A Manifesto for a Simple Life (and Giveaway – CLOSED)

A Manifesto for a Simple Life - Kelly Exeter

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from my friend and fellow simplicity-seeker, Kelly Exeter of A Life Less Frantic. Kelly has five copies of her new book, ‘Your Best Year Ever’ to give away – see the end of this post for details.

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Four years ago, feeling stressed and overwhelmed, I sat down and wrote myself what was effectively a wish list. I called it A Manifesto for a Simple Life, and it helped clarify a (clearly) deep-seated craving I had: the need to distil my complicated life down to only what was necessary.

Four years on, those words still stand up (always nice when that happens!). I return to them whenever life threatens to overwhelm me. They’re an ongoing reminder that while we may live in a complicated world, life itself can be simple if we let it.

And it seems I’m not alone in finding relief in simplicity. That manifesto has been shared hundreds of thousands of times on social media, and I’ve received countless emails thanking me for breaking it down. People often ask me about what it all means. Why did I choose these particular aims to help me with my goal of simplicity?

This is the story behind my Manifesto for a Simple Life.

Eat less, move more

There is so much angst and self-loathing around food and body image these days. How do I know this (beyond what my eyes can see)? Well the number one article that Google sends people to on my site is this one about ‘how to stop thinking about food all the time.’

Given I wrote that post, I clearly know what it feels like to obsess about food and the effect it was having on my weight. And happily, since I’ve been able to overcome it, I can assure you that not doing that anymore has made life a LOT simpler.

What’s been the biggest game-changer for me in this regard? Mindfulness.

For example: would you like a piece of cake? Then eat the damn cake! But, instead of cutting yourself a tiny sliver (because then it doesn’t ‘count’ right?), and then another, and then another (and getting to the end of the day to find you’ve eaten half a cake), cut yourself a God-honest piece of cake.

Now sit down with it and savour every single mouthful. Eat ALL your food this way. Mindfully. When you’re mindful (as opposed to obsessive), you just naturally ‘eat less’ and you also find yourself eating ‘better’.

The same applies to ‘move more’. Be mindful of the opportunities in your day to move your body, and then take them! Get off the bus one stop early. Park in the far corner of the shopping centre car park. Walk with your kids to school rather than driving.

The human body is designed to move. It’s been shown that regular exercise is the world’s greatest wonder drug. Let’s get more of that good stuff in our day!

Being in good health makes life unimaginably simpler! If you’ve ever had good health snatched away you’ll know this as truth.

Buy less, make more

The rampant consumerism in our world right now is a concern, don’t you think? If you’ve ever had the pleasure of moving house, you’ll have a good idea of just how much ‘stuff’ you’ve managed to accumulate. Mostly stuff you just don’t need.

All that stuff is complicating your life by cluttering not just your physical space, but your mental space, too.

So if handcrafting gifts or growing your own food is your thing, please, do more of that.

If spending money and keeping the economy alive is your thing, why not buy experiences instead?

That way you get the opportunity to make memories as opposed to buying more “stuff”.

Stress less, laugh more

One recurring piece of feedback I get from people reading A Manifesto for a Simple Life is: “Stress less? I’d love to, but I don’t even know where to begin.”

Well the perfect place to start is by surrounding yourself with people who make you laugh (or at the very least put a smile on your face.)

We’ve all got people in our lives for whom everything is a drama. We’ve all got people who send our cortisol levels through the roof. Do we need these people in our lives? Probably not. Can we spend less time with these people? Almost certainly.

Life becomes a lot simpler when we choose to focus on the relationships that are good for our souls. If someone makes us laugh, makes us feel lighter, then that relationship is good for the soul.

Feel blessed, love more

Every one of us has goals, dreams and desires for the future.

And every one of us (no matter our situation) has something abundant in our life worthy of celebration right now.

One of life’s simplest truths is this: if we’re not happy with the abundance in our lives right now, we’re not going to be happy with any abundance the future may hold. 

If you’re really struggling to feel blessed, the quickest way to overcome this is to put more love out into the world. It’s a simple truth of the universe that we get back what we put out, and love conquers all.

