Mastering the Art of Simplicity in 2016
My husband and I have been working for quite some time toward finding ways to simplify our lives. Simplicity is the name of the game. We have very complicated lives. We have two rental units, soon to be two kids, two careers, and the drive to maintain a social life while providing balance to not only our lives, but the lives of our children. That last one is how this blog was born - my drive to find balance in a life that takes a lot of work to balance. We have been forming a plan for months to find ways to simplify every aspect of our lives. Whenever a decision comes up, we ask each other three questions: Does this simplify our lives? Does this make financial sense? Does this improve the quality of our lives? We first started with finances.
A big goal for 2016 is to pay off a credit card we used for overages on our home renovation (credit cards are the devil). We have a payment plan in place which we (mostly) have stuck to, but, with our goal being to pay it off before baby #2 is born, I am really praying my bonus comes through (fingers crossed!) to knock it out completely.
Next was wardrobe/shopping, something new I tried in November (when I started to not fit in my normal clothes anymore) is building a capsule wardrobe. It's the concept of a 37 piece wardrobe (that includes shoes!) that is all mix and match. Since I implemented the capsule, I have not had one outfit repeat and my maternity outfits have been on point! Plus, it's cheaper. I don't go shopping for unnecessary things anymore. I work with what's in my capsule and make it work. You can learn more about capsule collections at Un-fancy.com. I loved the capsule so much that I decided to start a french capsule as soon as I'm back in pre-baby condition. That's the concept of having 10-15 basics that go with everything and adding 5 seasonal, trendy items each new season. It seems even easier than the standard capsule. Hello, simplicity!
Another goal is to stop being landlords. It adds just one extra job to our already full plates. One of our units is worth loads of money, but that also happens to be a unit connected to our house - so that's staying. The other unit is in a building across town and isn't quite worth what we need it to be worth selling yet. Our goal is to sell it within the next three years when we can make a bigger profit. Our goal for most things is 3-4 years out because we won't be spending unGodly amounts of money on childcare.
Last item to simplify is the way we eat! I (we) overindulged quite a bit over the holidays and decided to do a food detox in January. So far, so good! I am almost 6 months pregnant, so I thought the way to be the healthiest for my baby is to do the Whole 30. There are no calorie restrictions and the nutrients I'm missing out on for the 30 days by not eating dairy or wheat can easily be found in other, healthier foods. So far, Whole 30 has been pretty easy and delicious. I never feel hungry and I have more fun cooking now. My breakfasts and lunches were already (mostly) Whole 30 compliant pre-detox, so that was easy. However, dinners have brought on a fun challenge for me. I now have to pre-plan and think outside the box. So far, my outside the box meals have been delicious. Last night I made flax meal and unsweetened coconut crusted salmon with baked, sliced potatoes for a take on fish and chips. It was so, so good. Tonight, I'll be making chicken and veggie fried "rice" with riced cauliflower. Any sauce suggestions for that one?
What are you doing to improve yourself in 2016?