My life used to suck. I was unhealthy, unhappy, and just lived on auto-pilot. Fortunately, slow living drastically improved things for me, including living a much happier life.
There are seemingly infinite ways to introduce slow living into your life. In this article, I want to share ten ideas for how you can use slow living concepts to live a more enjoyable life yourself.
Slow living and being happy are lifestyle choices we make.
This article highlights some ideas I believe will help introduce the slow living lifestyle to enjoy life more. Your mileage may vary, but it works for me and may for you too.
Table of contents
To me, slow living is about finding our ideal pace and tempo to live without sacrificing anything we need or truly want.
When we prioritize what is essential in our lives and get rid of the rest, an abundance of free time opens up that we can use to relax, reduce stress, and enjoy life.
10 Ideas To Live A Happy Life With Slow Living
Slow living may not be for everyone, but how can you tell unless you give some of the concepts a try?
I can say this, though; I am happier with my life now than I have ever been because of slow living. With that context in mind, I would like to share how I live a happy life with slow living and 10 ideas for you to try in your life to feel the same way.
Give these ideas a chance; you may be surprised how well they work.
1. Trust Your Vision
Live a lifestyle based on your criteria, not what you think society expects or will accept.
Be brutally honest and selfish with what you want to have in your life and what you want to do.
It sounds simple, but most have issues doing this.
When we look around, it seems there is a constant bombardment from people and companies telling us what is cool, acceptable, in fashion, and the right way to behave.
To hell with all that.
Life is too short to worry about what other people think about you. Love yourself. Be honest with yourself and what you want in life. Then make it a priority to live that life.
2. Define Values & Needs
Live a lifestyle that fulfills your wants and needs based on your values and beliefs.
Our values and beliefs ideally guide everything we do in life. They influence how we process information, make decisions, and even determine how we behave even when nobody is looking.
Some of our values were instilled in us growing up, and others developed through our life experiences. It is a great exercise to take a mental inventory of our emotions every now and then.
I created a free workbook to help with that; click here for the workbook.
In addition, we also need to learn how to create a list of things we need and want in our new lifestyle.
The needs are things we cannot live without. Taking care of our kids and family, food and water, sleep, and exercise are basic needs.
Our wants get a bit tricky. We want to identify what we truly want in life, but we want to be stingy with what we let into our lives.
Taking a 30-minute afternoon nap and having dessert after dinner (provided I did my daily exercises) make my “wants” list every time.
Wants that do not make my list include anything I don’t really need or anything outside my budget.
The idea here is to start thinking about and even writing down what we stand for, what we need, and what we want.
After a while, we will see lifestyle patterns emerging and changes starting to take shape when we look back at the results.
3. Remove The Clutter
Identify what is neither a need nor a want, and start eliminating it from your lifestyle.
Decluttering, in general, has become popular because it works. The less we own, the less stress we have. It may sound like reverse logic, but it was true in my case.
I’ve always been a minimalist, but I even had too much stuff. How do you tell if you have too much stuff? Here is an exercise to try.
Without looking, make a list of everything in your bedroom closet. Then go to your wardrobe and put everything from your list on your bed. What you have left in your closet is probably unnecessary and can be thrown out or regifted.
In my free slow living guide, I talk about removing three types of clutter; physical, mental, and digital.
An example of mental clutter could be hanging on to an old grudge instead of letting it go.
Getting rid of digital clutter could be as easy as deleting old unneeded apps on your phone, so it is easier to find what you use.
Try to read my slow living guide if you have not already read it.
4. Prioritize What Matters
Use your values and beliefs to identify and continually prioritize what matters most to you.
Not everything is or can be a priority.
Every day we must choose how and where we spend our time and what gets our attention.
If it is not essential, don’t spend time thinking about it.
Don’t get sucked into the trap where something is not essential but will only take 10 minutes to do – so we end up doing it.
That 10-minute task is almost always 20; when you add up all those little tasks, you have wasted hours.
Keep in mind that slow living reduces our pace, obligations, and stress and allows us more free time.
If we are not good Shepards with our time each day, we will defeat the purpose of designing a slow living lifestyle.
5. Define An Ideal Day
Reinforce your ideal lifestyle by mentally walking through what a perfect day would look like.