Another technique you can try is this one:

Sit down and run through all the things you have to do in your day. Ie “I have to get out of bed in the morning …” and so on.

Now run through the exact same list but precede everything you have to do with “I choose to …” In other words: “I choose to get out of bed in the morning.” That’s a nice shift huh?

Now try the same line with “I am blessed …” at the start. “I am blessed to get out of bed in the morning.”

Game-changer. I can’t think of a better way to practice gratitude and feel blessed every day than this.

Find a quiet spot every day and breathe

When all else fails; when everything going on in our lives threatens to overwhelm and crash down on us, it’s time to carve out some quiet moments in the day for ourselves.

It could be five minutes in the shower. It might be two minutes in the toilet (with the door locked so the kids can’t get in!) It might be that one minute a night between putting down the book you’re reading … and falling asleep.

These moments are so precious. And crucial!

They bring us firmly back into the present and allow us to re-calibrate.

It’s these moments that give us the truest taste of what life can feel like when we keep things simple.

And if you’re anything like me, those moments are more delicious than cake! 

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Kelly Exeter is a mother of two, wife of one, writer, designer, blogger, runner, business owner … the list does go on. After many years on the hamster wheel she’s finally figured out how to live A Life Less Frantic®. She shares the 7 simple shifts in thinking that got her there in her book Your Best Year Ever (which is currently 99c on Amazon so … get on it!).

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GIVEAWAY TIME: Kelly has FIVE copies of her new book Your Best Year Yet to give away to readers of Slow Your Home. To enter, simply leave a comment (be sure to include your email address when filling out your details) and let me know your favourite part of the manifesto. 

This competition is open to everyone and entries close Thursday 2nd July 2015 11:59pm AEST, with winners notified within 24 hours.

135 Responses to A Manifesto for a Simple Life (and Giveaway – CLOSED)

  1. Feel blessed, love more. The more I try to focus on all my blessings the easier it comes to share and feel love. The more I practice the easier my mind has started to make the shift on its own.

  2. The best part of just reading that was I have been thinking a lot about mindfulness lately and not being ‘split’ but also of seizing opportunities so i just read that whilst standing and stretching and doing squats! This little Mummy of 7 kids NEVER thought she would EVER get out of bed at 4:30 every day but she (I) made a choice!

  3. Stress less, laugh more.
    I just try to spend more time with friends and build up new friendships after spending the last years dedicated to work and focusing on my little children.
    Greetings from Germany!

  4. I love your example for Feel Blessed, Love More. Instead of saying I have to get up in the morning, say I am blessed to get up in the morning. That little change will be such a mood shifter when approaching any less desirable chores during the day.

  5. i love the eat less, move more part of this manifesto, particularly Kelly’s focus on enjoyment, I feel like so many of us try to deprive ourselves because we feel like we need to, this approach is a great balance between health and enjoyment, perfection!

  6. I love the “eat less move more” and the “find a quiet place and breathe”. Fantastic. Short and simple which I love. Thx for this great post and the chance to win. Congrats on your book.

  7. It is so refreshing to distill the complicated shoulds and should nots of life into a short manifesto! Thanks for the reminder today that it’s not all as complicated as it seems! I have been working on all of these things this year, but “eat less, move more” was my favorite today because that has fallen to the wayside recently. And when you simplify it like that becomes totally doable! Thank you for this post today. :)

  8. “Buy Less, Make More” – I’m currently working on this more than anything else. From trying to cook more and eat out less to trying to make my own cleaning products and reduce my waste with composting and careful purchasing. It’s important and something I’m really trying to make time for in my busy life.

  9. My favourite part is the Feel blessed, love more. I’m definitely going to start changing how I think about those things I have to do!

  10. Feel blessed, love more.
    I love the effect this has on my day – once I remind myself that I choose for my life to be this way and I am grateful for the opportunity to be present with my children all of the time, my mood instantly improves.

