Minimalism is meant to be about more than just the possessions that you own or the possessions that you let go of. It’s about a mindset. A way of life. Minimalism should help you to live an all-around simpler existence. But beyond downsizing your home or decluttering your stuff, how can you downsize your life? What changes can you make that can have a ripple effect on everything else? The answer is a lot simpler than you might think. One simple statement can help you get completely clear about how to downsize your life in all areas.
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You downsizing keyword is: NO
Have you ever gotten an invite to a party or get together and your gut instantly sank? You hesitated to answer, but instead just kind of mumbled something like, “Yeah…Iiiii’m sure I can do that.” Chances are you responded this way because you really wanted to say no.
So often we allow ourselves to get overwhelmed in all areas of our lives just because we don’t know how to say “no” to the right things.
Now, I don’t mean running around saying no to everything or turning yourself into an anti-social hermit. The word, no, however, can have some serious benefits if you learn to use it right.
Downsizing your life with “No”
There are three main areas of your life that can totally transform your existence if you learn how to say no to them in the right way.
These 3 simple areas can help you simplify your entire life, live a more peaceful existence and consequently, help you get even more clear about the stuff you want in your minimalist journey.
There is no doubt that drowning in clutter and stuff can make us feel panicky, hopeless and stressed. Read How a Minimalist Lifestyle Can Easy Anxiety and Depression.
Well, drowning in stuff and possessions can feel similar to drowning in debt and/or struggling financially. Money is a huge cause of stress in most people’s lives and for good reason. In fact, on average in America, we carry around $14 BILLION in debt and in most households, credit cards are a big part of this!
The credit card epidemic and minimalist movement
We turn to credit cards so quickly because often times we struggle with delayed gratification. Something catches our eye, or we hear about a new gadget and convince ourselves that we need it. Enter: the credit card.
No matter where you are on your minimalist journey, there is a good chance that you have some lingering debt. Here are some great strategies for learning to say no to debt.
Saying “No” to debt:
One of the first steps you need to take to start saying no to debt is to become fully aware of where you struggle. Do you tend to over-spend on clothing? Are you quick to swipe your card for travel? Is poor budget planning to blame?
The faster you can get behind the reasons why you are swiping, the more successful you’ll be with saying no in the future. As far as your current debt, here is a quick breakdown of how you can say no by getting rid of it for good.
Build your emergency fund
Having a secure $1,000 emergency fund is a top priority before beginning a debt payoff strategy. The Savings Builder savings account will give you a higher interest rate when you set up automatic savings of only $100 per month! You can do this every month in order to keep building your emergency fund while you pay off debt. Click here to learn more.
Use the Debt Snowball method. To begin knocking out your debt. When done well, this method can help you knock out debt incredibly quickly and with very little effort.
- Debt Snowball Helped Us Pay Off $6,000 of Debt in 6 Months
- Can I Afford to Get Out of Debt? How to Find That Extra Money to Get You Started
- Should I Save Money or Pay off Debt?
- A Funny Thing Happens When You Become Debt Free
Like most people these days, you probably have some seriously jam-packed days. Whether you are working, have kids, go to school, or all of the above. One thing people tend to do is get away with saying yes to everything.
It gets exhausting.
When your schedule is already full, saying no can be one of the most freeing things you’ll ever do. Think Mila Kunis in Bad Moms when she says “NO” to running the crazy bake sale.
Things to practice saying no to:
- Social events.
- Extra hours.
- Helping a friend.
Whatever it is, whatever the extra addition to your schedule, chances are you have an idea of the areas in your schedule where you need to downsize your life.
Don’t let guilt sink in when you are choosing your sanity over a jam-packed schedule. Yes, some people might get hurt or not understand why you’re saying no. That’s ok. It’s ok to have your priorities in line, even if they don’t match up with someone elses.
Schedule clearing posts:
- 26 Ways to Get More Time Back in Your Day
- 7 Minimalist Mom Techniques. How to Be a Better Mom by Doing Less.
- Stop Running Errands and get Time Back in Your Day
Now this one can be tough.
What expectations are you putting on yourself that are just plain unrealistic?
Are there expectations someone else is putting on you that are unrealistic?
Time to let go of all of them.
Putting high expectations
onourselves can easily add stress where stress is not needed.
One huge way to avoid the stress of this is to just totally own up to your limits. Be honest about what you can and cannot handle and proceed accordingly.
Have you ever considered setting the bar lower?
Big goals are great, but the reality is that it takes a lot of tiny goals before you make your way to a big goal.
So, what is one small goal you can set for yourself today instead of piling a ton of stuff on your to-do list and then either accomplishing none or just half-heartedly doing some of them.
The guilt of “No”
The first thing you need to remember is that saying “no” does not make you a bad person. It can actually make you a better person.
The more you start saying no to things in your life that you don’t need or want, the more you can say yes to things that truly bring you joy.
Let go of any guilt that you feel over this word and start to embrace what possibilities would open up if you started using it more. It can be the best way to downsize your life.
A downsized life is right on the other side of the word no just waiting for you! Ok, that sounded corny…
Saying “no” means saying “yes.”
If you say “no” to volunteering at your child’s school, you may be saying yes to 1 hour of quiet alone in your house. Never underestimate the power of doing nothing.
Minimalism requires a lot of saying no. It’s all about priorities and knowing what yours are. To start to downsize your life, I promise you no will be the word that can do it all for you.