ESSENTIAL MINDSETS TO HELP YOU GET MORE OUT OF LIFE
Making change or exploring something new starts within. In this article we look at some essential mindsets to help you get more out of life. If you’re exploring a simpler lifestyle, want to become clutter-free at home, in your schedule and in your heart, it all starts with your mindset.
THE BENEFITS OF SIMPLIFYING LIFE
When I first began to simplify my life, I started by decluttering my clothes. The effect of donating the things I didn’t really wear and keeping back the clothes that made me feel great was pretty life-changing for me in itself. I had more space in my closet, it took me less time to get dressed each morning and took the hassle out of choosing what to wear.
They may seem little problems in world context, but it made my mornings easier, happier and less stressful and set the tone for that to carry on throughout the day. I wasn’t shouting at my kids, stressing over getting them ready for school whilst trying to make the packed lunches and everyone out the door for school and myself looking professional and pulled together for work. A bad morning sent bad vibes for the rest of my day.
It sounds small and insignificant but getting rid of a few pieces of clothes that were over-stuffing my closet led to a series of small but profound changes in my over-stuffed life. In a very simplistic sense, getting rid of stuff gave me a whole lot of my life back.
Further reading: How less is more – the benefits of simplifying life
THE IMPORTANCE OF MINDSETS
The essential ingredient in all of this was my mindset. Over the years, as my simplifying journey has evolved, I’ve come to realise more and more that mindsets are key. As the saying goes, ‘You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.’
Unless you know for yourself that you’re ready for change (and you’re willing to embrace it), no amount of useful blog posts or helpful advice from friends will do much over the long-term.
“Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.”Steve Maraboli
SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE TO GIVE SPACE FOR CHANGE AND GROWTH
Change and growth has to come from within. You may have a big trigger moment or wake-up call as the catalyst or it may just be that you’re wanting to try something new or feeling a little stuck in a rut. Change starts with you and, more specifically, your mindsets.
When I was first starting out, I didn’t know exactly what or how to change things. It all felt a bit overwhelming when I was just struggling to get through the day. Big change seemed, well… too big.
I threw a few things out, including those clothes I talked about earlier, and gradually began to see a little clearer. I hadn’t got it all figured out, I hadn’t truly honed in on my priorities, but I knew my ‘why’. As I leant into my simplifying experiment, I began to find space for my priorities to crystalise and in turn, for me to create a life that I love (and no, that doesn’t mean it’s perfect!).
14 ESSENTIAL MINDSETS TO HELP YOU GET MORE OUT OF LIFE
None of this would have been possible without some important mindsets and shifts in thinking. I’m sharing them here in the hope they help you too – be open to change, embrace opportunities, take brave action and focus on what matters to you. Here are 14 essential mindsets to help you get more out of life.
1. Be ok with good
This isn’t about never striving for lofty goals, being ambitious or hoping your dreams come true. What it does mean is that you don’t expect everything to be fantastic and miss the things that are just ‘good’ in the process. A good meal, a good day, or good coffee with a friend is far more likely than great and will still bring a smile to your face and lift your spirits. Great is often unattainable, good is much more likely.
2. Be realistic
If you throw 80% of your stuff out and hope that you’ll have a magically simple, easy and clutter-free life going forward, then you’re in for a big surprise. Clutter takes a while to build up so it’s likely to take a while to get rid of. Perhaps even longer to develop strategies that keep it away that really work for you. Be realistic about your expectations, whether it’s a fitness goal, savings target or that clutter-free home you’re aiming for.
3. Accept yourself
If you’re decluttering your closet, don’t keep clothes hanging front and centre if they don’t fit. Your body deserves to be dressed well right now, whatever your size and shape. If you want to lose a pound or two, that’s fine but put those clothes away until you reach that point. Being confronted by a pair of jeans that don’t fit every time you open your wardrobe will just make you feel bad. Accept yourself as you are, right now. You’re beautiful.
4. Put yourself first every now and then
Easier said than done, but keep in mind the saying that you can’t pour out of an empty cup. If you struggle with self-care because you feel guilty, selfish or you don’t have time, remember that a positive, strong and healthy you will support your family and loved ones better than a tired, burnt out and grumpy you! Look after yourself to look after others. Try this post on 6 self-care habits for your daily routine for tips on making self-care consistent and realistic.
Stop chasing, stop looking at that greener grass on the other side of the fence. Focus on what you have right now, build on it and be thankful. An attitude of gratitude turns a bad day upside down and helps you see the best of what you have already. When you’re feeling confident and supported by your current life, that’s a great springboard for whatever you’d like to come next. Wallowing in self pity or constantly chasing what you don’t have, won’t support you half as well. Try this post on how to start a morning gratitude practice.