  11. Feel blessed, love more.
    I live in South Carolina, in the U.S., and in light of the terrible tragedy at Mother Emanuel church in Charleston, this mantra has been close to my heart the past ten days. To me, the most important thing to me is my relationship with God, and my fellow humans. I am striving to look for ways to pour into people’s lives.
    I also love the way that my iPhone tries to autocorrect live as love, and sometimes vice versa. Love is life; we should all strive never to forget.

  12. Stress less, laugh more! Just reading the manifesto and I feel my breathing slow, my shoulders relax as I become mindful of what I am doing and feeling. Laughing, expressing joy, is one of the truly important things for our relationships and ourselves.

  13. “Buy less, make more” is something I need to work on. I’m a bit Jekyll and Hyde with my consumerism (side note- sometimes I say to myself when I’m contemplating a purchase “would Brooke approve of me buying this?”- the imagined you almost never does :) ). Making things for others is such an enriching thing to do- I need to find the time to do more of it. These are important values to me that I want my children to inherit, I’m just not practising them as much as I’d like.

  14. Started reading this with a piece of cake, so sat myself down (away from the computer) to finish it! Eat less, Move more.

  15. I loved it all but especially eat less, move more, and Find a quiet spot and breathe. I am working on that and it is amazing how restorative a quiet minute or two of breathing can be.

  16. Love “Buy less, make more”. We are definitely a consumer driven society. How much do we really need? Trying to be mindful to use what I have – use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without. Thanks for the giveaway.

  17. Stress less, laugh more!!! Especially need to remember this with my 1 year old son. Everything will be ok. Just have fun!!!

  18. Stress less, laugh more! What a great reminder not to take myself so seriously and to enjoy the life I have been given!

  19. When you’re mindful (as opposed to obsessive), you just naturally ‘eat less’ and you also find yourself eating ‘better’.

    Sooooo true. I’ve been working towards eating all my meals this way and not only do I find that I’m eating less and better but its an infinitely more enjoyable way to eat a meal. Not only am I satisfied afterwards but feel like I’ve spent my time well and the meal has been a happy experience rather than a rushed scoff-fest.

  20. Feel blessed Love more……. Anytime I am feeling overwhelmed, tired, grumpy I find myself coming back to this line and it works every time to ground me

  21. Eat less, move more is my favorite part. I definitely need to be more mindful of the kind of food I eat. I also need to move more, I like to sit too much. Love this post, thanks!

  22. The manifesto is a great summary of what simple loving is truly about. Would love to have it on my fridge as a daily reminder. Thank you

  23. i like ‘buy less make more”. I’ve been doing so because creating is what helps me grow not only as a person, but also my business, and to help others. Plus our dollar has 30% less purchasing power as it did in the 1960s.

  24. Yes. Yes. Yes. This whole thing resonates in my soul! My favorite is to find a quiet place and breathe. I have such a hard time doing this and forget I need it until I am about to explode. Thank you for this encouragement!

  25. I have to… I choose to… I am blessed to…. This is such a good reminder about how to approach life and truly applies to everything. Thank you for simplifying gratitude in a way I can easily share with others.

  26. Your manifesto speaks to my heart. I love that it is so simple as it speaks to bringing simplicity into your life. We think alike. Lately, I find myself saying over and over again saying “One thing at a time” as I find myself checking email while I eat or combining other activities. I am also focusing on embracing life and living it fully by incorporating more fun, experiences, and time with friends.
    Keep sharing the good life…

  27. Stress less, laugh more!!! My very favourite way of dealing with stress and it truly works for me- is when I am most stressed about a situation I look skywards and say out loud-
    “Beam me up Scottie!” (Trekkies smile!)
    Then I laugh at myself, a genuine chuckle, that releases my stress and anger. People around ask what did you say and I love sharing my stress defusing strategy! Works for me.
    Less stress, by choosing the lightness in life over anxiety and anger, cutting ourselves some slack and realising the world doesn’t revolve around ME, whether I say yes or no.
    Only with hindsight have I learned this lesson. My hope is that many more stressed out people can laugh at themselves and also with others EVERY day!!!