When we start designing a new lifestyle, daydreaming is vital. Think through different scenarios and events and how you ideally see your day playing out.
After a while, you will notice tendencies repeat themselves. These are key indicators that you truly desire, and we should write them down.
Mentally walking through a perfect day is also beneficial throughout the process. It will help either point out areas that need to be tweaked or reaffirm regions that are working and you like.
This self-reflection is an excellent tool to evaluate your happiness with your lifestyle.
6. Set Goals & Pace
Remember why we want life to slow down and guard against over-planning and goal setting.
Setting goals and tracking results is a great way to be productive and move things along.
That said, for designing a new lifestyle around slow living principles, we want to ensure we aren’t setting individual goals that interfere with our overall lifestyle goals.
If you want to fill your days with personal and professional goals and have grand visions of super productive days – that is great. I wish you well.
But, this is about slow living, which is the opposite.
So, I suggest we set gentle goals that stimulate our lives and move us ahead in life but still provide the free time we desire.
We should also be mindful of the pace we take to accomplish goals.
Pace can be a casualty of having too many goals.
It can be a balancing act, but we should set our goals respecting the natural pace at which we plan to complete our tasks.
Rushing to get something done fast has little to do with slow living. Taking the necessary time to complete a task well is what we are looking for.
That may sometimes mean being OK, not finishing something today, or missing a deadline we set for ourselves.
Granted, working for someone will not always play out this way, but it should still be the goal.
7. Find Rewarding Work
Identify our emotional and financial needs and wants, and start pursuing that line of work.
Trying to initiate a happier lifestyle would not be complete if we ignored what we do for work.
It doesn’t matter if we work for someone else, work in our own business, or are in charge of the house; it still works we need to do daily.
That said, the same principles apply.
Think about what we want to do for work. Are you happy in your current profession, or do you want to do something else?
Do you want to work in an office or from home? How many hours a day do you want to work?
Daydream about your perfect days at work, and describe what that looks like.
If you want to change things up, planning and making sure you make a move responsibly will take time.
But, the key is to start the process. You are only trapped if you think you are.
8. Pay For The Lifestyle
Be mindful of the cost of our ideal lifestyle and strive to live beneath your financial means.
The biggest reason people think they can’t change their lives is the cost of their current lives.
Most have credit cards, car payments, high rent or mortgages, costly health insurance, and we haven’t even talked about paying for food and entertainment yet.
Throw in a spouse and children, and the costs seem dizzying.
If you really want to free up time in your day and live the life you want, you will probably need to lower your costs in life – and it will take time and planning to accomplish.
However, it can be done.
You can move to a less expensive living place, get by with one car, and shop for better insurance plans.
The less your financial overhead is each month, the easier it will be to implement lifestyle changes and provide more options to make a living.
9. Embrace The Change
Having goals help turn our actions into reality; just be OK that these will probably change.
The idea of living a happier life with slow living sounds great, right? Well, it is, but it is not something you do once, and then you are done.
As you become more familiar with designing aspects of your life, having those designs become real is cool.
You will want to do it more and more and get better and better at it.
There are things in life that we don’t control, which will often lead to necessary lifestyle changes.
You can consider these problems or blessings. It is entirely up to you.
I have come to believe that change is fantastic. It refreshes the senses and provides an area on the canvas yet to be painted.
It is an opportunity to create something new in our life. Embrace that.
10. Just Start Doing It
Creating a happy and fulfilling lifestyle is an ongoing endeavor, so start the process and keep going!
Using slow living concepts to live a happy and more enjoyable life will require you to start thinking about the type of lifestyle you really want to live.
It will also take a little time and effort, which is OK.
Starting is the key to anything.
The idea of a perfect anything is silly, so don’t worry about perfection.
Free your mind of failure while you are at it because failing to start is often a byproduct of fear of failing.
Some of us don’t start because we have a fear of success.
I mentioned earlier that life is too short to worry about what other people think. Let me expand on that by adding that life is too short to wait around before living the life you truly want. Go get it!
I hope you seriously consider what you want out of life and then take steps to achieve it.
Having gone through that process, I can tell you the work and the journey are well worth the effort.
So whether it is slow living or something else, I hope this inspired you to take action.
Thanks for reading.
P.S. Below is some footer stuff to consider.