Want to know something? I originally wrote this post in the beginning of my minimalist journey. Right after we downsized our house and moved into a “starter home” that was 2,000 finished square feet smaller. Then I let all of those outside voices make me second guess everything I had written. It was one of my most-read posts and still, I changed it into a typical “diet” post. Simple ways to be healthier. Blah, blah blah. Now, I’m taking it back. We’re talking minimalist life diet. How the power of minimalism has the potential to spill into all areas of life if you allow it to do so. I promise, it will be the best thing you ever do.
What is minimalism?
The minimalist lifestyle is about living with only the things you need. Minimalists are free from the desire to buy and accumulate more. Instead, they find happiness in relationships and experiences.-Becoming Minimalist
So am I now living some enlightened Buddha-type life? Not quite…but also…way more than I ever did before.
Minimalism and clutter
When people start a minimalist journey it often begins here…with the clutter. The material things that we’ve allowed to clutter-up our lives. I get it and it makes sense to start here.
Learning to let go of the items we’ve allowed ourselves to believe improves our value is one of the most freeing things you can do. As a former shopaholic, I used to justify spending money on clearance racks all the time because they were “on sale.” I never thought to ask myself if I wanted any of the items in the first place.
Your things don’t define you
One of the most profound life lessons I ever learned was from Wayne Dyer. In one of his books, he made the message clear that I should never allow myself to be defined by anything that could be taken away.
If someone were to say to you, “Tell me about yourself…” how much of what you respond with would be items or titles that could be taken away?
- “I am a
- “I’m a
- “I’m a
- “I’m a
- “I’m a
lawyerat a law firmuptown.”
When we allow ourselves to be defined by things or titles, we open ourselves up to losing who we are when those things are taken away.
Maybe it’s because I learned great loss at an early age that the reality of losing things is not a foreign concept to me. After hearing this, I started instantly reevaluating my life.
How much of what I owned was I allowed to dictate how I felt about myself and who I was as a human being?
Start with your ultimate goal and work backward
The best way to begin clearing away physical clutter, I have found, is by imagining your end goals in life. What do you ultimately want? What’s the big-picture you see playing out for your life? Are the things that surround you helping you get there? This way of thinking was the entire basis for building The Bucket List Budget and has never steered us wrong.
For me and my family, when this came to the “big house” the answer was no.
- We wanted a good marriage and a close family — the house and all the space was driving us apart
- Traveling with our kids was a top priority — and yet so much of our money when to paying for and maintaining a big house
- Not being stuck in jobs we hate — you feel pretty stuck when you need to work to pay for your lifestyle.
If you are saying you want something in life and yet your actions and your buying habits aren’t lining up to make it happen…it’s time to take action. Need help executing your plan? Check out The Bucket List Budget.
Minimalism and your body
Raise your hand if you’ve tried a crazy complicated dieting plan. ??♀️
I’m going to start eating Keto. All I have to do is make sure that X equals the sum of two parts of Y so that my body can go into ketosis! And I get to do all of this by eating bacon and cream cheese! —Yeah, good luck with never pooping again.
Before you get all up in arms defending the Keto diet, what I’m saying is, sometimes we overcomplicate things that don’t need to be so damn complicated.
Healthy eating looks like:
- Lean proteins
- Eating unprocessed foods
Can anyone argue this? No.
Do workouts HAVE to be a treadmill? No!
What do you like to do that gets your body moving? Are you in the zone in your garden? Do you prefer leisure bike rides? Did you use to dance all over your house, but now that you’re a mom you only bob your head while doing the dishes and rock out to Eminem only when your kids aren’t in the car?
Dance, damnit! Get in your garden. Go for a walk. None of these things have to be torture. They are things that you LOVE to do. Things that make you feel great. Being a grown-up doesn’t mean you need a personal trainer to show you how to move your body.
What do you want for your body and health?
You know where I’m going with this, right?
If you are saying you want health but are chowing down Oreos under your covers every night and feeling ashamed every morning, you are doing yourself a disservice.
This is the same thing as dragging yourself to the gym to do the elliptical while screaming inside your head things like, “SOMEONE END THE MADNESS!” “I JUST WANT A TACO!”
Do you want to feel good in your body? Because I’m willing to bet a long walk with your dog and eating 2 tacos with homemade seasoning and less sour cream is going to make you feel a whole lot better than an hour on an elliptical and a dry kale salad. ?
Your health, your body and your fitness do not need to be as complicated as you imagine. Start simple. Start small. Just start.
Minimalism and your life
“Yeah, I can volunteer that day!”
“Sure, I’ll make it for that brunch!”
“I would LOVE to sit at your 3-year-olds clown-themed birthday party! Maybe afterward we can eat all the leftover Halloween candy no one wanted and you can tell me how and when all of his teeth came in!”
Chances are you have said something along these things (or at least thought them in your head).
Somehow, by nature, most of us seem to feel this obligation to show up for everyone. Maybe we need to believe we are capable of doing everything or maybe we’re just horrible people-pleasers who don’t understand the importance of the word “no.” –By the way, that word changed my life!
Simplifying your time
The same theme pulls through when it comes to your time. Are the obligations filling the calendar things that are going to help you or hinder you from being the person you want to be and achieving the things you want to achieve? Maybe. Right? Maybe you’re working to keep your kids happy, your significant other happy or even get that promotion that you want.
Take the time to truly consider whether or not one of your goals in life is to be happy. Legit happy. What does happiness look like?
Does it look like you’re at rest in bed with a dog and a book?
Does happy look like a vacation (and you think you’ll eventually get one if you just keep working yourself to the bone for 1 more year?)
If this is what happiness looks like to you, are you making time for any of it?
When I started this blog I toiled away at it day after day because number 1, I LOVE it and number 2 I wanted to create an income that allowed us to travel full-time!
I kept telling myself, “I want to get outside more. I want to travel more. I want my kids to learn stuff hands-on.” Yet day after day I was inside behind a screen allowing myself to believe that was the only option.
If you have a goal of reading more, make time for it in your schedule. Not in addition to everything else, I’m saying you QUIT one thing and make time for another thing that will truly enhance your life instead of adding stress and a false belief that you’re doing what you have to do. Creating a Minimalist Schedule You Can Stick To
The power of the minimalist diet
The minimalist diet has the power to completely change your entire life and allow you to begin living with more passion and purpose.
My biggest recommendation is to live from the end result. Imagine what you want your life to have been like when you’ve reached the end of it. Now, slowly begin getting rid of anything that isn’t going to help you achieve that life.
It’s really that simple.