Sometimes things don’t go right. Instead of sticking with a plan because you don’t want to back-track on a decision, be brave enough to re-assess. Check-in with yourself and how you’re feeling. Sometimes life happens, we evolve, circumstances change and a decision we made a while ago doesn’t serve us as well now as we’d like. Sticking with things often comes out of fear or indecision, be honest with yourself and bold enough to change path if you need.
7. Be independent
Follow your heart, not the herd. Much of life encourages us to do more, be more, achieve more. If this makes you feel unsettled, why not tread your own path? Don’t be afraid to do your own thing, say no if you want, be comfortable with your own space, don’t feel you have to fill every waking minute with errands, tasks and invitations. This is your life, follow your own heart.
8. Trust your feelings
Half the time we feel something isn’t right before we know what it actually is. We have gut instinct that tells us something is out of sync. We feel unsettled, frustrated, rely on unhealthy props, get less sleep, feel irritable or teary, can’t focus… If you feel something isn’t right, trust yourself to explore what’s not working and do something about it. Don’t sit there and hope for the best, listen to your body and mind and take action.
9. Appreciate the little things
We often measure success in big numbers but what about the little things that make up our day? The birds singing, the smell of rain in the air, the sound of our child’s giggle, the feel of fresh bed sheets as we snuggle in at night. Little things come around more often than the big things but we’re so conditioned to chasing the biggest and the best that we miss those little things that make every day beautiful. Try this post on how to enjoy the little things as a gentle reminder for a busy life.
Be present in all that you do. Avoid multi-tasking and being pulled in different directions. As much as possible, focus on one task at a time. You’ll be more efficient and complete your task to a better standard. Mindfulness takes practice as modern life requires us to do and think things all at the same time. If you have 5 minutes today, stop and be mindful in the moment.
A clutter-free life requires consistency. It may sound a bit boring but it’s important. Clutter tries to invade our homes, schedules and brains every day but there are two strategies that keep that clutter at bay. One is to have some clutter-busting strategies in place to catch that clutter before it creeps in, the other is to be consistent about what you let in and what you keep out. Take your eye off the ball and a little bit of clutter could soon become a huge pile on your kitchen counter. The other point about consistency is that it supports us to create healthy habits, for ourselves, our daily routines and our homes. Little habits repeated often can move mountains. Read this post on how to be more consistent for some tips.
12. Take ownership
When we think about our lives and whether they’re going the way we want them to, it’s easy to make excuses, consider the ‘what if’s’ and ‘if only’s’. The honest truth for many of us is that we are responsible for our own life and we are the only ones that can make changes. Expecting others to compromise, change or address issues only goes so far. If you want something to change or to happen, YOU are the only one that can really make that happen.
13. Define your priorities
A simpler life is a life of priorities. It’s about clearing clutter that pulls you off course and focusing on what’s important to you. When you don’t know what’s important, how do you know what’s clutter and what’s not? Your priorities may change over time and, taken as a whole, they probably look different from person to person, but your priorities make you, you, and they help shape your life. Honour them by giving them space in your home, your schedule, your daily habits and routines, your goals and dreams at night.
My website is all about intention. Whether that’s intention for staying clutter-free at home, intention about looking after yourself and practicing regular self-care, intention for managing your time and making the most of it, or intention about your direction in life, your priorities and goals. Intention is at the root of everything I write about and really, it’s just a fancy way of saying you know what you want in life and you find a way to make it happen.
MINDSETS ARE KEY TO GETTING MORE OUT OF LIFE
I hope you found this article helpful. As we’ve explored, how you think about things often determines how you feel about them. We often take choices and make decisions based on our emotions so how you think and feel are important. Whether you want to make big changes or small tweaks, or just explore how you can create a life you really love – mindsets are key!
And, just a friendly reminder – you don’t have to get it right first time. Sometimes we try things and they don’t work out. Figure out what’s right for you.
HELPFUL RESOURCES ON MINDSETS
Here are some articles and resources which you may find helpful to explore different mindsets and aspects of how you think and why. I’m not a mindset expert but they draw on my experiences over the years of making changes, simplifying and finding focus in life.
- What is intentional living? A beginner’s guide to finding clarity and direction in life and honouring that every day
- How to declutter your mind
- 30-day Gratitude Challenge
- How to think like a Minimalist
- Master Your Mindset – a powerful self-care workbook for your mind with practical tips for a healthy, positive mind