Have you been thinking about ways to live life more simply?
I’ve been experimenting with a minimalist lifestyle for several years now. For my first year, during 2018, I did what many would consider crazy. I didn’t buy any new clothes, gifts, gadgets, things… for the entire year. My purchasing went toward basic functional items only (like food and toiletries). I took deliberate action to not contribute any new stuff to what I already owned.
Reducing the amount of “stuff” is only one aspect of living a minimalist lifestyle. For me that aspect isn’t so challenging as I’ve been managing that aspect of my lifestyle for years already. I like the experiment to see what it would be like to set a goal of ‘no new stuff for a year’ and see how I prevailed. Some would say it’s an extreme way to experiment with trying a minimalist lifestyle. It’s not about just restricting the accumulation of stuff, but opening your time and energy to other things, like relations, career, writing, creating and other hobbies.
Not having too much stuff is only part of it. Living a minimalist lifestyle is embracing the mindset that less is more. How to put this lifestyle into practice for daily living by consciously choosing not to consume excessively. To bring consumption down to the bare necessities. This means taking deliberate action toward purchasing only quality goods and services.
Making the Choice of a Minimalist Lifestyle
The idea is to have an approach of intentional living and mindful consumption. Ideally this includes all kinds of consumption. In addition to goods and services, I focus on food consumption and online consumption as well. I’ve done my share of cleanses, so I’m familiar with intentional limitations on food consumption. My biggest area of concern regarding consumption has been online consumption as this new part of modern lifestyle has grown exponentially over the years.
In trying to understand my online consumption, I realizes that I’ve been trading time for attention. Everything I consume online, wants my attention — it wants me to consume it. I have to be mindful of how much I consume. Just because I enjoy it or think it’s good for me, or that it’s otherwise harmless, doesn’t mean there can’t be adverse effects. Gradually each year for the past decade, I’ve been giving my attention away at an incremental gain. This indirectly effects everything else I wish to give my time and focus.
There’s more to say about the effects of online habits. Under the umbrella of minimalism, this can create as much clutter as any physical stuff one might accumulate. I think this will be a critical concern for me and others moving forward as technology keeps taking a dominant role in our lives. I want to continue experimenting with that part of a minimalist lifestyle.
Setting Objectives around a Minimalist Lifestyle
What are some primary objectives that can be set around a minimalist lifestyle? First and foremost, you want to accurately assess how your time is spent. Have you considered how your time is connected to your stuff. When you focus on stuff, whether in your physical space or online, you are taking away from the limited amounted of time you have each day.
Another main objective is how to maximize functioning within your space. You can take inventory by asking the hard-hitting, pertinent questions. Does your stuff make your life easier? Does it increase your ability to function? Or does your stuff get in the way? Does it negatively impacting your productivity? As you answer these questions is integral to streamlining your belongings.
Have you noticed with your clear space, your ability to gain clarity of focus heightens? Experiment for yourself. Set a primary objective to strategizing your consumption (including online behavior). You can start anywhere you like.
Adding Secondary Objectives to a Minimalist Lifestyle
Once you begin your minimalist lifestyle approach, you can hone in on specific areas. Use it as a lens to set clear priorities when committing to your goals. With an approach based in your minimalist values, you’ll more quicker decisions as you will be in alignment. For instance, you can improve finances by overcoming frivolous spending.
A key aspect to your shifting to minimalism is to maintain abundant thinking and a positive mindset. You’ll be purpose-driven, rather than driven by things. You set a clear vision and your minimalist approach increases your attainment of your goals and overall emotional improvement. The natural consequences of this lifestyle allow for more productivity and satisfaction.
Does this sound like an appealing lifestyle approach for you? Where do you think you can begin shifting toward a minimalist lifestyle? Pick one aspect, and give it a try. Start gradually and before you know it, you’ll learn the right balance for you.