project simplify 365 {free download}

On Monday I promised to tell you all about my new endeavor for the year, Project Simplify 365.  Even though I’m still working out the final details, I am so excited to share it with you that I just can’t wait another day.  In a nutshell, Project Simplify 365 is based on the idea that consciously doing one small thing each day towards creating a simpler life can ultimately add up to a big change.

The older I get, the more oppressed I feel by the excesses in my life. The past few weeks, as I took some time off to devote to spending time with my family and create some order amid all the chaos, the problem became clear:  There is too much stuff, too many distractions, too many things to do & too many places to go.

I see my kids becoming caught up in a world of constant distraction, where every time we turn around there is a new activity to participate in or something shinier to buy.  I’ve realized that they can hardly sit still for 5 minutes without becoming bored.   And as a family, we have become so busy trying to manage it all that we have lost the ability to enjoy the simple pleasures in life and focus on the things that truly matter: honoring God, spending time with family & friends, & giving to others.

My goal this year is to scale it back, to purge my life of unnecessary extras, whether it be too much stuff, too many things to do, too much mindless time in front of the television or computer, or too much work, and focus on the essentials:

  • Putting God first and spending time each day in prayer
  • Spending quality time with family and friends
  • Homeschooling my kids
  • Cooking healthy, well balanced, non-prepackaged meals (at least most of the time)
  • Nurturing my own creativity and that of my children
  • Giving to others & teaching my children what it means to give

I am making a commitment to do one thing each day, however small, towards reaching these goals and eliminating the excess.  I am writing about it because to me there is no bigger motivation than public accountability.  I don’t know if I’ll be successful, but I am going to try.

I’ll be updated my progress daily on my new Project Simplify 365 Facebook Page and on a new (very basic) website,  And while I am mostly doing this for the sake of my family and our sanity, I hope that it helps inspire you to make some changes this year too.  Your priorities and goals don’t have to be the same as mine, but hopefully we can encourage and motivate each other to do just one thing each day

And finally, as a daily reminder for myself, I made a list of “Simple Rules” to hang on our wall.  I thought it turned out pretty cute so–just because that’s the kind-of girl I am–I thought I’d make it a fun little download for y’all so you can print it and hang it on your wall too!  I even made it in 3 different colors so you can choose the one you like the best.

Simple Rules PDF in Teal

Simple Rules PDF in Light Red

Simple Rules PDF in Black

So who’s with me?  :-)

Happily linking up this post at Life Made Lovely

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{ 23 comments… add one }

  • christina January 4,

    love the new website! its definitely inspiring! The simple rule sheet i swear was made for me! i am definitely going to print it out and probably laminate it and put it on my desk! Thanks so much!

    • Ruth January 5,

      You’re welcome! I’m glad you like it :-)

  • Jessica January 4,

    I am a new visitor here, and I have got to compliment you on your blog! It is beautiful. I also love your PDF’s thank you for sharing, this is going up in my kitchen as a daily reminder for not only me but my young ones as well. Wonderful rules to live by :-)

    • Ruth January 5,

      Thank you Jessica, & welcome to my site! :-)

  • Brenna January 4,

    Ruth, I have been following your websites for about 7 months now (since I had my son and was home on maternity leave). You inspire me to be more resourceful, more patient, and more appreciative everyday. I love this new initiative and am always up for personal reevaluation. Thank you for reminding us what is really important!

    • Ruth January 5,

      Hi Brenna-
      Thanks so much for leaving a comment & letting me know! Congratulations on the birth of your son.

  • Yvette January 4,

    Wow! Good for you and your family. It is awesome to see other people to put God first in your life and family second. You made an awesome decision for your family and you. Very inspiring. God bless

    • Ruth January 5,

      Thanks Yvette :-)

  • Kim January 4,

    I know that you said that you always wanted to homeschool your children, Im happy for you :) I homeschool all my children, and love it ! We should all put GOD first because without him where would we be. Love your post keep up the good work !!!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR :)

    • Ruth January 5,

      Thanks Kim! I haven’t started homeschooling yet, but it is definitely one of my biggest goals for this year. I did pull Trouble out of preschool in December. I thought it was going to just be for the month, but I have so enjoyed having her home with me again all the time that I am not sending her back. I would love any advice you might have–the whole process of figuring out what to do is definitely a little overwhelming. Where do I even begin?