  28. These all resonate with me, especially with my recent challenges. It seems fate wanted me to see this post.

  29. I need to remember the “BREATHE” part, that’s my favourite, as many times it’s all you need to do to feel better instantly :)

  30. Well the whole manifesto makes a lot of sense to me. It all sounds down to earth & doable. If I need to choose one for this very moment it would be stress less, laugh more.

  31. Be blessed and love more. It’s a very good place to start and be. I have had so much but not feel blessed. I want life to be about love and all that it bring.

  32. Stress less, laugh more. Im a work in progress, but with mindfulness and baby steps i know i can make positive changes.

  33. A most excellent post! The part that spoke to me most of all is the Feel Blessed, Love More segment. As the full time caregiver to my husband, who has a rare blood disorder, sometimes I do have a hard time trying to find the blessings in a day. Sometimes the wording of what we tell ourselves makes all the difference.

    To illustrate: this past weekend I was trying to complete some long-neglected yard work. The work was hard, I was so hot and miserable, covered in scratches so I began to think about how things had changed for us. I told myself, “I never knew one day I would have to do all this by myself!” Immediately I began to feel sad and sorry for myself. Then it occurred to me that I needed to change my thinking, so I changed one word. I told myself “I never knew one day I COULD do all this by myself!” I began to feel the pride and accomplishment of completing something that I would never have imagined I COULD do. It made all the difference.

  34. The one that resonates the most for me buy less make more. I have a hard time not buying stuff. I get a lot of pleasure from buying gifts for others, but even more than that, I have a really bad habit of thinking if I buy more and better clothes I will feel better and be better (successful, thin, beautiful, etc). I think if I can focus on experiences and how alive they make me feel, I won’t feel so deprived from buying things, and won’t need to rebel against that by buying more things.

    Even writing this I feel a glitch in my stomach, like a new insight, like I can do this! Book or no book, I’m subscribing to your site. So thank you!

  35. Definitely feel blessed, love more.

    This has been so key for me – to truly count my blessings and give thanks for all that I have. My husband and I have a daily “thankful” record that we’ve kept in a day planner this year; every night before bed, we write one blessing apiece from the day. It’s a lovely way to remind ourselves of all the good things in our life right here, right now.

  36. I love your comment about the above post. I love that you stopped yourself mid-yard work and found a gift in something you thought you had just lost. Well done!

  37. “Run through all the things you have to do” I love how you have taken this “fast paced life” phrase and transformed it into a little gift. A sweet example of how to take your already existing habit of thinking thru all those things in life, sometimes good or bad, and making them, transforming them into something beautiful and pure. A quick run thru of all things you have to do, and suddenly you feel LOVED and BLESSED! Awesome. Thanks!

  38. I love all of it, so simple and true (though not easy!). My favorite is eat less, move more. It’s such a clear directive to act on. And it’s easy to keep to mind. I’m copying down the whole manifesto, but I’ll focus on “eat less, move more” first!

  39. My favourite part is, “EAT LESS, MOVE MORE” Had a giggle when I read about the slither of cake, I do exactly that but with, “one more little square of chocolate won’t hurt.” Before I know it I’ve eaten the whole block.

  40. I really loved the part about mindful eating and mindful moving. All of us minimalistic people would agree that reducing body weight is as important as reducing stuff :-) only that it’s not as easy, u can’t just give away those extra fat to somebody else. So mindful eating and mindful moving is my new mantra !! Thanks Kelly, thanks Brooke!

  41. Love the cut a real piece of cake and savor every bite. You are so correct for us to do the same with everything we eat!

  42. Feel blessed love more
    it is one thing to know you are blessed but a game changer to feel blessed.
    Fabulous post thanks x

  43. It’s hard to pick just one! For me right now though I’m going with “breathe”!
    I seem to be one of those people on continual crazy! I’ve reduced my work commitments and am moving in the right direction – but still have a way to go. This reminds me to stop and savour the moments between the crazy, not just leap into the next thing.

  44. I’m really liking the “stress less, laugh more”! I’ve just started a new position at work, and while it’s something I was trained to do – two and a half years ago – it’s been a rough transition. The guy training me is always telling me that I need to be having fun, and in some moments, it is fun – but “stress less, laugh more” really needs to be my mantra for the next few weeks!

