Have you ever felt like your life is running out of control? Has your house lost its balance and your peace of mind is further away every day? If so, then today is the day to take back control of your life.
About a year ago, I stepped back and really took a hard look at my life and I could pin point some key factors that were upsetting my balance. My scale was always tipped heavily on the “work” side and I just couldn’t find the right balance to keep me sane but fulfilled. Now that I finally have that part of my scale in balance I had the time to concentrate on the other areas of my life that were causing me to topple.
Everyone is at different points in their lives. Some may be struggling with finances, some with young children, some with jobs but for me it was facing the realization that my children were grown and I didn’t know where I fit anymore. It took many months, if not a couple years, for me to finally figure out that this was now my time and it was ok to concentrate on me again. Once I figured that out things started to fall in place and I really started to take back over “my” life!
Here are a few things I have been working on and no matter where you are in your life, hopefully you can use a few of my “taking control” tips to help you find that road to a more simple and fulfilling life.
- Take control of your spiritual life. For me this means spending some alone quiet time with the Lord every day. It can be during my weekly bible study or when I take my daily walk, but most days it is first thing in the morning before I start my day. But whenever it is I feel like I am making a phone call to an old friend…and that soothes my soul.
- Take control of your health. For me I spent so many years taking care of everyone else that at the end of the day I just didn’t have anything left for myself. You know the old saying that in business you must pay yourself first? Well I should have been using that saying in my personal life and should have been taking care of myself first. I now spend much more time outside, am trying my hand (or body) at yoga and am really concentrating and working more activity into my day.
- Take control of what you eat. You wouldn’t think that taking control of what you eat would have anything to do with a simpler life but it does. There is something refreshing about knowing where your food comes from and what ingredients are used in making it. For me that means I pretty much know everything that goes in anything I put on the table since I make about 90% of all of our food. We raise our own chicken for meat and eggs, have a freezer full of deer meat and preserve almost all of our fruits and vegetables. What I don’t have on hand comes from the local farmers market and organic whole market. One of the easiest ways to take control of what you eat is by checking the ingredients list of your favorite products. If it has more than 5 ingredients, most of them being things you can’t even pronounce, then you are letting the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) be in control of your food.
To take back control start to mainly shop the exterior areas of your grocery store, stay away from the interior isles that are normally filled with overly processed foods and cook from scratch. Stick to the produce, meat, dairy and whole food sections and you are well on your way of taking back the control.
- Take control of the distractions in your life. For me this was my email! It has been a real chore for me but I finally feel like I can breathe easy when I open my email. I have spent countless hours unsubscribing to all those emails I had been getting for years…most I don’t even remember subscribing to! It also meant us getting rid of our cable that got turned on even if we had no interest or time to sit in front of that silly box on the wall. Now we spend that time outside, listening to music or enjoying the peace of a quiet house.
- Take control of your house. A little clutter control goes a long way in helping your home feel balanced. I know that there are days I walk through my house and feel overwhelmed but I learned to take things one room or one project at a time. This week’s project was my closet. I spent a couple hours and pulled everything out and then started putting things back one at a time. I have a rule in this house that if it has not been worn or used within the last year it finds a new home somewhere else. There are certain things like my canning supplies and hubby’s hunting things that we may only use once a year but all other stuff, and that’s all it is STUFF leaves us. I always have a box ready and waiting for those items I come across that need to be donated.
If your one room in your house is a kid’s toy room let me share with you what my daughter does. A couple times a year she has her kids go through their rooms and find a box of toys that are in great condition to donate. She also takes this time to have a discussion with them about children that may not have nice things and usually her kids surprise her and donate things that they still play with but are moved to give to kids who need them more.
- Take control of your finances. I always thought I did pretty well with our finances and had things budgeted really well but this past year sent me for a loop. Hubby had to have some minor surgery and my job changed so I had to re-look at everything. A friend told me about a website called Mint.com. It helped me put things in perspective and showed me what we were doing and what our goals should be. Once I was able to set up our budget and look at our expenses it showed me some areas that I could work on and others that we could cut back on.
- Take control of the environment around you. For me it means being aware of what goes in the cleaners I use around the house. I make just about all of our cleaning supplies and even though I know when I am really busy I convert back to store bought, but lately I have tried really hard to always be prepared to whip up a batch.
It also means keeping the area around my community litter free. We live in the country and on a dirt road so we are a dumping point for any unwanted trash as cars drive by. It does take a little bit of effort on my part and a grumble from hubby, when he has to take bag after bag of trash to the dump but in the end it’s our responsibility to keep the earth clean and ready for the next generation.
So I can honestly say that right now in my life I feel like I am in control and because of that, I am living a much simpler life. A life that is not crammed full of activities, distracted by too much technology, unhealthy with over processed food and cluttered with too much stuff. But instead, it’s filled with a fulfilled spirit, a tidy and well organized home, a healthy body and a refreshed mind.
So what are you waiting for? Go grab a box and start decluttering your life today and learn to take back control of your life!