Most of us have elements of our lives or ourselves that we would like to change and improve.
Some are small and doable (annoying personal habits), and some are larger, longer-term, and lurking (things that get in the way of our progress in life).
I am of the belief that transformation happens as a result of multiple small changes that together create big change, so therefore all efforts to make beneficial changes in your life, are worthwhile, if they lead to the desired end result.
As such my small life improvements are usually related to less (less stuff, choices, stress, time wasted), which results in more. My big life improvements are related to the blocks stopping me from creating this simple and beautiful life to which I aspire.
By way of clarity, below I include some real examples, both small and big, that exist currently in my life. Perhaps reading about my ongoing attempts to work with my human imperfections will encourage you to carry on giving attention to any of yours that might need it.
I call the small short term changes the do less plans and the large longer-term personal-monster sort the care less projects.
These changes are part of my journey towards simplicity in living.
I am 4 days into the Minimalists’ 30 Day Minimalism Game which started on 1 September. Talk about Spring cleaning. I got rid of 1 item on September 1 (1 pair converse), 2 items on September 2 (2 pairs pumps), 3 items on 3rd (3 bottles of expired medicine), and 4 items today (kitchen utensils). A total of 10 items gone already.
I have been feeling less light than I like for a while. By the end of September, our home will be emptier of 465 items.
This decluttering game is taking care of our excess possessions for a month, so I can more easily lean into the space that is left.
Leo Babauta talks about leaving space for tending to our lives.
I love that.
For me tending to my life this weekend will involve – less of the small stuff:
Quick transformation this weekend!
- less stuff – deciding what will be leaving our home in the #Minsgame
I am looking forward to clearing out our living space a bit, as it has been a while since I did this. I share my thoughts about and experiences with simplifying life, but I realised it has been a while since I did a big clear out here at home in practice.
- less chaos – organising my workspace, and so my headspace
I will file papers and throw waste away so my desk is set for work on Monday.
I work better in a clear space, so clearing out my workspace clears out my head space, which supports me in creating good work!
- less phone time – stepping away from my phone
I am aiming for a digital detox on Sunday. Phone away for the day!
Whatever plans I have will involve my presence with no interruptions from my phone. I am betting the day will feel longer and more relaxing.
- more me – taking some time to look after my body
Although this is a more and not less, here will be time spent doing nothing productive and taking it slow.
I will also be spending time looking after my physical body. Some long-overdue pampering for me by me.
About To Do Lists
At times it seems as if my journey of less is more about to-do lists.
And sometimes it is. I am however now more mindful about how I use lists. I am currently actively simplifying my lists down to fewer prioritised points.
Because using a list can make one feel productive, when perhaps one is simply busy.
Today I was made aware of the difference between efficiency and productivity.
Efficiency is the skill of accomplishing something with the least waste of time and effort.dictionary.com
Productivity is the skill of getting the right things done so that we accomplish what we set out to do in the first placeSeth Godin
I can feel busy and as if I am working, when I tick countless small things off my to-do list. Recently I have had to take a step back and ask myself if the items are adding to my business purposes and wellbeing and the intentionally simple life I am crafting.
Gradual mindful active transformation
The Care Less area is a direct result of the increased self-knowledge I have gained through the process of learning new skills and challenging myself with the training I am now doing. I know so much more about the areas which need my attention now and so can address them – where I lack confidence or the stories I tell myself which slow down my onward journey.
And also some areas of work in progress – which need less:
- less fear about the judgement of others – by just doing it anyway
- less power given to my personal monsters – by acknowledging them
- less control of plans – by letting go of involvement
Since having joined a community of digital business owners and learners, I have been learning digital skills and learning about business.
I would argue even more importantly, that through the digital business skills training and through webinars and from support from members of the community, I have learned and am learning so much about myself.
I am learning so much about my challenges and my abilities and my stories and my blocks and triggers and emotions in relation to my goals.
It’s a whirlwind, but such a worthwhile adventure.
I know now that I and many others self-sabotage our attempts at success. I attended a webinar recently where the host (Danny) asked us what was our biggest issue holding us back.
- Mine was fear of judgement. I am 45 and I realised that I am far too deeply controlled by my own perception of what others might think of me!?
I have decided that the time has come for me to take a big breath and simply do it. “It” being to put myself and my content out into the wide world. To add my voice and take on the world on my Instagram page and in my blog posts.
So many of us fear judgment. The time comes simply to let it go and take a bold step forward. We all know when that time comes.
- Another way of holding myself back, and again I believe I am not alone, is that I hand over too easily too much power to my personal monsters – self-doubt, not being enough, lack of know-how, lack of value to offer, age, finances.
I have learned recently, from another webinar (Casper) that simply by acknowledging them, their hold over me will be lessened. I am putting this into action every day. When I feel as if I don’t have value to offer, I simply continue as if uninterrupted by my self-doubt monster. It gets easier with practice.
- Less control – of plans and outcomes and expectations. I am practising letting go of my involvement with all things at all times. At home I have become the organiser and the plan maker, but what would happen if I stepped out of that role for a bit and let things unfold as they will?
My guess is that they might pan out differently but it might give others a chance to step up. Chances are I will have to deal with some uncomfortable feelings, letting go, but discomfort is where we learn and grow.
In addition control is only an illusion anyway!
I am so happy I came across minimalism all those years ago. The thinking behind it has inspired the way I choose to live my life. I have discovered a clearer and smoother way to live in an overstimulated and over-stuffed world.
I am thrilled every day that I decided to join a community of people learning about online business. I am learning a great many current practical digital skills as well as growing so much as a unique individual on a path to creating a great life.
If anyone is interested to learn more about the ideas that Leo Babauta offers, do have a look at his website, the minimalist Zen Habits. His ideas might just change your life.
If anyone is interested to learn more about minimalism from the 2 people I have been following the longest, dive in to Becoming Minimalist by Joshua Becker and Be More With Less by Courtney Carver. Their takes on Minimalism might very well strongly impact the trajectory of your life.