  45. Stress less, laugh more. A high conflict divorce makes this portion of the manifesto a necessity. My ex has/and continues to make a lot of stress for me. I’ve had to learn to keep emotion out of it (don’t fuel the drama!), deal with whatever comes my way and get on with my day. I used to let stress consume me; I never realized doing so is optional. It’s nice to have it all boiled down to a succinct list. Thanks!

  46. I like stress less, laugh more the most for the season of life I’m in. I feel like I’ve simplified a lot in all the other areas but still get into slumps of self-pity and negative thoughts. But when I laugh, man it’s like it all just goes out the window and I want more of that. :) Love that manifesto!!!

  47. if we’re not happy with the abundance in our lives right now, we’re not going to be happy with any abundance the future may hold is my fav bit. I want to move but can’t at the moment so I’m going to try and make the best of being at this house.

  48. Finding the quiet on my front porch swing is one wa I try to slow my pace. It usually takes the kids a good 20 minutes to find me.

  49. Eat less, move more…my life in a nutshell right now–a struggle as I am in my mid-forty’s & feel like I need a “do-over”.

  50. Really love the manifest. Currently I am working on breathing because when I am stressed I totally forget to breath.

  51. Breathe is my favourite part of the manifesto. A reminder to let it all go and just breathe. Kind of like a “one step at a time and see where it goes” reminder. A big deep breath can help you return to centre and refocus on what is important.

  52. Definitely “Buy less, make more.” I volunteer at a local SPCA Thrift Store, and it is crazy how much stuff we receive, including lots of new items with tags. People have way too much stuff! I’m glad we’re making money to help the animals, but I worry about the earth, the people on it, and the impact of all this consumerism.

  53. Stress Less, Laugh More… so much stress in my life right now. But I really like all of the ideas, would love to read the book.

  54. “Life becomes a lot simpler when we choose to focus on the relationships that are good for our souls. If someone makes us laugh, makes us feel lighter, then that relationship is good for the soul.”

    This resonates so greatly with me. I need to do this and I will start today.

  55. Feel blessed, love more
    Now run through the exact same list but precede everything you have to do with “I choose to …” In other words: “I choose to get out of bed in the morning.” That’s a nice shift huh?

    I’m really struggling “should do” in my life. I should do this, I should be doing that. Tried before I get started so most of time don’t. But this change might help. Thanks

  56. Feel blessed, love more. A simple reminder that putting out more than you receieve is actually the ultimate joy, and gift in life for both parties.

  57. I really need to start appreciating the min of peace an breath. I think I get so wrapped up in the busyness of being a mom to 2 under 2 that I don’t take the time to appreciate those moments.

  58. This week marks the beginning of a six-month leave of work for both me and my husband. We’ll use the time to do some budget-friendly traveling and to reconnect with family and friends around the globe. And because our home base will change frequently–sometimes daily–we’re making sure to find a quiet spot to reflect every day. Definitely my favorite part of the manifesto!

  59. I really loved the whole thing, but my favorite part is “Feel blessed, love more” because it’s the area I personally need to work on the most. I need constant reminders to do be thankful for what I do have in my life and to find the good in the little things.

  60. Buy less, make more is my favorite! I am trying to downsize and love yard sales. So I need to intentionally focus on each item I bring in the house. Thank you!

  61. My favorite part of the manifesto (aside from the simplicity of it, since my own is very long) is “stress less, laugh more.” No matter how often I remind myself or read things that tell me to not worry so much, it creeps up on me in unexpected ways. I need to continually remember to surround myself with people who make me laugh and focus more on my blessings than the things that rub me the wrong way, keeping my perspective. Thanks for sharing!

  62. I loved the part about eat less, move more. I work 2 jobs, both of which have me sitting at a desk and in front of a computer. This results in me eating too much while working and not moving enough. I love the manifesto and how simple and easy it is to apply as sometimes slow living can feel complicated and impossible.

