I’ve been listening to podcasts, reading blogs, and really diving into the idea of minimalism lately. While I’m not the type to go and sell everything I own and live in a tiny house, there are stunning truths inside the idea of “minimalism.” One definition of minimalism is this: “Minimalism is a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives. By clearing the clutter from life’s path, we can all make room for the most important aspects of life: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution. Even though everyone embraces minimalism differently, each path leads to the same place: a life with more time, more money, and more freedom to live a more meaningful life.” That quote was one I grabbed from the podcast/website which first peaked my interest in the topic – the minimalists.
Like the definition states, minimalism looks different to each person. What I love about it is its uniqueness to the individual applying it. A minimal lifestyle for me could be completely different than yours. The very idea of minimalism is to remove everything that is not adding value to your life. It almost seems too simple. We are inundated with advertising, clever marketing, and sales pitches for a “better life.” Yet, as we accumulate possessions galore, do our lives benefit? As a Christian, I believe minimalism can go a long way. Don’t start on the rabbit trail of whether or not God wants you to have stuff; we all know that God blesses us beyond compare! What I’m talking about is removing the distractions from our lives, even better, removing the desires that compete with God.
Becoming a minimalist is more than just getting rid of belongings, although it tends to start there. It’s decluttering the heart and mind as well. It’s realizing that not just physical things, but also spiritual things, such as worry, that don’t add value to our lives need to be removed (as the Bible so cleverly puts it, “Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”).
As I move slowly towards the idea of minimalism, it has opened my eyes to the clutter around me. My husband and I are moving into a new place in a month or so and I’m happy to be able to downsize greatly. Think of all the stress caused by the idea of having to clean and organize your house during busy seasons. It’s so easy to make enormous messes when you have hundreds of excessive and unnecessary “things.” Now, imagine decluttering to the point where you have only what you need and maybe a few other things that add value to your life. The stress of organizing and cleaning is almost immediately eradicated.
Now, don’t go getting all in a huff. I know how people are. As soon as I bring up any kind of new topic or idea or lifestyle change, I get the eye rolls and the jokes. It’s like we shut down at the thought that making considerable life changes could in any way better us. Why is that? A blog for another day I guess…
In light of my new aspiration to minimalism, here are just a few changes I have on my mind for 2018. Maybe you want to look into this minimalism thing or maybe you just enjoy reading about my weird little life (lol), either way, enjoy!
- 6:00 am or earlier wake up calls (don’t judge me…mornings are hard)
- Daily exercise (either as tedious as going to the gym or as simple as walking outside)
- Improved time management (having a set of goals/values/priorities helps immensely with this – say yes to the things that align with my goals and no to the things that don’t)
- Daily writing (writing adds great value to my life and perhaps even to a few others, therefore I want to make it a huge priority in 2018)
- Declutter everything (from the kitchen, the bedroom, and Nathan’s desk to my mind, email inbox, and more – if it doesn’t add value to my life, then it goes…ooooh…spooky! 😉 )
- Minimal spending (this could potentially be the hardest of all…although, setting clear-cut rules and/or having checklists can eliminate spontaneous and unnecessary purchases quickly and easily)
- Marriage first (in my heart, this is not a hard goal whatsoever, but when I look at where my time is spent, I quickly realize that my marriage is often not getting the attention that God and my spouse need it to have. I’ve got to remember that marriage is about investing, not just enduring…)
- Health (this is the last goal I have and the most important because how I live physically and spiritually now will affect where I am in the next 10, 20, or 30 years)
- 50% less screen time (this basically explains itself…)
Thanks for reading! I hope this post provided inspiration on some level to you. I, for one, am tired of just coasting through life. I’ve never been fond of New Year’s Resolutions ( in a stereotypical way ) but I am ADAMENT about the importance of setting goals and having a clear set of priorities. For me, minimalism is about thinking through everything I’m doing and living my life with more purpose. As someone who gets easily drowned out by the waves of life, minimalism is a way of gaining momentum and direction towards the goals, priorities, and values that are most important to me and to God.
Until next time,