Last updated: Jun 25, 2008

Spend time on people, not things
“I recently gave away all my decorative tablecloths, Christmas dishes, napkin rings, fancy serving platters, extra candlesticks, everything I thought helped make me a top-notch entertainer. I realized that simplifying and paring back on things would let me spend less time managing stuff and more time inviting people over for informal but personal get-togethers—even if I do use our everyday dishes.”
—Erica Rawson, Farmington, N.M.




Live life on your own terms
“Instead of taking everyone elses temperature about my life choices, Ive given myself permission to be a writer, the mother of an only child, and a creative person. Caring too much about what other people thought of my choices kept me prisoner. Intention is a powerful thing. Now that I dont waste energy seeking approval from others, I am free to live my life on my terms.”
—Christina Katz, Wilsonville, Ore.



Simplify your friendships
“I dont visit people whose friendships Ive outgrown, people I no longer have things in common with or I dont look forward to seeing. This frees me to visit with people I really do relate to and who are good friends.”
—Judy Goranson, Walla Walla, Wash.



Find liberation … even after loss
“Losing everything in Hurricane Katrina forced my family to live a simpler life. The surprising thing was that we did just fine without all our stuff—we realized we didnt need all that to live a happy, healthy life. It was actually freeing to not have to worry about it. Weve decided not to accumulate things anymore. If we arent using something, we give it away. I noticed recently that my husband, Philip, had only seven shirts in his closet and asked if he wanted some more clothes, and he said, ‘Absolutely not.”
—Monique Miller, Slidell, La.



Take care of yourself first
“When my children were younger, I tried to be a supermom. Now I know that everyone pays a price when mom isnt aware of her own limitations. Taking care of my own needs has become a priority because it makes me a better parent and wife. We get by just fine if a bed doesnt get made or dishes sit in the sink.”
—Kim Danger, Mankato, Minn.



Be the star of your own life
“I want to spend more time with the people I love and the ones I find interesting. I want to know less about whats going on with Britney Spears and more about whats going on with me. I crave the chance to do more work that matters and less that just spins my wheels.”
—Victoria Moran, Woodstock, N.Y.