5 Simple Steps To Starting Your Minimalism Journey
You may have heard of minimalism already. It is the latest in lifestyle design trends.
Minimalism is the process of removing the excess in life to make room for more. More time; more value; more happiness; more love.
Over indulgence; procrastination; and consumerism are problems that we can overcome by adopting a minimalist strategy.
I want to share with you the five essential changes I have made in my life on my minimalist journey.
Minimalism Your Journey – Step 1 Clear Out That Inbox
The first step I took towards a more minimalist life was to take control of my email.
At the time, around two years ago, I had no less than fifteen email accounts with hundreds and sometimes thousands of unread emails. I closed down most of them, and for the three that I still use, I deleted all of the unread emails (except anything genuinely important like flight tickets and such).
The next best step is to see what junk mail comes through on a daily basis and unsubscribe unless you actually receive value from them.
Make a few folders for important documents and one called archive. When an email comes in you should take action on it and then delete, or file in a specific folder. Archive is for practically everything you might need someday.
If you do this right you should have an empty and happy email inbox every day. Now breathe a sigh of relief when you see zero unread on your smart phone email icon.
Minimalism Your Journey – Step 2 Minimalise Your Style
You have too many clothes. I know that you have, because everyone does. It’s not your fault: those shoes gave you power when you couldn’t revise any longer. That shirt you bought is definitely the one that gets you laid this weekend.
The honest truth is that we don’t need many clothes. You could get by with one pair of jeans; two t-shirts; three pairs of underwear and socks; and a pair of shoes.
Ok fine, you’re not a barbarian and you like to look your best, but let’s take a look at where you could be more economical with your wardrobe anyway.
What haven’t you worn for the last year? Surely those things can go as they obviously aren’t even seasonal. If you have sports gear, are you still involved with that sport?
If you have 6 jumpers, how are you possibly going to wear them all? Ten pairs of shoes? Come on!
You have to take a sensible approach when it comes to clearing out the wardrobe. I have sold some things on eBay or given them to charity, and then immediately regretted the decision, but in all honesty, I wasn’t wearing them.
Clothes need love too, so either start wearing them or get rid of them and let someone else show them the love they crave. They’ll thank you, probably.
Minimalism Your Journey – Step 3 Be a Word Spartan
People talk too much these days. Nobody listens. When we are listening, we are usually listening for a gap of silence so that we can blurt out whatever is on our mind.
As a Word Spartan, you will uphold the discipline of the Ancient Spartans and breathe rather than speaking. When somebody talks, just listen intently to what they have to say. If they stop talking, count for three seconds to ensure they have finished speaking and then reply, or if you want to be really charming, ask a question like “how so?” or make a wonderful statement like “go on”.
If you can hold your tongue and listen, the strangest thing will happen: the person who has been speaking for all of that time will think of you as a great conversationalist, or just a terrific listener. Either way, they will like you more than the big mouth interrupter.
Coaches should always be listening so I’m preaching to the choir, but it can be easy to get lost in our own ramblings and forget that we communicate best when our mouths are closed.
Minimalism Your Journey – Step 4 Travel Light
You are jetting off to Tenerife for the bank holiday weekend. A short trip by any standards. So, why have you gone 5kg over your luggage allowance again; and why the need for the extra bag?
I am currently on a flight to Athens. My luggage is in the overhead locker. If I went abroad for two months, my luggage would be the same size.
I have an iPad mini with a keyboard case to make notes or write posts.
I am wearing cargo shorts to hold all of my belongings in various pockets.
Finally, I have a clothes soap bar in my bag: the essential tool for the aspiring vagabond.
I feel less stressed every time I go away now I have simplified my travel. I can focus on the trip.
Minimalists love to travel light. Try it, you’ll feel a weight being lifted from your shoulders ;-).
Minimalism Your Journey – Step 5 Minimalist Money
Your finances are one of the most important things you can neglect after health.
Your finances don’t need to be complicated. If you can simplify your finances you will simplify your life.
When I was in debt of about $20k I had 6 bank accounts with 4 providers. I picked the best one of the lot for customer service, transferred all of my funds to that account and consolidated my debt with them. I then closed all of the other accounts.
My life is so much simpler to have one mobile banking app, and one point of contact with the bank. I really enjoy dealing with my finances now as it is no longer a complicated mess.
If you only make this one change in your life you will have taken a large step towards a personal power supercharge.f
Remember: minimalism means something different to everyone. Some people use it to live frugally, others to relieve stress or simplify their kitchen.
You can choose to use some of the steps above, or think of your own creative ways to live a more minimalist life.
The key is to make small changes and see how they affect your life for the better. Be your own life experiment and study the outcome.
I definitely wouldn’t like to label myself a minimalist perse, but I do enjoy learning about the process, as I do with many life-enriching methodologies, and I always use the amazing Jeet Kune Do philosophy
“Take that which works, and discard the rest” Bruce Lee
Chris Delaney NLP Life Coach, Hypnotherapist and Career Advisor is available for booking for One to One Private Sessions, Group Training Sessions and Public Speaking Events
Chris Delaney is also a published author “The 73 Rules of Influencing the Interview – using Psychology, NLP and Hypnotic Persuasion Techniques”
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