Raise your standards

A Life of Simple Luxury has an undercurrent of quality. It isn’t about the amount of things we acquire, but rather the quality of each item, the events and the relationships we allow into our lives. Choosing quality over quantity in all things- from furnishings, clothing, food choices, and experiences to how our living space is composed- is the essence of living a life of simple luxury.

But with so many choices available to us, we can become hesitant and unclear as to what quality looks like. So how do we determine what is high quality, and what is just pretending to be?

We do it by raising our standards.

When you set the standard for how you want to live, you have a guide to follow as to what makes the cut and what gets left behind.

Standards include the following:

–          How a piece of clothing should fall, and the feel of the fabric against your skin;

–          How food makes you feel;

–          How your living space reflects you;

–          How you are treated by other people and the way you present yourself;

–          How much you are willing to spend on a particular item and what it means to you;

–          And reviewing what matters to you.

When we aren’t paying attention, going through the motions of life and getting caught up in the day-to-day cycle, it is so easy to let standards slip, or to not create any in the first place. Living a Life of Simple Luxury is a conscious choice.

When we create our own standards we are setting the bar to where we want it to be, and by remaining consistent, what we don’t value can be left behind- thus making room for that which we desire.

Initially, this can be difficult. But with time and practice soon your standards will become second nature. When pressed to make a decision about something, when I am not sure about whether the issue (situation, object) is fitting with the life I have chosen, I ask myself a simple question.

“What would Simple Luxury do?”

Asking this helps remain consistent.

Here are some simple tips for setting high standards and obtaining a high quality in your daily life.

  • Only purchase clothing that is made well, will last for more than one season and suits your personal- and life-style.
  • Fewer items in your wardrobe of higher quality will be worn more consistently with more options than cheaper clothes.
  • Eliminate as much processed food as possible from your diet
  • Having a clutter-free space with furniture you love to be around. If a new couch isn’t in the budget, start a savings plan for one and in the meantime add a beautiful throw and cushions in your favourite colour.
  • Take time to do what you love each day. It may mean saying no to something else, but the downtime and recharging helps you become your best self.
  • Focus on experiences, not things. Broaden the mind by travelling bi-annually, or as often as possible. Exploring new places opens new doors and widens perspective.
  • Doing what you want, and not doing something because “everybody else is doing it”, but rather because you have other interests and something else sits better with your values and beliefs.

It may feel as though striving for quality isn’t attainable due to perceived monetary cost, but with practice the life you want will be created by the actions you repeatedly do. It is a matter of assessing everything and determining if your meeting your standards or not.

“It is a funny thing about life: If you refuse to accept anything but the best you very often get it.” -W. Somerset Maugham


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