Quiet. It’s my word of the year. I chose quiet because I am so horribly awful at it.

A creative multi-tasking worrier at heart, sitting still with a quiet mind is difficult for me. But in the journey towards simplifying my life, I found quiet to be exactly what my heart and soul crave.

Because it doesn’t come naturally to me, I have to intentionally find ways to add quiet to my days.

Here are three of them.

1. Declutter

It is nearly impossible for me to have a quiet spirit in a house that's overflowing with clutter. In fact, sometimes clutter is the number one reason my mind can’t settle down.

While I am not a super-organized person, the more I can simplify the amount of stuff in our house, the easier it is to find those quiet moments.

2. The 5-Minute Timer

Set your phone timer for five minutes. Find a quiet place (the back porch, your bedroom, your closet). Take a deep breath, close your eyes and sit still.

Force your mind to notice the stillness around you. Don’t let your thoughts wander to your to-do list, but if you do, just recenter your mind. Focus on the quiet.

I was challenged by my friend Jennifer to do this, and honestly thought I would hate it. But it felt wonderful to let my mind relax, and five minutes went faster than I thought it would.

3. No

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. Say no until your schedule clears enough to even have a chance to sit in quiet.

When every day is packed to the gills there's no time for a soul reset. Schedule in time for rest — even if it’s the five-minute timer.

The more I intentionally make room for quiet, the more peace I find in my heart and mind. And then, life becomes a little simpler.