything you want can get written in your journal. Reflect back in a few weeks and you become really conscious of what is on your mind.
Lastly look at your current schedule. What could your edit out your life, what are you saying yes to but really you would really love to say no? Edit these things out of your schedule. Now you have cleared space in your life for what simply matters.
Now go back to your list of things that you really want to do in your life.
You can start really small. Start to select the things that you really enjoy doing and start to build this into your life. Here are some examples:
- Start small by learning a language for twenty minutes a day.
- Spend more time with your family,
- Start to reduce spending by setting yourself a budget,
- Eating more healthy by cooking more meals at home
- Reading a book one evening a week.
That way it is the small things that you build into your everyday life that you will give you the most pleasure and help you to live simply.
Follow Shakira on Twitter.
What small step will you take?