It’s so hard to believe the end of this year is upon us! It’s been a year of highs and lows for me, but throughout the year I’ve stayed focused on being intentional with how I spend my time. Last year, I read Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear. I enjoyed the book, and found it helpful for implementing good habits that would help me simplify my life. Since then, I’ve been mindful of keeping up with the good habits on a regular basis.

At the end of each year, I like to think back on how well (or not) things went throughout the year. It always helps me prepare for the next year. I don’t necessarily set resolutions each New Year’s Eve, but I do like to start the New Year with an understanding as to how I’m going to keep life simple. With so much happening around me at all times, I always make it a point to keep life simple enough that I can focus on what and who matters to me.

Here are five habits I maintained this year to keep life simple:

Meal Plan

I’ve been using a Meal Plan system for a few years, and I finally have it to the point where it’s easy to keep up with it. The system I created for myself is simply a digital calendar, which I keep updated at least one week in advance. I kept up with the Meal Plan again this year, since it’s a sure way to keep things simple not just when I’m purchasing groceries but also on a daily basis.

Notes App

I’m pretty sure I’m not using half of all the features on the Notes app, but I’m using the ones that help me simplify and organize my life. I mainly use Notes for shopping lists (groceries, household items, etc.), lists of items I need to bring to an event, and scanned documents I’ll need to reference while out. I keep Notes updated on a regular basis by checking off the items that no longer need to be purchased and deleting the notes/lists I no longer need.

Email Control

Earlier this year I decided to take the time to clean up and organize all of my email. It was a big task at that time, but worth it. More important, I’ve kept up with it throughout the year, so I no longer feel overwhelmed by unread emails. I took a three-step process to clean out and organize my email: deleted, stored in folders, and unsubscribed to limit the number of emails I receive. I’ve been keeping up with that process, and it’s made such a difference!

Limited Phone

I don’t use my phone before 9am or after 9pm. That means when I wake up each morning, I don’t use my phone to check email, news, social media, etc. The same goes for after 9pm. By doing this, I keep my morning free to do what matters, instead of reacting to anything else. In the evening, I’m able to get to sleep without crowding my mind with something new to think or worry about. Throughout the day, I use my phone as needed while regularly keeping in mind how that fits into my overall goals for the day.

Calendar Control

As the days feel like they’re flying past me so quickly (how is it already the end of the year?!), I’m regularly mindful of what and who I spend my time with. In order to spend time on what matters, I strive to keep my life simpler by not letting my calendar get filled with unnecessary events. This year, I’ve made sure to keep one day a week as a slow day for family time. So far, Sunday is the day that works for us, and we always end the day with a special family dinner.

Interested in how I use our family calendar to keep life simplified? See my 5 Tips For A Simplified School Year post.

How about you? What was the most significant change or habit that helped make 2022 successful for you?