Sometime life feels out of control. Often times, this is because of factors outside our control. Other times, life feels out of control precisely because of our actions (or inaction).
Either way, keeping life simplified is important.
To accomplish that, it is important to slow down, pause, reflect on our current path, and look for adjustments—sometimes minor, sometimes major.
Here are ten questions to help you accomplish that.
Each is designed to challenge your status quo, prompt deep introspection, and guide you toward a life that resonates with your truest self. In other words, every one of this questions is a step towards simplifying your life.
1. What are my most important values?
Understanding your core values is essential for living a life that is aligned with your beliefs and aspirations. It’s the foundation upon which all other decisions can be measured.
Reflecting on your values helps in making choices that resonate with your true self. You can spend a lifetime answering this question, sure. But that is not necessary here. Write down the first 3-4 values that come to mind. Likely, these are the ones most important to you anyway.
2. If I were to die today, what is the one project I would be most disappointed that I wasn’t able to complete?
This question helps in prioritizing your life’s work and identifying what truly drives you. It can give you a good sense of your deeply-held, most important goal—maybe even articulating it for the first time.
It encourages you to focus on projects that are deeply fulfilling and significant to you.
3. Where in my life do I feel I waste the most time?
Identifying areas where time is not used effectively can lead to a more intentional and focused lifestyle. If you can quickly identify the places in life where you feel time is being wasted, you’ll have a strong internal argument to simplify that area.
By addressing these areas, you open up more time for activities that bring joy and fulfillment.
4. What are some things I can remove from my home to make it more calm and focused?
A cluttered space often leads to a cluttered mind and a cluttered life. Possessions always steal our time, money, energy, and focus.
Removing unnecessary items from your home can create a more serene and purposeful environment.
5. What is a recurring appointment on my calendar that does not align with my goals and values?
Examining your regular commitments also allows you to better align your time with your personal values and goals, and to let go of unfulfilling obligations.
Look for commitments that have held a place on your calendar for a long time that you haven’t honestly evaluated for awhile.
6. How does my spending reflect my values and goals?
Your spending habits are a mirror of your priorities. Reflecting on your expenses can reveal whether your financial choices are in line with your values, helping to cultivate a more mindful approach to spending.
I recommend looking three places to get an idea of where your spending is going: Your Bank Statement, Your Credit Card Statement, Your Amazon Purchase History.
7. What activities bring me the most joy and how can I do more of them?
Identifying what brings you happiness is crucial for a fulfilling life. Prioritizing these activities can lead to greater personal satisfaction and a deeper sense of joy.
When you answer this question, don’t mistake it with “what activities are the most fun for me to do?” Some activities are fun in the moment, but don’t bring deep personal satisfaction. Sometimes the activities that require hard work in the moment result in the greatest long-term joy.
8. In what ways am I living a life that’s designed by others?
This question challenges you to consider if your life choices are truly yours or influenced by external expectations. It’s about reclaiming your life and making decisions that are authentically yours.
Try to be as specific as possible.
9. What are my biggest distractions, and how can I minimize them?
Recognizing and minimizing distractions helps in maintaining focus on your goals and values. This may involve setting boundaries or altering habits that detract from your focus.
Joshua Becker defines minimalism as the intentional promotion of our greatest values by removing anything that distracts us from them. You don’t need to become a minimalist to answer this question, by that idea from Joshua is the principle behind this question.
10. What steps can I take to simplify my daily routine?
A simplified routine leads to a more streamlined and less stressful life. Consider what tasks or commitments can be eliminated or altered to create a more fluid and enjoyable daily rhythm.
Reflecting on these questions can be the catalyst for profound change, leading you towards a lifestyle that is more aligned with your deepest values and aspirations.
Of course, this journey called life requires continual self-discovery and simplification.
But it can be embraced one question at a time.