How to Simplify Your Life

06/15/2015 12:29 pm ET | Updated Jun 15, 2016

"When you mix too many colors together, you get manure." -- My friend's art teacher

It's true, isn't it? When we try to involve too many people, or accomplish too much in a day, things go to sh*t and we end up feeling like sh*t; I know I do.

Less is always more -- more manageable, more acceptable, more peaceful, more beautiful, more attainable, more understandable, more doable.

At some point something's gotta give. It's easier said than done because once I realize something's gotta give, I've gotta decide what and how much to let go of, in order to bring vibrancy back to my palette.

This is where the hard work begins -- having the conversation I've been avoiding. The one with reality, not the one with the idea of how I hope it will be.

How do I start the conversation? By asking questions:

What are the colors in my life that are muting and distorting my life's palette?

Is it my job or jobs?

Is it a person in my life?

Is it a thought pattern, or the lack of attention to a matter that's been weighing on me, darkening my daily canvas?

Here's an exercise:

Imagine a brand new color palette (or just grab a piece of paper and a pen).

Around the top of the palette (paper) place the current colors of your life apart from one another (job(s), children, relationships, daily activities, hobbies, to dos, current events/situations you are dealing with).

Look at it for a while. Study it. Visualize you are picking the ingredients that will create the most stunning piece of art -- your life.

Evaluate each one based on priority (be pragmatic -- you need income, a roof over your head, and you certainly can't turn your kids in, even on the days they drive you nuts).

Next, take a dab of the (priority/can't live without them) colors, and add them just below the original colors.

What colors remain on the first line?

Ask yourself: Do I feel uplifted when I look and think about these colors? Or do I feel depleted, upset and distracted?

You know the answer. The colors that uplift you, add them in the row next to your priorities, leave the others behind -- let them go.

Re-evaluate again. Go through the same process.

If you can't omit any more colors, you have your palette, however, consider omitting one or two colors when you paint one canvas, and add them to another canvas, on another day.

Be selective with your daily color choices.

This is your life to paint -- make it colorfully peaceful and simple.