During this time of year, it’s hard to think small. We are all about the extravagance of the holiday season and thinking big for next year. What will our goals be? What gifts will we give? What holiday parties to plan? It takes guts to think minimally and to change how our approach this time of year, but it’s also a good time for reflection on our habits, both big and small.
I am very new to the minimalistic mindset. I was introduced to it briefly while studying abroad, and then last summer I researched minimalistic living and started to develop my own philosophies about minimalism. It’s been hard, though, trying to pursue minimalism in college–in this world of possibilities. But throughout this time, I’ve come up with a couple habits to break and a couple habits to include in my daily life. These are my goals and some of the things I think help when trying to live minimally and fully.
5 Habits to Break to Encourage Minimalism
1. Drinking bottled water.
I used to be very into carrying bottled water with me everywhere. Now, I’ve realized not only do I save money, I also save materials and I save space by bringing water in a tumbler cup or a reusable water bottle.
2. Giving into sweets and foods with many artificial ingredients.
I’ve been very bad with this one lately, especially the sweets. But focusing on foods with less ingredients is a very healthy and intentional way to wholesome living. I am a huge encourager of healthy eating and I think it makes for a well-rounded minimalist lifestyle.
3. Making long unrealistic to-do lists. Or having to many goals to accomplish.
I’ve been keeping to-do lists and focusing on the top priorities each day. While I have many dreams and ideas, not all of them need to happen right now. Be open to the context of each day and go after the things that give you the most life.
4. Checking social media before going to sleep.
This is a goal I have for myself, yet it’s a very hard habit to break. Checking social media before bed is like saying goodnight to everyone on the interwebs. But breaking away even from these online social circumstance helps the body relax, and lets us consume less media and content during the day.
Let’s stop trying to juggle too many things at a time. Instead, let’s focus our energy on our day’s priority, do it well and move on to our next thing. Let’s master the art of single-tasking. Because if we can’t do that, how will we balance more?
Now, a couple habits to try…
1. Set money aside in an actual piggy bank or jar instead of going out shopping. Save money physically so you can see tangible results.
2. Instead of buying new books or movies, go to the library for your next relaxing read. (Maybe even leave a little note of encouragement inside the pages for the next reader!)
3. Turn off smart phone notifications. Take some time to evaluate which notifications are necessary and which can be turned off.
4. Remove physical clutter around your desk, kitchen and living areas. Designate a permanent de-clutter time of 10 or 20 minutes a day.
5. Focus on giving. Giving your time, money, talents or skills. Make a difference.
What is the one thing that keeps you from living minimally during this season of the year? Do you all follow any tips on living minimally? I would love to hear them!