Less is More

cuckoo clock1

As you may or may not know (thinking you know by now), I’ve been leaning into minimalism for a few years.

Less stuff in my cabinets, less clutter on my shelves and counters, less clothes, less on my calendar, less in my diet and less living space as we downsize to a smaller home.

I have more space in my cabinets and closets, more calmness from clutter free surroundings, more time in my calendar to spend time doing meaningful things and when we move into our smaller home, I will have a home that is more suitable to our lifestyle.

I’ve noticed lately that my weekends actually seem like extended periods of time off. I have the time to do what I need to do AND want to do, like socialize and relax.

Weekends don’t seem to fly by like they used to.

This morning my husband and I carved out a few hours to visit my friend’s daughter’s bakery. We heard she had some vegan items on the menu and were pretty excited to check it out! As we were driving home from breakfast, we passed several neighborhood garage sales.  I realized that I had no interest whatsoever to stop and browse. Come to think of it, I rarely spend time shopping at all. I used to spend at least a few hours each weekend roaming the aisles of one store or another. Now, I only shop when I need something.

Less IS more!

 

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If I Can Do It, So Can You!

And if I can do it in one aspect of my life, I can do it in another. As I transition my next phase, I am redefining my life, my relationships and my goals. I seemed to have way more goals, dreams, and ideas for how I can make an impact in some small way, that it all became overwhelming to me and I didn’t even know where to start.

I began to get a little more clarity and success when I decided not to do too much at once. In addition to simplifying my life, finding my purpose (see Courtney Carver’s, bemorewithless.com for some great tips) and working on my writing, one of my goals is fitness, so I decided to try something I have always wanted to do, but NEVER attempted: RUNNING.

I began very, very slowly, running for 1 minute, and then walking for as long as it took to catch my breath (and get up the nerve to continue). As I shared my method with others I encountered, they told me this sounded like the Couch to 5k Running Plan (coolrunning.com). I just did what felt right.

Each time I run, I try to increase the amount of time that I run and decrease the amount of time I walk. Since my daughter recently started running, I would check in with her from time to time for encouragement.

Over the course of about 4 weeks, I went from running for 1 minute, to 2 minutes, to 4 minutes (I was stuck here for a while), to 7 minutes, etc. I stuck with this method of gradually increasing my running time and I run/walk every other day for 2 miles, running about 1.5 miles of that distance (about 20 minutes).

Me, tired, but feeling good after my run

Me, tired, but feeling good after my run

This method of building endurance is really a good metaphor for how I can target some of my other goals. Start off small, remain focused, work at it consistently (even when stuck at some level), ask for support when needed and share successes with others.

There may even be some added bonuses along the way. This morning, as I was running by a man crouched over weeding his front lawn I said, “They never end, do they?” He replied with an unlit cigarette in his smile, “No, and thank goodness, this is my therapy!” I got a good laugh and a warm feeling from this interaction with a stranger. As I continued running, I reflected on the fact that running has been therapy for me, as well.

What have you been meaning to do, to work on, or to finish? Do you have so many things on your plate that you feel overwhelmed and exhausted before you even begin? If so, pick one task, one that is doable and perhaps seems the easiest to complete. Focus on this one goal and write down each day (or every other day, etc.) what you will do to see it through. Small steps are OK and you will build momentum and confidence as you check them off!

Be consistent and share your journey with a supportive friend (or me). This creates a feeling of accountability and it’s nice to have a cheering section.

Good luck and feel free to comment and share your successes here!