“From your experience, what would you say is the biggest obstacle that people have to living a simpler, truly fulfilling life?”

A reader asked me this question a few days ago, and I think my answer would have to be one word… “inertia.” The prospect of a lifestyle change is so overwhelming for most people, they are understandably afraid to take that first step. I hear from so many people who really want to live more simply, BUT… and I mean this seriously… they’re making “simple living” too complicated.

Although the eventual goal may be a major lifestyle change, a more gradual approach to simplifying will work best for most people because it can be done in small, non-intimidating steps. A good way to begin is to simplify the life you’re living right now… for example, these three very basic simplifying ideas will work for anyone, regardless of lifestyle.


Leopard’s bane (Doronicum orientale)
  • Start with what you and your family eat, with the goal of eating more healthy, natural foods… but again, this is a change you don’t have to make all at once. If you eat out frequently or depend on convenience foods for most of your meals, start with a goal of one “from scratch” meal per week and more “one-ingredient” foods.
  • Start keeping a record of what you spend and where. This will help you better understand why you spend and will make it easier to eliminate unnecessary purchases. Start saving where and what you can… even seemingly insignificant amounts saved consistently add up over time.
  • Start doing more things yourself instead of paying someone else to do them. Tackle easy projects you know you can do at first, then move on to more challenging ones as your skill level (and confidence) increases. You will save money by doing these things yourself, but the immeasurable personal satisfaction you will gain is even more important.

Remember… there is no set formula or “one right path” to a simplicity that is right for everyone. Work toward YOUR version of simple living… a lifestyle based on your personality and your circumstances.

This is the simplicity that will be the most fulfilling to you.