  63. Stress less, laugh more! I tend to be very pessimistic and that is just exhausting definitely need to laugh more and let things go

  64. Stress less, laugh more. Been feeling very stressed lately….unsatisfying job, financial issues,etc. Trying to do better and look at things more positively starting TODAY!

  65. Feel blessed, love more! I am so blessed yet let myself get caught up in negativity. This is a great reminder for me just focus on the blessings and love in my life!

  66. Feel blessed love more.

    What we focus on we attract more of. When we focus on feeling blessed we are able to love more and be loved more. No one wants to love someone who is crabby all the time.

    Blessings are all around us, in every thing and every where. We just need to focus on looking for them and appreciating them more.

  67. “Life becomes a lot simpler when we choose to focus on the relationships that are good for our souls.”

    On my journey towards slow, the goal I am working towards now is editing my relationships, both in person and on social media. Recognizing which are toxic and which ones are good for my soul, helps determine who I should spend time with and who makes me and my world a better place.

  68. “Cut yourself a God-honest piece of cake!” Love it!!! My other favorite part is locking yourself in the toilet for a moment (especially with little ones around) :)
    Love the post!!!!!

  69. Spend Less Make More. I am so over the consumeristic lifestyle! I would so love someone to make me dinner or take me to a museum for a gift than to buy me something else that I dont need and that take up space. Experiences over stuff anyday!!

  70. Eat less. Move more. I love the part about cutting yourself a God-honest piece of cake. I am working on being mindful when I eat.

  71. My favorite part? Breathe. It’s the simplest thing we’ve been gifted. When all else fails…simply breathe. Keep it simple. Thanks for this post. Hope to get your book and share it with others.

  72. Feel blessed and love more! I learned a long time ago that the best way to get out of a funk or just a bad, poor me mood is to focus on giving to and loving others. My personal love: delivering meals to the elderly and homebound in my city.

  73. I say all is good in moderation and you always have a choice when you are willing to accept the consequences of that choice. However, in saying that if I just swap things around things could just fall in place.
    “when I move more I’ll eat less
    when I make more I’ll buy less
    when I laugh more I’ll stress less
    when I love more I’ll feel blessed
    and when I just breathe the quiet spot will find me”

    If I focus on the outcome then the rest should follow.

  74. Wow. Replacing “I have to” with “I am blessed to” is so simple. Yet so powerful. Thank you for that reminder.

  75. I am currently reducing the clutter in my life. Already I feel lighter, my house feels lighter and I feel happier. Stuff? Who needs it?!!

  76. My favorite part of the Manifesto is “Stress less, laugh more” (right before “Feel blessed, love more”). I tend to stress myself over things I have little or no influence on. I always thought I just couldn’t help it, that this was just me, some kind of a control freak – until I realized that my habit of stressing took a great portion of happiness from me, without adding anything significant value to my life. Since then, I’ve been trying to change my mindset. I started by making a list of the few things I used to stress about the most and evaluating whether there was any good reason to be concerned about those thing. Turns out there wasn’t. I still have a lot of sources of stress to eliminate from my life, but having the most urgent areas tackled first was quite a relief. Now I only need to laugh more! :)

    • I love this idea, Mia. I once made a list of all my fears. Then I reflected on them. I basically saw them vanishing from the paper, because there was no reason to be afraid.

  77. Feel blessed, love more.
    Changing ‘I have to’ and ‘I choose to’ to ‘I am blessed to’ resonated deeply in me. Changing these few words will benefit me greatly.

  78. Although all of it is advice I could live by, ‘find a quiet spot every day and breathe’ is resonating with me currently. I have been under a lt of stress at work lately and am trying to slow down what I can control so I can cope. In particular I would like to meditate more or do an exercise like yoga. I think I can manage a few deep breaths each day. Wish me luck!

  79. My favourite part was related to being grateful for what we have! Thank you for sharing such great words and thoughts!

  80. Breathe….feeling blessed. Everyday, I am grateful for what I have. I need to work on some of the others a great deal more…Eat less…Move more, in particular.