  • kris January 5,

    Thanks for posting Ruth! I love the list of rules. You are such an inspiration of how to live a good life. Keep up the great work.

  • ~she~ January 5,

    Sounds wonderful! I think we all need that in life!

  • Melissa January 5,

    I have been feeling rather down lately – probably post-holiday blues, lots of holiday stress due to family, and the constant 24/7 anxiety I have been feeling for months. I have been seeing a nurse practitioner to try and find a medication that helps, but nothing has. I truly think my life has become overwhelming again and I absolutely LOVE the idea of simplifying. I already started by working on my bags of donations (going through clothes that I no longer wear, going through my daughter’s clothes, etc) that I will take the local mission next week. The only piece of “peace” I got this entire holiday season was in baking some homemade pumpkin muffins on Christmas morning and having my husband and daughter deliver them hot and fresh to our local firehouse – they loved them and were ever so grateful. I want to continue some random acts of kindness as I believe that is what will finally bring me some peace in my life. Thank you for keeping this website going and opening your lives to us – it makes people like me feel not quite so alone.

  • Melissa N January 6,

    Ruth, I love your blog. Thanks for sharing and inspiring us weekly! Thank you for the PDF. I have printed and will be haning in my kitchen. God Bless you!

  • Claire January 7,

    Love this, Ruth! Will definitely print a sign – that sums it all up nicely! Going to check out the new site now. :)

  • Amy Peters January 9,

    Bravo! I’m so glad you are realizing the important things early on. When I was a homeschooling mom of six I often felt as if I didn’t have enough “margin”. You know, the space around the edges that lets you focus on the page. I found that margin was something I had to fight for and remember was important. Now that three of mine are grown it’s become easier. Keep up the good work!

  • Bonnie September 26,

    Hello. i came across this on pinterest and just wanted to thank you. i love it and am printing it out for my fridge.
    You have it done to a T. :)

  • Pam October 18,

    Thank you so much for offering a free printable. Have been admiring the subway art for a long time, but never found the words that would pertain to my family. Thank you, thank you! Have printed out the red one and plan to frame and display daily. Looking forward to checking out more of your blog!

  • Mandy Tirado December 27,

    Thank you so much for sharing this! God has used your testimony to drive an arrow straight into my heart and convict me of very similar things. I’ve been quietly contemplating all that He has said, and I’ve been humbled, brought low to repentance and I truly want to turn away from my sins and try something else – God’s way of living and loving others, especially my family. I’ve been so edified by your web blog and I just can’t thank you enough for your transparency and allowing God to use you for the benefit of others. I hope someday I am able to have a testimony as beautiful as yours. I bet when you started, it was a struggle, and you felt you could never help others, but now…look at you! You are! :-) Thank you and God bless you and your family! I truly wish you the happiest and best new year in 2014! (And just keep reminding yourself productivity doesn’t equal love. (I don’t know why I said that, except I felt God leading me to! I don’t usually speak that way! I pray it didn’t offend you. I was moved by the Spirit to say that.)) WIth love, your sister in Christ, Mandy Tirado

  • Ann January 23,

    It is my goal to become a better decorator

  • Anonymous July 22,

    I am with you… Infact i have printed all the documents and printables you have for me to read and to constantly remind myself of our purpose in life. Thanks for the inspiration and the time you have devoted in creating this blog. More power and God Bless us all.

  • Kristina Lohrbach October 15,

    Hi there! Thank you so much for making this available! I love it! Was also wondering where you got the ‘home’ and other blocks in your picture? I love those all together. :-). Thank you!

  • Nancy March 4,

    How can I start following your blog? I cannot find the join button?


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