There are so many benefits to living a more minimal and simple lifestyle. They’ve been written about, talked about and continue to be promoted by those of us who love the lifestyle. If you haven’t read about the benefits yet, you’re missing out on a key piece of inspiration when learning about simple living. I would highly suggest you take the time to read through the following articles-
Today my focus is on just one of the many benefits of minimalism and simple living: Motivation. When I first started simplifying, I thought it would be limited to just ‘stuff’, physical items in my home and nothing more. Beginning with physical items helps you see immediate results that stay visible, which in turn helps to motivate you to continue in your simplifying, decluttering and minimizing efforts. I didn’t know that as I minimized my home, I would gain momentum and the motivation to expand my simplifying to other areas of my life, including-
–Commitments. After decluttering my home, I knew I needed to minimize my commitments as well. I reevaluated everything I was involved in, from volunteering several times a week at the school and church, attending regular coffee and conversation meetups for parents, a book club and more. I asked myself some difficult questions to find out if the commitments were still adding value to my life, or causing stress. I eliminated quite a few.
–Activities. This area pertained a lot to the extra-curricular activities my children were involved in, which necessarily required me to spend time driving them to and from said activities, working to pay for the activities and the resulting tight schedule in the evenings because we were gone so often. We ended up eliminating three out of four of their activities when we actually sat down and discussed them and realized they were causing much more stress for our family than adding enough benefit to make it worthwhile.
-Cooking. Our meals were another area that greatly benefited from my new motivation and enthusiasm for simpler living. We started eating healthy, whole food meals that I could cook in 30 minutes or less. I felt a lot of stress and pressure lift from me as I gave myself permission to stop cooking elaborate dinners, or go out to eat instead, and to focus on the quality of the meal instead of having a large quantity of food options at each dinner.
-Relationships. As I freed up more time by minimizing other aspects of life, I became much more motivated to focus on maximizing what was truly important to me, relationships. The motivation was there to reach out to those I had been pushing to the side, simply because I was too busy, stressed and tired to spend the time that I really wanted to with them. I was able to spend more time with my husband and children, take more time to do simple things like wish a friend happy birthday, or call someone I hadn’t seen in a while.
-Negative emotional responses. This one came as a complete surprise to me. I had never even considered that simplifying life could have such a profound effect on something like my emotions. However, as I learned how to simplify in other aspects of life, I realized that emotions could be minimized as well. The less stress I felt in other areas, the more motivated I felt when handling negative situations, to help resolve them positively and to just let a lot of them dissipate on their own. I realized that I could choose to handle negative issues in a big way, or a minimal way, and I choose the minimal path whenever possible.
A whole post could be written on each of the many benefits of simplifying and minimizing your life, maybe some day I’ll tackle that, but not today. Today I’m motivated to declutter under my bathroom sink and be present and aware as I shop for our meals for the coming week so I don’t come home with non-essentials.
What are you motivated to do?