We may be nearing the end of January, but there is still plenty of time to make some New Year’s resolutions and introduce simple changes to your everyday life to make 2017 that little bit better. To mark the release of Captain Fantastic, available now on Blu-ray and DVD, we take you through a few easy ways to simplify and declutter your life, mind, and spirit. Starring Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic is the uplifting and heart-warming story of family, love, and growing up. Ben (Viggo Mortensen) has dedicated himself to raising his children in an unconventional lifestyle that is far removed from society, providing us with some inspiration for a more modest existence.
Think about what is important to you and prioritise
Starting with something nice and easy, try to think about what your priorities are for this year. Perhaps you want to spend more time with family, get a promotion or learn to play an instrument? Whatever the goal is, having a list of these important things clearly in your mind will encourage you to make time for them. A great way of ensuring you think about these things daily is to create a vision board with your goals and dreams displayed. Hang it up in your home where you’ll look at it often - it’s believed that visualisation is one of the most powerful mind exercises.
Slow it down
Sometimes we can hurry those everyday activities that actually we should be savouring. For example, try to eat more slowly and appreciate the food you’ve cooked. Instead of speeding through traffic, drive slowly and soak up the peace and quiet. By slowing down you’ll learn to pay more attention and you’re more likely to get things right, which will make tasks more rewarding. With that in mind, instead of rushing around all of the time, sometimes it’s okay to do nothing at all.
Organise your life
A little organisation will do wonders for simplifying your life because it will save you time and reduce stress. It’s surprising how many minutes you actually spend looking for things you can’t find and there are some straightforward ways to keep this to a minimum. For example, make sure that you file your bills and diarise when they are due to avoid late payments. Try organising your wardrobe in to a system to avoid that mad rush in the mornings when you’re looking for that perfect outfit.
Have rituals and routines
Having a weekly or daily to do list will also help visualise what you need to get done and it feels great when you cross things off! Create a morning and evening routine that works for you and stick to it and factor in the important things like eating and exercising. Don’t forget to also include the things that will help you reach your goal or even just what makes you happy.
Spend less time on social media
Social media can be great for keeping in contact with friends and family, but make sure you put down your phone or laptop to spend time with the people around you. It can be nice to not think about what everyone else is up to and instead focus on yourself. Test it out and spend a day noting down every time you use social media, add up those minutes and see for yourself how much of that time you could be spending on other things. There are lots of tips out there on how to cut down your Twitter time, such as setting ‘phone free’ times, turning off your notifications and not having your phone as your alarm clock.
Don’t waste time on being negative
Dwelling on the negative things in life is quite simply wasting your time. One method for this which has had a lot of attention of late is the practice of Mindfulness. This meditation technique encourages you to pay more attention to the present moment and to your own thoughts and feelings as well as the world around you. The method to help quiet constant brain chatter and improve your mental well-being. You can teach yourself to focus on the positive aspects of your life by keeping a gratitude journal, which is also said to lower stress levels. Just before going to bed make a note of 5-10 things, which can include the things you are thankful for or the positive events that have occurred that day.
Downsize and declutter
It’s not quite the time for spring cleaning yet, but why not start off the year with a clear-out of all the things you no longer use or wear to make more room for the things that you do. Downsizing your wardrobe can help you save time, just pick a few key pieces that you can mix and match to create various outfits. If you’re having trouble deciding what to throw out, take a page out of Oprah’s book and try the ‘hanger experiment’ – start by hanging all of your clothes with the hangers in the reverse direction, then after you wear something return it with the hanger facing in the correct direction. After a couple of months you should have a clear picture of what you no longer need or want.
Be more confident
This can be tricky for a lot of us, but ultimately improving your self-confidence could lead to landing the job of your dreams or meeting the love of your life. Set yourself a challenge to step out of your comfort zone or try something new once a day and don’t be scared of failing. Research suggests that getting plenty of rest and exercise has a positive influence on your mood and effectiveness.
Learn to say ‘no’
It can be uncomfortable to say no, but the easiest way to clear your schedule to make room for the things that are important to you is to say ‘no’ to the things that you don’t really want to do. Often, the underlying issue of being unable to say ‘no’ is because you don’t feel like your wants and needs are as important as other people’s wants and needs. If you work on building up your self-worth, you’ll probably find saying ‘no’ a little bit easier.
Set aside your time
Take the time to enjoy your life. Make sure you set aside enough time to appreciate the little things, like settling down to watch a film with friends or family. Free up some time to do the things you love, thinking back to your top priorities. Always make sure that you factor in some ‘me time’ too, so that you can relax and reflect.
CAPTAIN FANTASTIC is available now on Blu-ray & DVD.