Inside: Follow these five steps to build your ‘right-sized’ life and make intentional choices that align with your goals and values.

For years, the idea of success and happiness has been closely tied to material possessions.

The newest car, the biggest home, the most expensive wardrobe – all are clear signs of status and, in turn, success. We chase jobs with fancier titles and bigger paychecks to make it happen, often resulting in longer hours and more stress.

And rarely do we stop to ask ourselves – is it worth it?

For some people, it might be. But for many of us? That’s no way to live.

Instead, we should focus on achieving our ‘right-sized’ life – our own version of success that strikes a balance between achievement, wealth, security, and well-being. 

The thought of identifying and striving toward your right-sized life – which often means taking a big step back – can be a little intimidating.

But if you’re eager to find more balance, joy, and connection in your life, there are a few simple steps you can take to embrace simplicity and focus on the important things in life.

build your 'right-sized' life

5 Steps to Build Your ‘Right-Sized’ Life

The culture’s idea of success tells you that you need to climb the corporate ladder and you should continually upsize your life. However, acquiring more isn’t the key to happiness. Follow these five steps to build your ‘right-sized’ life.

1. Identify and Reflect Upon Your Values

Most people don’t know what their right-sized life looks like – because they’ve never actually thought about it.

We’re so focused on achieving more and acquiring more that we don’t even pause and do ourselves the service of wondering if it’s even necessary.

That’s why the first step to building your ‘right-sized’ life involves some reflection. 

Carve out some time for yourself to think. Grab a table at a local coffee shop, put down a blanket outside and surround yourself with nature, or curl up on your couch with your favorite candle burning nearby. Get a pen and some paper. Then, allow your thoughts to flow.

Some questions to ask yourself might include:

  • What do I value most in life? What qualities do I respect? 
  • What does success look like to me?
  • What brings me joy and energizes me?
  • What am I passionate about?
  • What aspects of my life do I find most meaningful and rewarding?
  • What are my top priorities?

You can also focus on the other side of things…

  • What do I hate doing? What drains me?
  • What causes me stress? 
  • What would I stop doing right now if there were no consequences? 

Answering these questions can give you clarity and help you figure out what really matters to you. While for some people it might be wealth, material possessions, and seniority at work – for many people it’s more focused on spending time with the people you love, preserving your health, and pouring time into the hobbies that fill your cup. 

clothing donations

2. Simplify Your Environment

Chances are, once you figure out what’s most important to you, physical possessions aren’t going to rank very high on that list. 

Put your mindset shift into practice by simplifying your environment. Clear away clutter – all the things that don’t serve you.

Get rid of things you own that you regret buying, the things that you don’t need that don’t bring you joy, and the things you only own because you thought you had to.

You might be surprised to see just how much extra stuff you’ve been holding onto, and how differently you feel once it’s gone.

Keep things that serve a functional purpose and things that you love. If you need to add a tad more life to your space there are easy and inexpensive ways to make a big impact in your home. Some great options are a secondhand piece of art, a potted plant, or fresh-cut flowers.  

build your 'right-sized' life

3. Evaluate Your Finances

For many of us, the biggest misalignment we find involves our job – the source of our financial security.

We’ve built an oversized lifestyle that requires a certain amount of money to maintain, and as a result, we feel trapped by our work.

Taking a step back in responsibility might be the best thing for our health and happiness, but the subsequent drop in income is something that may not be sustainable – at least, not right away.

Take a look at your current financial state. How much money do you have coming in? How much do you need to maintain your current status? And what can you cut back on or eliminate from your monthly budget to lower your overall spend?

Some of those money drains might be easy to address, like overspending on groceries or needless streaming services.

Other, more significant expenses – like your mortgage and your car payment – might be a little harder to fix. Still, it’s worth exploring.

Does the space you live in serve you well, or could you be just as happy – maybe even happier – with less? Does the monthly payment on your current car justify the value it adds to your life? 

Once you have a better understanding of your current financial state – as well as your ideal, right-sized state – identify the actions you need to take to make it happen. You can simplify and save more money.

woman writing on whiteboard calendar

4. Prioritize your time. 

Time is one of the few things in life that doesn’t discriminate. We all have the same 24 hours in a day to do as much – or as little – as we want. 

At least, that’s the baseline. Many of us commit those hours before we’ve actually reached them with work and all kinds of other less-than-ideal obligations.

Right-sizing your life isn’t just about your physical belongings; it’s also about how you spend your time. Are there things you can declutter from your schedule?

While a 40-hour 5-day work week is standard – is it right for you? Or does it leave you drained, exhausted, and unable to do the things that fulfill you and light you up? 

If you have flexibility with your work consider work-from-home options or places that offer a 4-day work week. And if those aren’t options in your line of work? You aren’t alone – and you can still find ways to maximize the time you spend outside of work with a little intentional focus. 

You don’t have to climb the corporate ladder just because other people are. With promotions come additional responsibilities which often means more time and stress at work.

It’s important to remember that there is always a trade-off so make decisions with your work that reflect your values and priorities. If moving into management takes you from the work you love then it’s not part of building your ‘right-sized’ life.

Life isn’t about just living for the weekend, but about finding the joy you can every day.

build your 'right-sized' life

5. Cultivate gratitude. 

Right-sizing your life might mean getting rid of a lot – which can be a scary, unsettling thought for some. A surefire way to improve your life is by focusing on gratitude.

When you focus on being grateful for the things you do have, you can fully embrace simplicity in your life. 

Gratitude is like a muscle – with a little practice and repetition, your sense of appreciation will grow stronger and become more and more visible throughout your days. Incorporating a gratitude practice into your day is the easiest way to make this happen.

Focus on three things you’re grateful for each morning as you brush your teeth, or journal about what brings you joy while you sip your morning coffee or walk the dog around the block.

Keep a running list of your simple joys in life on your phone and add a few new ones each day. Whatever you choose to do, as long as you’re consistent, you’ll see the benefits.

build your 'right-sized' life

Final thoughts on building your ‘right-sized’ life

Working to build your ‘right-sized’ life takes intentionality. It’s important to keep your goals and values in mind as you make decisions.

Life doesn’t have to be about constantly acquiring more money, a bigger house, and additional stuff.

Remember that you get to choose what success looks like in your life. As you align your priorities with the decisions you make, you can build your ‘right-sized’ life that brings you joy and peace.

What steps can you take to build your ‘right-sized’ life? Leave a comment and let me know!

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  1. Learning how to request help, in a way that elicits that result wen the partner is reading info on phone or entrenched in TV. Even when it is requested hours before the task gets started no dice.

  2. Cooking and cleaning are the two things that I hate and stress about. I have thought about joining a food program and hiring a cleaning service, but that costs money and I just can’t justify it. I’d also like to move to a smaller house, but I haven’t found what I want and the rates are really high. So I just get on with it and do what I can.a

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