What is minimalism? A majority of people imagine minimalism as homes that are stark with black and white, devoid of decorations, and the person only wears neutral colors. That is by far not true, although it can be for some minimalists. Minimalism does have to do with limiting the number of belongings. Just not at the same level as deprivation.
Consider this. You have eliminated all time-wasters and bad habits to make room for hobbies, relationships, and achieving goals. There is even time to exercise or relax. You aren’t frantically replying to an exploding inbox or watching papers pile up around your house. Your bank account can be fuller. Your life, for the most part, is stress-free.
Doesn’t it sound pleasant?
Minimalism is a lifestyle. It is ruthlessly cutting away at the negatives in your life to make room for the positive. It is letting go of what weighs you down to allow more energy to be put into things that really matter. It includes habits, thought patterns, relationships, and whatever pleases you. I personally want to improve my wellbeing and be thoughtful, rather than stressed and frantic. I am removing the bad to welcome the good.
Here are some examples:
- Reading before bed instead of screen time
- Unsubscribing from all those pesky emails so my inbox isn’t flooded
- Turning off notifications so I am not distracted by social media all day
- Not buying junk food that is hard to resist, while buying healthy foods I love
- Making time to weightlift for thirty minutes, instead of wasting time online
- Stop interacting with toxic people I don’t like, and replace them with friends I do like
- Stop comparing myself to others, and replace those thoughts with appreciativeness of my personal growth
- Challenge negative and ruminating thoughts, and replace them with positive ones
- Letting go my need for control, replacing it with acceptance of what I can and cannot control
With material items, it is an interesting perspective that varies from person to person. I noticed that everyday I would have to clean my house because clutter would litter all the surfaces. I would seek ways to better organize things by buying storage containers. Then I realized I was cleaning everyday because I own too much stuff. In 2016 I streamlined my wardrobe into a capsule wardrobe. It is very nice to wear all my favorite things instead of owning a bunch of clothes I only thought were so-so. I also sorted through all the duplicates of things I owned and donated them to the women’s shelter I work at. I deleted a bunch of unnecessary social media accounts too, focusing on ones that actually had a purpose besides looking at pictures. Getting rid of all the stuff I didn’t need relieved me of a burden. I had less items to become preoccupied with and I appreciate the things I do have a lot more.
This year is the big change in minimalism. I am going to dedicate this month to a series about minimalism. All my plans and advice will be recorded.
For the month of January, here are two minimalism challenges.