One of my goals for 2015 is to strive to achieve a more minimalist approach to life. The concept of minimalism does not necessarily mean surviving on nothing but for me it means to be able to get rid of all that is unnecessary but yet enjoying what is important.
On my journey to read up about this subject I have found an interesting read of a blog, The Minimalists. As the Minimalists sum up the term minimalism to be “a tool used to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.”
I love shopping and for some this can create an accumulation of things. I have learnt that when I shop I ask myself, “Do I really need this?”. Now for someone who loves all things fashion, you may think it clashes but when I shop I try to have an idea of what I want to get and how I will wear that piece. If I see myself wearing it only once then the I won’t buy it. It has taken years of development (and moving many times) to make me realise I’m better with signature investment pieces that I create different looks around. This way I have more quality over quantity.
I have listed some ways to help begin adopting minimalism in your life. There are no rules with minimalism however by taking small steps, you develop a habit and hopefully in the long run you achieve a way of life.
Set yourself a personal goal: Define in your own way, what you think will create minimalism in your life. In other words a stress free, simple life. For some it may be to stop procrastinating or to declutter. This can be adapted in your work, life and at home. Focus on what you want and what is fulfilling for you and strive to find ways to make that happen or eliminate the things that prevent from achieving your desire to live simply.
Declutter: Some folks out there do have strong attachments to material possessions and some hoard. A cleanup of all the things you don’t need in your life by selling or donating will help the accumulation and unnecessary things around you. Start small and slow, but you’ll get there if you have the right mindset.
Train yourself to live with less: To life outside your comfort zone, so to speak is good training to life the simple life. This is a hard one for me because I’m used to treating myself to luxuries but I guess it’s being able to do so and so I do try my best to practice it.
“Do I really need this?”: As I said before, it is a vital question to ask yourself before you buy or acquire something. Does it really matter if I don’t get? How much of a difference will it make? Are there other things I have that I could use instead? Out with the impulsive and in with the justification.
Become a re-user: In other words, become a bit more green. Don’t always just take the easy way out, try and look for alternatives to improvise and re-use or recycle.
Invest in quality: Quality over quantity is emphasized as it always nicer to have things that you really like and even though there’s less you appreciate it more compared to have lots of things you don’t really like. You don’t necessarily have to pay top dollar for everything just be a little bit more wise when shopping around.
Be clear about why you want to be minimal: Reiterate the objective of why you started doing this and it will help keep you motivated. It’s easy to give up however you define how minimal you’d like to be and even if you need to start over just breathe and try again.
Hope this is helpful especially at the beginning of the year. Time to clean those cobwebs!
Are you a minimalist? I’d love to hear your thoughts and if you have any lessons to share, please leave a comment.