Article in brief: In this article, the author sheds light on trimming the fatty elements in our daily lives that tend to bring us down making us feel heavy and unable to move forward. Decluttering the unwanted elements in our lives is a step towards a happier and lighter lifestyle. The author highlights a jump start for this lifestyle by introducing four steps that are meant to get the reader in the process of living a simpler life with less clutter.
My usual day begins with work then gym, sometimes meeting friends for coffee/ dinner, other days involves running around finishing random errands. Weekends are the same, every day of the weekend I’m out and about spending my time with friends or family. Months of that crazy lifestyle and one day I woke up feeling tired, exhausted and in dire need of a break; a complete break from everyone and everything in my life. I needed some “me” time. I stayed home, switched off everything around me and didn’t do anything at all. Expressing my situation to a friend who usually gives me advice, “Reem, it’s time for you to trim the fat from your life”.
Trimming the fat from my life? How can I do that? Is there a plan that I can follow, at least a roadmap? Unfortunately, this decision has to be made by myself without any roadmap or guideline to follow. What does the phrase “trimming the fat” mean? It refers to getting rid of things that simply doesn’t belong in your life. In the same way excess fat weighs down your body and burdens its functionalities, the fatty elements in your life do the same.
After my long research on how to start eliminating the unwanted elements in my life. I have found that doing what you love is the most logical way to enjoy life more, we all know that. Removing unwanted commitments and quitting things we hate, however, isn’t as obvious as it appears.
There are a lot of things that we would rather not do that we perceive as required and unavoidable, but in reality, are optional. Just as we hold onto emotional baggage from past relationships, we also hold onto a lot of baggage from previous commitments and unwanted so-called “obligations” that are no longer relevant.
As a first step, start with writing down everything that you do in your daily life. The people you have in it, the hobbies you undertake and how you spend your free time. Then think of the following questions:
1. Can you remove any element in it without being disputed?
If you take away this element, will your life change or will it be the same. If it does change is it to the better or the worse.
2. Does it make sense? Will you feel relieved without this particular element?
This is a critical question to ask yourself. Usually people are scared in taking this step. They think it makes sense from a societal point of view, from the point of view of their friends, family or some institution. But if it doesn’t make sense to you, quit it. Have the courage to trust your own common sense.
3. How important is it? Really?
A lot of people justify doing things that make them unhappy because they label it as important or will make their society or family happy.
4. Does it make you feel alive?
Our negative feelings are there for a reason, it’s your intuition telling you something is wrong. But how often do we ignore that little voice that tells us to “Quit it!” Be honest with yourself, your feelings and actually listen to the answer.
By removing all the unwanted things from our lives, we create room for new, authentic endeavors. If you feel your life becoming stale, monotonous and everything seems like a chore, you probably need to shed all the unwanted elements clinging on to you.
There are a lot of other ways we can follow to improve our lives. We can de-clutter and organize our lives by removing all old, unused, and irrelevant things from our space. Also, Shedding emotional baggage and mental clutter can be extremely liberating.
Trimming the fat from our lives doesn’t make life any simpler; it just puts the priorities back on top where they belong. Once you remember where the focus belongs, you are at peace with the sacrifices that comes with the territory.
- Jay, F. (2010). The joy of less, a minimalist living guide: How to declutter, organize, and simplify your life. Anja Press.
- Porter, K. (2006). Too much stuff: De-cluttering your heart and home. USA: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City.