It isn’t easy to change a habit. The ingrained autopilot routines can catch us when we’re not paying attention. Just grab the remote and start channel surfing; pop open the laptop and play games; pick up the phone and check social media.
We have to put stuff in the way of those easy paths if we wish to change. Not because those habits are bad but because they impede us from being who we want to be.
My biggest reminder at the moment is this:
That is a leather bound notebook of hand made paper. I bought it months ago, wrote in it once, then left it on a shelf. I would see it and think that I should write something. The notebook now resides on my laptop. I have to consciously acknowledge the notebook’s existence and purpose every time I turn on the laptop.
And in the past few days I have written more both in and out of that notebook than in the past year. Will I keep up this pace? Who knows. I will be getting back to other things in life that mean something to me.
And I’d rather choose between meaningful things than meaningless things.
One of the tools that the Minimalists speak of is a “Must List”. Their thought (like mine) is that people say they “should” do things but never get to it. They just took it further and realized that our goals must be reframed as something we “must” do. When we view our goals as something we “should” do then we give ourselves a way out.
With that in mind I have started working on my list of what I feel I must do to live the life I want.
Last summer Jules and I went to a bachelorette party for a friend. During dinner conversation someone asked Jules where she would like to live. Jules immediately said “I want to live in a tiny house.” My attention shifted back to that topic and I must have had quite a shocked look and tone because she immediately looked abashed, saying “Wait, haven’t I told you about that?”
I wasn’t upset that she hadn’t told me. My shock stemmed more from:
- Jules had a lot of stuff. I mean, A LOT. A spare room and a storage unit both crammed full of things.
- I had also wanted to live in a tiny house but felt I couldn’t because I also had too much stuff.
- I didn’t think I would have support in downsizing.
In the months since we have talked this through. We have both tried downsizing in fits and starts but nothing sustained. Things just weren’t clicking into place for me. Jules talks about using the KonMari method – which is basically grab an entire category of your stuff (such as books, clothes, or housewares) and pile them up in a room. Then take each item and see if it gives you a “spark of joy” – if not then get rid of it. That is just too overwhelming for me. So I did nothing much.
Then last night I started listening to the Minimalists podcast. And I checked their website a bit. And a path started to be revealed. This is the story of that intentional journey.