Tag Archives: choices

November 23: Follow Your Own Advice?

Every Wednesday, I’ll (try) to post up a Simple Living Tip, with an emphasis on tips that can be done while living a more traditional 9-to-5 life. 

It’s obvious that I like to give advice, hence this series of simple living tips.  However, do I ever follow my own advice? Rarely.  I do try to limit technology on weekends… I don’t read blogs at all, don’t browse websites, rarely shop online and only check emails a few times, and I don’t login first thing in the morning…but other than that I often forget my own advice for simple living

That’s why I’ve been pleasantly surprised that one of my advice to limit choice is helping me keep my resolution/goal.  The only reason I even thought of doing this was because I wrote out the post about choice right before writing down my goals which included eating more fish.  So I decided that when I go out to eat, I should order fish by default unless it’s fried or seems too unhealthy.  That’s easy to do at Japanese restaurants but it’s not my habit to order fish when tastier meat dishes are on the menu. 

This is still a new habit and I tend to forget on weekends.  However, now if I go out for lunch during the work week, I immediately scan the menu for fish items, ignoring other choices.  This has made it much easier to order and I’m actually eating fish more often.  Simpler and healthier!

October 12: Too Many Choices!

Every Wednesday, I’ll (try) to post up a Simple Living Tip, with an emphasis on tips that can be done while living a more traditional 9-to-5 life. 

One step I’ve taken to simplify my life is to limit my choices whenever possible.   At night, I lay out my work outfit (clothes, shoes and jewelry) so that I don’t dig through my closet in the mornings.  Although I like stocking up during sales, for certain household goods and groceries, I try to stick to favorite brands or just go generic.  I try to keep my to-do list short and sweet (or at least put the top 3 priority to-do items at top).

Alas, life is not so simple.  I wrestle over many shopping-related choices (see post about buying a planner) and spend way too much time trying to pick the perfect lipstick.

That’s why it was rather eye-opening to read an  article about choice in  Oprah magazine.  I’ve known for years that we’re bombarded with choices in life, from major life decisions to your choice of cereal.  While the article was about making better choices, these same tips could also lead to a simpler life.  I thought I’d share a few of their best tips since I don’t have the link to the original article.

1 ) Identify your goal: Many people make bad decisions because they don’t really know what they want.  For example, a person hates his/her jobs and quits without knowing if 1) hate their field/work itself, 2) hate aspects of their job or 3) hate their bosses/coworkers.   If it’s #1, the person should change careers.  If it’s #2, he/she should stay in their job but work on delegating tasks or taking on more interesting projects.  If it’s #3, he/she should change jobs but stay in the same field.  As you can see, knowing the real reason is crucial for making a good decision.

2) Eliminate Choices: The Oprah article cited cameras as an example. Pick a few features you really want and then ignore the rest. This is a good tip when you buy anything from cars to clothes.  Identify what is really important to you and don’t focus on qualities that don’t matter as much.

3) Don’t worry about finding the best: Some people get into decision paralysis because they want to make sure they bought the best. Sometimes good enough is good enough.  One time I purchased airplane tickets at a very good price.  However, even after making this non-refundable purchase, I continued checking travel sites for plane tickets just in case I saw a better deal, (which I didn’t and couldn’t do anything about anyway).  Luckily I didn’t do this for long before realizing how silly this was!  However, I have to be more conscious of this tendency and be happy with my choices and move on…

4) Don’t sweat the small stuff.  They advise making rules for yourself that you don’t question. Decide on a certain brand of toilet paper and don’t mull over the other choices.  I really need to follow this since I spend too much time looking for good deals and then often end up just  buying from Amazon, Walmart or Target anyway.

Do you think your life would be simpler if you had fewer choices?