2020 was a rough year. Here are 21 amazing ideas for how to simplify your life in 2021 in all the areas of your life and finances.

21 Ways to Simplify Your Life, Finances and Mental Health in 2021

I think we can all agree when we say that the year 2020 really helped open our eyes in a big way. Maybe you started appreciating your quirky neighbor more and actually started missing seeing them so much. Perhaps you started questing your job and your other major life choices. Then again, maybe you just really started to realize how much you don’t like the color of the walls in your house. Personally, I painted my kitchen cabinets white. Something I wanted to do 4 years ago when we moved in.

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Let go of the hustle mentality

I think it’s safe to say that 20219 was the year of hustle for me. Because I am someone who has always had big dreams, I quickly got mislead by the hustle culture and mindset.

That meant every single day I felt obligated to:

  • Work from sun up to sun down (if my dreams were important enough to me I had to make it happen!)
  • Eat like an Instagram fitness model superstar every day
  • Never slow down or get distracted
  • Drink my water
  • Be at the gym by 5 am and curl more than my own body weight/

Ok, maybe I’m getting carried away, but I am willing to bet if you have survived the hustle culture, you totally know what I’m talking about.

If anything 2020 gave us the gift of allowing us to slow down and reevaluate what is important in our lives and hustle is not one of those things. Ready to undo the damage done by the hustle mentality? Check out The Coaching Kit to get your own personal self-growth workbook that will help you better understand where you self sabatoge yourself. (Spoiler alert: hustle mode just might be your version of self-sabotage!)

Automate your savings

Unfortunately, money causes 77% of Americans major stress issues and a big part of the stress can be not having any money in savings. I know this was a personal cause of concern for our family for years!

That’s why one of the best things you can do for your sanity is to just set up an automatic savings plan with a bank that is separate from your current bank.

My top 2 recommendations for automatic savings accounts are:

Setting up an automatic savings plan is not as big of a task as so many people make it out to be.

If you are already doing good with savings, you could look into easy investment apps as well.

Spend 20 minutes outside

You might have heard the immense benefits of spending just 2 hours outside per week has been shown to have massive mental health benefits.

I know, 2 hours per week can sound like a lot when most of us have a big variety of things we need to do and responsibilities to take care of, however, if you can even manage just 20 minutes per day, I promise you will be given the opportunity to slow down and will see an increase in your mental health.

This year, my kids and I have made a habit of taking a 20-30 minute walk each day with our dogs. This is now a mandatory part of our homeschool routine since we all end up in a better mood afterward and are better able to focus.

Turn off your phone

Welcome to my current biggest struggle. When we were outdoors all the time, traveling across the country, it was super easy to avoid my phone. Now that I’m home, in quarantine, and most of my job is done online. Oh wait, all of my job is done online, avoiding my phone has proven to be a more difficult task.

If you struggle with a mini phone addiction as well, my biggest recommendations are to set timers for it to go off. I may not be perfect at avoiding my phone during the day, but at 9 pm every night, that bad boy is out of business.

Practice coffee mindfulness

Another amazing habit I have gotten into has been allowing myself to wake up a little earlier in the morning and spend some time just sipping coffee and writing in my journal. Get my FREE 75 Journal Prompts for Self Growth.

One thing I have tried to be more intentional about during this time is really become hyper-mindful while I sip my coffee.

I slow down and appreciate each sip, feel the warm mug on my hands and just breathe in the day before I even turn on my lights (besides my frog lamp of course).

Plan your meals

Who else is with me on this…when you think of meal prep is sounds like a long, time consuming nightmare. It sounds like anything but simple.

Not gonna lie, this is totally how I feel about meal prepping. However, my husband is an avid meal prepper and it saves him so much time in the morning!

If you are just not good at even planning meals, I highly recommend the $5 Meal Plan — you can get affordable meal plans and grocery lists that are healthy and keep you on budget!

Up the cozy factor in your house

One of the best ways to spend more simple nights as home is to make your home super amazing to be in.

When Covid first hit, I started painting our cabinets because I had always wanted that country kitchen feel and the orange oak just wasn’t giving off those vibes.

But, think about it, what do you think of when you think of enjoying curling up on the couch? A good book? Candles? A fireplace? Big cozy blanekt, for sure!

While I’m totally up for you making your own decisions, I went ahead and put together a little bundle of cozy home ideas for you.

Learn how to make passive income

Passive income means literally learning how to earn money while you sleep. You could already be doing this if you have a 401K or other investments, but even sneaky little things like this blog are ways that you could be making extra money passively.

This is again another way to reduce the financial stress that allows you to continue living your life. Yes, learning how to make passive income takes time and understanding, but trust me, the payoff is huge! How I made $500 in one week without working.

Clean less by decluttering more

When we downsized our house in 2016, one of the things I was the most excited about was the fact that I would not have to spend nearly as much time cleaning as I had before.

In fact, living in our smaller house, I would occasionally procrastinate cleaning because I imagined it would be a 3-hour long chore. Instead, I can clean my house in 30 minutes flat. 10 Ways to Reduce the Time You Spend Cleaning.

So if you are someone who despises cleaning as much as I do, maybe it’s time to look into a solid decluttering plan.

Get a shift necklace

Taking the time to slow down your breathing can help you clear negative mental thoughts and reduce stress. Having a shift necklace can be a helpful tool in getting yourself to do this.

When you have the necklace around your neck at all times you are given the opportunity to slow down and breathe any time throughout the day when you may find yourself in a time of high stress.

2020 was a rough year. Here are 21 amazing ideas for how to simplify your life in 2021 in all the areas of your life and finances.

