Why Simplified? Because It's Changed My Life, No Really!

Today, August 1st, has oddly similar feelings to Christmas for me. 

Maybe it's because all the fall candles are coming out, so it's gearing me up for another season, or maaaaaybe it's because The Simplified Planner that I've been prepping for 2 months now STARTS TODAY!! 

Bah! And all the Type-A's screamed HOORAY! 

My Favorites:

A Simplified Life

Grace, Not Perfection

The Simplified Planner

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See, my love affair with all products from Emily Ley goes back to this past Christmas when I asked for her book, A Simplified Life. Obviously, it was around the New Year, and I was in a season of truly desiring more simplicity and organization but unable to pave that road for myself. 

I began reading A Simplified Life, fell in love with Emily's simple (ironic?) writing style and beautifully designed book, and soaked up everything she had to say. I literally either bought or suggested the book for several people I know, hoping it was as beneficial for them, as it was for me. 

Because to me, it honestly wasn't just about simplifying, organizing and setting routines for your home. It was about getting my life back. And it was one of the big things that helped with that.

Whoa. That's a big statement right there. 

But really, it's just how I felt! Emily talked about how "simplifying" was different from "minimalism", in that she's not telling you to get rid of everything but to determine the need and purpose for the stuff you have. If it does, then find a place for it--not several. For example, all the medicine goes in one cabinet; all the cleaning supplies in another--everything should be able to be found easily and simply. 

Slowly but surely (actually, it was super fast), I began to transform our home, and I began to feel weight lifted off of me, less stress and more life. It was shocking to me how the routines and organized spaces left me feeling like I had more room for what mattered: it literally affected my spiritual life. I began to simplify all compartments of my life and find more time and space for what mattered most. 

So after I devoured A Simplified Life and everything she was about, I quickly became a fan girl. I promptly purchased her August-December 2018 planner, and it STARTS TODAY!!! EEEP!!! 

Like I knew she would, she helped me organize and plan my days for the months to come. In the prep days (what I've been doing the past 2 months), there's room for your routines, morning and night. She guides you through this and other meaningful ways to set yourself up for success. The kind of success that only a super talented type-A woman or a woman with years of wisdom can--I have to imagine she's both ;-) 

So here I am, launching with probably many of you, as we get to begin implementing our new planners!  

I've already been practicing my morning and evening routines, and as simple as it sounds, it has been SO life-giving, so productive and so freeing. 

I'll share some of my routines for you to show you just how simple they are yet fitting for ME. I tried to think about what I wanted to get done, what I needed to get done and what caused me stress in my life if I didn't do it. It simply has been so refreshing. But it's important to note (and this is a reminder to myself) that this is not some legalistic, check-list to mark. It's more of a heart-pumper for me. I hated how it was instinct for me to roll over in bed and immediately jump on the Insta scroll. What's worse is then I would not be disciplined in spending my time doing more meaningful things afterward and my day would feel BLAH. 

Like I had no control. But this structure from my planner was just what I needed at just the right time in my life, and it's been so fruitful. I do have control: it's completely my choice. And yours. 

So my encouragement to you is: come up with a similar list that's fitting for YOU. What are your pain points? What are productive, necessary things you need to do? Things that you wished you were more disciplined with? What can you realistically do everyday (with added grace with the baby wakes up earlier than you expected or #lifehappens). Make your routine, and like Emily suggests, put it next to your bed as a visual reminder. 

It's been sweet for me, and I totally have control to add/tweak my routine as life changes and goes on!

My morning routine: 

1. Wake up to my alarm (not always Luke) & drink a glass of water then stretch. 

2. Hygiene: brush teeth, wash face, get dressed (because when you work from home, this can happen much later in the day)

3. Make coffee and read from my bible--specifically truth, not from a podcast, Insta post, blog--not that these are bad at all, but I felt convicted about the way I was seeking truth; journal my prayers & text any friends who come to mind

4. Insert Luke: feed him, read with him, and let the playing & day begin!

My evening routine: 

1. Feed Luke, brush Luke's teeth, bathe him, read to him, say prayers & put him to bed 

2. Hygiene: shower, brush teeth & all the things

3. Go through and answer unread texts from the day (this used to weigh SO heavily on me but now there's a time)

4. I write down my top 3 work/life priorities for the next day that I can realistically get done

5. Update our family Instagram account (@thedavenportsdoadventure) so it updates our future Chatbooks then I put my phone up for the night (I had gotten months behind until I implemented this, and now it's EASY)

6. Read 15 minutes for enjoyment (currently reading Girl Wash Your Face...& 8340 other books) 

7. Visit with Jordan about the day & then watch TV with him & pray

You know when you find a particular food or restaurant you're obsessed with? Or workout that you believe it so much? You just want to shout it to the world to convince them how it's making your life better, and that's my feelings about all things simplified. 

If you feel half the way I have the past 7 months, then I am happy for you friend! Don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about the books or planner! Or hey, don't hesitate to reach out and tell me what products YOU love best! I just ordered my Home Base Binder and CAN'T WAIT for this! 

Happy planning friends!