  81. Feel blessed, love more – for me, these two things help the other steps fall into place more naturally

  82. Feel blessed, Love more. This really resonated with me. Sometimes life feels like such a struggle. It seems so obvious now having read this post, but I have been looking at things the wrong way.

  83. I love the whole manifesto, but especially the part that says “find a quiet spot and breathe”, this simple thing can help you ground yourself and transform your whole day, we need to breathe more…
    greetings from México

  84. ‘Find a quiet space…and breathe’…I’ve just learned this year what a powerful thing it is to stop and notice the breath, and this is after practising yoga on and off for 16 years! That breathing thing…that just happens no matter what I’m doing…it symbolises the world turning and the seconds passing and when I’m in a tight spot, sometimes that’s all I really need to remember….that there are some things that just continue on, reliably, no matter what. It’s the bigness and the smallness of it all!

  85. Stress Less, Laugh More is my favorite part of what you are writing here! I have spent the past few years slowly simplifying my life, but changing how I interact with certain relationships in my life has made the biggest impact. Letting go isn’t goodbye, but making friends who speak to my soul and get me for me is priceless. Thank you for sharing this!!

  86. Stress less, laugh more. In my case, it is the one I need to work on, laughing is such a good mechanism to deal with hard times.

  87. Stress less, laugh more – So much of our lives are wrapped up in stress, which leads to overeating, overspending, etc. and creates a vicious cycle of more stress! For me, this is the hardest one – it can be tough in the midst of everything to figure out how to reduce it.

  88. Feel blessed, love more – My five minute gratitude journal for morning and evening makes me feel blessed TWICE A DAY. And the one thing that I am grateful for and that I write down every day for my partner (and he writes down for me) removed a big part of the “blame game” from our relationship. The beauty of all your points is the NOW. We LIVE in the NOW and have no influence on the BEFORE and AFTER, yet we focus – and stress – much more on them. Thank you for putting this together!

  89. Stress Less, Laugh More. This really resonated me. Setting boundaries and moving away from toxic relationships has really helped to decrease stress in my life.

  90. Carving out time for oneself when overwhelm threatens to engulf is one that I have struggled with but not this year. This year, I changed my entire life so that I could find that peace within that comes from quietness and room to breathe. Now, most days, I walk on a beautiful beach, picnic on a blanket under a tree, watch pelicans and fishermen (both with endless patience for a lucky catch), read and knit. I think, if you are going to grab snatches of time, big or small, finding a place to appreciate nature makes it all that much sweeter.

  91. Well,since it was my 50th birthday yesterday… I really think this is a lovely book to read how to live the other half of my life

  92. For me it’s definitely the “Stress less….” element. Everyday in tying myself in knots trying to do all the “right” things. I need to slow down, stress less and focus on what is important to me.

    I’m getting there, slowly but surely’

  93. Find a quiet space to breathe. I was diagnosed with cervical cancer in July 2009. The treatment required surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. I for sure had to stay home for six weeks to recovery from surgery and the doctors said I really wouldn’t feel like doing much during the following six weeks of radiation/chemo. At the time I, and everyone who knew me well, couldn’t imagine that I could sit still for a week let alone three months. Of the many gifts I was given during this period, learning that quiet time alone recharges me, was one of the most surprising.

  94. My age and stage in life are calling me to feel blessed and love more. Time to focus on relationships that nourish and support, let the others go. On the other hand moving house after being in the same place for 21 years has also allowed me the perfect opportunity to declutter, we’d accumulated more than I realised. A bit more to let go off yet though…….a work in progress!

  95. This year, I am really focusing on mindfulness in all areas. I am practicing the eat less, move more part of the manifesto, but mindfulness is extending to all areas of my life. I turned 50 this year, so I’m doing lots of evaluating, tweaking, removing, and adjusting my focus to better suit this season of life. The book sounds awesome!

  96. I really relate to the buy less, make more theory. When I was a child that was the way things were, no matter if it was food, clothing, or household items. Life was simpler and less cluttered then and relationships meant a lot more.

  97. I SO want this book! It looks wonderfully uplifting and I have a family who really needs this advice! I’d love to share it with them and help them to change their lives.
    Cath

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