Start saying “No” more

So 2019 was a year that I over-hustled a little bit, but thankfully, 2018 was my Year of No. I literally practiced saying “No” more often.

I did this because my entire life I had been a people pleaser. I hated turning down events or volunteer work. It made me feel crappy like I was letting everyone else around me down.

But, the truth is, saying yes to everything usually means saying “No” to the things that mean the most to us in our lives. Here are some tips on how to declutter your schedule.

Live by a word of the year instead of a resolution

Speaking of the Word of the Year, this is a great way to simplify your goals for the entire year! Instead of making all of these rigid rules to live by, it can be a good idea to just focus on one word per year.

Here are some of mine:

  • Fear
  • No
  • Humble

This is a great way to avoid over-complicating your goals and instead work on one specific area of yourself that you want to grow. Another great idea would be taking advantage of the teachings in The Coaching Kit.

I have found a lot of times that resolutions are more about external goals rather than growing internally. The Word of the Year can be a great way to shake things up a bit and start growing the way you are wanting to.

If you are more of a goal oriented person, there are some awesome monthly planners you can get from Silk and Sonder.

Stop gossiping

This was the only actual New Year Resolution that I actually managed to stick to. I decided to stop partaking in gossip.

Actually, I decided to stop talking bad about people (and myself and my life) all around.

More than any other resolution I had ever tried to set, this one was the most difficult. When you make that decision to change your life for the better, you become hyper-aware of the people who are not doing the same for their own lives.

Deciding to no longer gossip any more means you will sit silently in the middle of a lot of conversations, but you will also learn how to speak love and kindness into those around you rather than poison and hearsay.

Plan your getaways now!

I personally know that I am someone who will begin reaching a breaking point come February. My theory is that Christmas and all the other holidays have passed, I survived one full month of Minnesota winter, and now I am ready to snap.

If you know there is a certain time of year when the blues are going to hit you hard, or you just want something to look forward to, it might be a good idea to start planning a vacation right now. Heck, some people plan their vacations at the beginning of the year.

Last April we planned a long weekend getaway to Nashville and it was amazing.

Customize your affirmations

Affirmations can be such a helpful way to boost your sense of self worth and encourage yourself to keep chasing bigger and better things.

However, a lot of people tend to get it wrong with affirmations. They tend to find a quick list from the internet and just start spouting them off. This is great and it definitely can help, but in reality your subconscious is really what needs to be re-trained.

That means you first need to ask what limiting beliefs you are carrying around with you every day. Here’s the quick game plan:

  • Write down the beliefs that always make you doubt yourself
  • Notice what people say to you that makes you doubt yourself
  • Write down affirmations to contradict these beliefs

For more help on understanding your subconscious mind, be sure to check out The Coaching Kit.

Pay off your debt

Paying off debt can sound like such a daunting task, but I am willing to bet that just having it causes a lot of stress. If you are struggling with debt, check out our 6 month $6,000 debt payoff plan that we used and remember, you can automate it!! That way you are not having to constantly think about debt at all!

Need more guidance on how to manage your finances, create a budget and pay off debt? Check out The Bucket List Budget, our signature course that walks you through everything from money mindset to how to diversify your 401k (with as little stress as possible)!

Clear your mind blocks

Just like I mentioned with affirmations, your subconscious mind can really work against you when it comes to succeeding in life!

There are so many ways to uncover and reprogram these blocks so that you can actually start getting ahead in your life.

Now, let’s be clear, uncovering your mental blocks can be a long process, but it will help simplify your mental health in the biggest way and you will see the mental and physical benefits of it starting to show up in your life — and life will become way easier. I promise.

Have a “no way” day

If you are a chronic busy-body, consider creating a “No Way” day for yourself. This is a day where you kick-back and relax. Do the leisurely things that you enjoy doing. Maybe that means you watch the football game on Sunday, or Saturday is just for curling up with a good book.

Give yourself a day where you put work away, cleaning gets put on the back burner and you allow yourself to completely relax and soak up the little joys in life.

Set alarms throughout the day

In order to keep myself on track and avoid that “rush, rush” mindset, I have started setting alarms.

This way I have designated time for each important thing I need to tackle throughout the day like work, school and the gym.

Before I had alarms, I would very easily tell myself that I could just keep working for 2 more minutes only to find myself still working half an hour later, and then I would stay in a state of annoyance for the rest of the day because I wasn’t able to get everything done.

*Side note* I don’t have awful alarms sounding all day long. Instead, I have chosen some of my favorite songs to fit perfectly with the next step in my day. For example, when it is time for the kids and me to take our daily walk, I play Josh Groban’s “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

Eliminate or reduce 2 monthly expenses

On the topic of improving finances to reduce stress, another way to simplify your life could be by eliminating (or at least reducing) some of your financial commitments every single month.

Here are some of the best things we have eliminated or reduced to save money:

Stop “shoulding” on yourself

There are things in life that you want to do an there are things in life that you feel obligated to do! Am I right or am I right?

If you feel bound to the beliefs that you “should” be showing up a certain way, please, please work to start letting this go. One of the best ways I have found to release the shoulds is to focus on reading material that calms the mind ( you could always opt for an Audible membership too if you don’t have much time for reading.)

Take the time to meditate throughout the day (Audible has great guided meditations too) to help you slow down and refocus on what is important to you in your life.


Like Michael Scott said, “Keep it simple, stupid.”

You are allowed to slow down and enjoy your life. You are capable of making big changes that will ultimately enhance your life. I believe in you.

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