I spent most of 2011 traveling
and living out a backpack. I had three options for footwear, five tops, two dresses, and two pairs of pants. (You can see my definitive ‘what to pack’ list here
You’d think being limited to a black tank top or a green tank top (for when I’m feeling kicky) would make me feel sartorially smothered. Nope. I felt free.
Even if you just removed one decision from your day-to-day life! Don’t get rid of the decisions you enjoy making – where to go on holiday, what to buy your BFF for her birthday, which fancy drink to order, which suitor to encourage.
But do you actually enjoy thinking about what you’ll eat during your 30-minute lunch break? Is it fun to spend 15 minutes in Target looking for a decent birthday card? Does it thrill you to waffle over what you’ll wear to your former co-worker’s wedding? Probably not.
When you remove those non-awesome decisions, you free up time and mental space to actually enjoy your life and those decisions that you actually enjoy making.
I made the executive decision that this would be the summer of the elevated jello shot. So far I’ve made watermelon, mojito, lemondrop, green apple, and greyhound jello shots. I love them and so does everybody else who encounters them. Autumn and Winter will be devoted to mini pies.
What card to send anyone, ever
I buy boxes of these
cards. Seriously. (Though I obviously write a personal message inside the card so it doesn’t feel oddly dismissive.)
What to wear in the summer
Sundresses + sandals + bangles + my favorite lipstick
. I bought three ‘fit and flare’ knit dresses and I just rotate through them.
What jeans to buy
I have five pairs of jeans and four of them are this brand
. I will never shop for jeans again. I will just walk into Old Navy and buy these in bulk.
What to buy people for their wedding or baby shower
Something off of their registry at Target. I use the rule of thumb that you should purchase an item that costs .1% of your yearly income. So if you make $40,000 a year, you buy a $40 present. I just scroll through the list, find something in the right price range, buy it, put it in a gift bag with the gift receipt and one of the aforementioned cards.
What to say when it’s time to give a toast
“To friends who are family, and family who are friends.”
When to pay my bills
Every single bill I pay is set to auto-deduct from my checking account. Once a week, I look through my account to make sure all the charges seem legit.
I don’t mean to indicate that I take card-writing or toast-making or jean-purchasing lightly. (Because how my butt looks in skinny jeans is Extremely Important, guys.) Removing some of those tiny, non-joyful decisions gives you more time and space to enjoy the decisions that thrill you.
What choices have you removed from your life? Which things can you automate?