If I’m really honest with myself, I’m not naturally a super “content” person. I would much rather work towards a goal — fixing, updating, improving, growing — versus sit back and just take in my surroundings. And while I don’t necessarily think it’s bad to strive for more, it does get tiring after a while — and I think it has the potential to rob us of happiness.
Over the past few months, I’ve thought quite a bit about what exactly I do to (try and) be more content… and I came up with 3 super simple concepts that seem to help me.
1. Stay away from things that cause me to struggle, stumble, envy, etc.
For me, I stay away from home improvement stores, furniture stores, and other blogs who are way bigger than me and offer many more features (books, printables, online courses, etc. etc.)
However, I know the things that sometimes make me feel unsatisfied with my life are not the same as the things that might trip you up in your journey to a more content lifestyle.
So instead of listing specific examples, I’d simply encourage you to think about times when you feel the LEAST content, and then try to figure out why.
- Is it when you visit a friend’s house who is bigger, nicer, fancier, cleaner, or better decorated than your house? If so, try requesting that you get together at your house instead… or meet at a neutral location.
- Is it when you shop online or in stores? If so, stop driving yourself to those stores, and only go online when you need to buy something specific.
- Is it when you browse your favorite fashion magazine or watch HGTV? If so, stop reading those magazines or watching those TV channels.
I realize these examples are very ‘black and white’ and it’s not always as easy as simply “not shopping” or “not going to specific friend’s homes”, but I’m 100% confident that by trying to avoid places, people, and situations that cause you to feel unsatisfied with your own life, you will be well on your way to living a more content lifestyle.
2. Make a DONE List and/or Keep a Gratitude Journal
I don’t do it as much as I used to — but making a “Done List” is still one of my most favorite ways to instantly give myself a little pick-me-up after a particularly rough day.
A Done List helps me appreciate everything I did accomplish and be more content with my day — even if I feel like I did nothing useful or productive.
I also highly recommend keeping a gratitude journal. Even if you don’t faithfully write in it every day, it’s amazing how content you might feel after thinking about some of the many things you’re grateful for (or re-reading past gratitudes).
3. Purge the items and activities I no longer need, use, want, or love.
When I think of contentment, I think of being happy with what I already have and not always wanting more, bigger, better, newer, shinier replacements.
However, you know as well as I do that overlooking bigger, better, newer, shinier things isn’t always that easy to do!
One thing that REALLY helps me curb my desire for more is to purge things I already own and am not using. As a very regular and ruthless “purger”, it is always amazing for me to see how much stuff I am willing to purge time and time and time again.”
You’d think I would eventually run out of stuff to purge, but it just keeps coming in — and I just keep sending it back out again! And by recognizing how much stuff we have and don’t even need, use, want, or love, I am more willing to pass by those opportunities to buy bigger, better, newer, and shinier things (at least most of the time!)
I realize there are lots and lots of other tips, tricks, tools, ideas, and concepts I could share — but in an effort to keep it extremely simple, I truly do feel like these 3 concepts cover the bulk.
Of course, they aren’t always “EASY” to pull off!
It won’t be EASY to stay away from people, places, and situations that cause you to want more. It might not be EASY to get in the habit of making your own done list or writing in your own gratitude journal. And it probably won’t be EASY to purge various areas of your home.
But I do think your efforts will pay off with more contentment, simpler lives, a less cluttered home, and greater appreciation for everything you already have.