Creating Peace Through Simplicity

As we start off 2016 with resolutions and promises, I’ve taken a good look at my own life.  I’m a proponent of choosing “one word” each year that will guide my vision and decisions throughout that year.  Last year was “authenticity”.  My word for 2016 is “Simplicity.”

In reflecting on my life’s focuses, I’ve realized that striving for a more simple life creates more overall peace within me. There are 5 areas of change that I’m creating in my life for 2016 that I think will help me to create the simplicity and peace that I desire.

1. Slow Down
This year I vow to slow down in thought and action.  Often times as I look at my past years, I see that I’ve had a very fast-paced thought life.  My mind moves from one thing to the next and I don’t allow it to slow down to clear out, ponder, and create simplicity.  Because my mind has run at 100mph, then my feet do as well.  Creating awareness in my thought life will help me to slow down my walk and talk.

2. Say “No” more
One of the more difficult things in my life has been saying “no” to things that are asked of me.  I think often times in my past I’ve said “yes” to things just because I feared the confrontation of saying “no.”  I learned a saying a few years back that I am going to put into action more this year — “I appreciate you thinking of me for ____, but at this time my plate is full”.  Also, I’m redefining my definition of a “full plate” and it’s not what society tells me it should be.

3. Get off Social Media
Creating more peace in my life has been dramatically improved by my absence on social media.  Ahhh…..does this feel great!  I’ve been off it for about a month, and I’m not likely to go back!  I’m not suggesting that everyone get off all social media, but for me, a fast, and perhaps a complete absence forever, has been a blessing to me and my family.

4. Listening with my eyes
As my coach Dr. Jay LaGuardia has taught me, to create more peace in my life, I need to engage with each person that I encounter.  To do that, I’m focusing on listening with my eyes. Listening with my eyes allows me to engage my whole being with the person in front of me. I think this will be the most difficult of all 5 steps for me.  I have a tendency to listen with my head (the head nod), but not my eyes. When I listen with my eyes, my heart gets involved, and that’s a good thing.  For me, deepening relationships creates the peace I desire.

5. Invest in Relationships
This brings me to my final action step.  This year I vow to invest in others.  I plan to invest deeply in a few relationships like I never have before. I also plan to invest more in all of my relationships.  Doing steps 1-4 will help me to free up margin, or space, to do step 5.

I’m excited for what 2016 holds and I ask you…What is your “one word” this year?  What steps are you taking in this next year to create more peace in your life?  Will you watch less news?  Will you volunteer more?  Will you watch less TV?  Will you create more space and margin in your daily routine?  The choice is yours!  I’m excited to pursue this peace through simplicity in 2016!