If you resolved to create a healthier life this year (maybe to stress less, spend less, or exercise more), simplifying your life will help you accomplish these goals.

1. Simplify your space

  • If you’re suffocating in stuff, embrace empty spaces. Avoid the tendency to fill them up because these uncluttered spaces can be gateways for peace and tranquility. If your room is tidy and uncluttered, you’ll sleep better too because the brain likes organization.
  • A cluttered room can be a reflection of a ‘cluttered’ mind. Reducing the stuff in your house can be liberating, while creating more space in your brain for focusing on your goals.
  • Less stuff in your home means less time cleaning, dusting, and stressing.

2. Simplify your wardrobe

  • Choose quality over quantity.
  • Keep clothes that are comfortable and you love. Donate the rest. Someone else may need them and can enjoy them.

3. Simplify your pantry

  • Get rid of expired goods.
  • Clear your pantry of food that doesn’t nourish you, that is, junk food.
  • Stick to seasonal, local fruits and vegetables and shop at Farmers Markets. Your food will be fresher, and you’ll be supporting your community and small businesses. 
  • Consider doing more grocery shopping online and picking up at the grocery store. This will avoid impulse buys and buying more than you need. Produce from the Farmers Market can now be delivered to your home.
  • Only buy what you’re sure you will consume. The most expensive food you can buy is the food you throw away.

4. Simplify your expenses

  • Reduce financial stress. Don’t work harder to pay for the extra things you buy or end up throwing away. 
  • Evaluate whether you’re buying out of convenience vs. need.
  • Challenge yourself to decreasing the amount you spend by 15% in one month, so review your budget daily. 
  • Resource: Mr. Money Mustache, a blog about money, freedom, and radical ways to get you off the “debt-powered treadmill”.

5. Simplify your meals

  • Seek out simple recipes. Cook meals that only require one pot, one pan, or a multicooker.
  • Get a multicooker (e.g., Instant Pot®) instead of storing a pressure cooker, slow-cooker, and rice cooker. A multicooker will not only simplify your meals and quicken your cooking, it’ll simplify your space.

6. Simplify your workouts

  • Work smarter, not harder. A simpler workout will:
        • Overcome the obstacle of “I don’t have the time”. You don’t need to spend hours in the gym to achieve desired results.
        • Reduce your risk of overtraining. Workouts that are too long and/or too intense increase risk for injury and can lead to a lack of energy, diminished performance, poor sleep, and loss of enthusiasm.
  • Shorter workouts leave you with more time for other things.
  • Stick to compound movements, where you are working more than one muscle group simultaneously (e.g., squat, lunge, deadlift, pull-up, bench press, loaded carry). Compound exercises are more efficient, more functional, and elicit a far greater muscle-building stimulus than isolation exercises (e.g., bicep curl), where you’re only working one muscle group at a time.
        • Example 1: Combine a compound movement (squat) with 1-2 strength exercises (bicep curl and overhead press).
        • Example 2: Combine 2 compound movements (squat) with a jump (jump squat) or jumping jack (squat jack) to incorporate a cardio element.
  • Shorten cardio training. Swap out long, “steady-state cardio” workouts, where effort remains steady (fixed pace or fixed effort level) with shorter high-intensity workouts.

7. Simplify your errands

  • Combine errands into one trip. Save time, gas, and energy.
  • Keep a cooler bag in your car, so you can run other errands after grocery shopping. Frozen food can act as an ice pack.

Karen’s Fit Tip: Experiment with a simpler way of living — one that’s more fulfilling, liberating, and revitalizing. Try not to get caught up in the frenetic pace of our culture, and just focus on keeping your life simple and  emotionally nourished every day.

Karen Owoc

I’m a Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Clinical Exercise Physiologist certified by the American College of Sports Medicine, KRON 4's weekly health expert, speaker, and author of my book on functional longevity, “Athletes in Aprons: The Nutrition Playbook to Break 100".

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