A Minimalist Guide to a New Year
Minimalist people may have it figured out. They embrace simplicity and in so doing, they often are rewarded with a slower-paced, happier, and more fulfilling life. With this minimalist guide you just might be able to join them!
I’m sure you’re wondering, well too bad life doesn’t work that way… We have kids, spouses, jobs, money, friendships, and more to worry about at the exact same time. It’s no wonder we all feel a little…well… overwhelmed.
But… there may be some changes for the New Year that you can adopt that may just start to balance out that overwhelming feeling you’re experiencing.
Those changes begin and end with adopting minimalists ideas and concepts that can work for anyone at any stage in their life. This minimalist guide with show you how!
We all embrace each new year with a sense of excitement for the possibility of change, why not make sure it actually happens for you this time?
This isn’t your typical New Years’ resolutions to lose some weight, call family more often, or put more money in savings. This minimalist guide is about figuring out how to be simply happier and more in the moment on a day to day basis.
A “resolution” we often overlook year to year, yet it just may be the key to the answer you’re looking for in your life.
Minimalism itself has dozens of identities and definitions. The most amazing thing about minimalism is that there is no wrong answer to what it means to you.
Overall minimalists live a lifestyle that embraces simple and slower living, allows you to be more present in the moment, and let’s you gain more control over your mind.
Minimalism helps people get back to the core concept of what it means to be human.
Pretty powerful stuff that only requires a few simple changes in your life!
So the questions is with a new year upon you, are you ready to embrace minimalists ideas into your life? If you are, then I am so happy for you!
You are on your way to a more fulfilling life that will pave your path to a more grounded and happier existence, and that is priceless.
Keep reading to the end to print out your free minimalist guide printable to keep you on track for your minimalist journey throughout this year!
Each month of this year you will be faced with a challenge that will help you become a more minimalist person.
Remind yourself what you need to focus on for that month and if you lose focus on it, do not worry, there will always be a tomorrow to simply try again.
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Out with the old and …. well that’s it. Out with the old. It is time to declutter your environment in your first step this year towards minimalism.
If you haven’t noticed, physical clutter manifests mental clutter which inhibits your ability to function in a calm realm. Instead, we let our messy environments dominate our minds with endless to-do lists and hidden resentments.
Two terrible things we can live without in our lives. So January is all about decluttering your home. Work your home room by room, removing anything that no longer serves you physically or mentally.
Remove five things in your life that you have become obligated too… by choice… that brings you nothing but misery.
Really think about it. What do you do by choice that consistently brings you misery?
Make a list… right now…
Not quite sure where to start? Here are some ideas you might relate to, and more importantly here are the solutions to the problem you’re going to want to change.
- Do you spend a lot of time checking emails a day? Take a day to unsubscribe to everything you do not have to have. Next forward all of your emails to one inbox. Lastly, check it once a day.
- Do you just hate cooking during the weekdays? Shift your grocery budget to accommodate ordering takeout to take the stress off mid-week. Or once a month do a major freezer meal prep session for quick and easy meal making after a long day.
- Does your sister upset you every time you talk or get together? Talk to her about your feelings to work through the problems, or maybe it’s time to put some distance between the two of you.
Are you starting to understand the choices we make on a regular basis that end up causing us nothing but stress and misery? For the month of February, for your minimalist challenge, try to find five choices you can change for a happier existence.
Who knows maybe you find more than five things you need to change?
Finish your to-do list. We all have a list of procrastination projects we keep pushing off week after week. Make March your month to accomplish this list completely.
This is a little more important than you may think. Our to-do lists even when on paper are still in our minds. We are taking up very precious short-term memory space to keep us forever stressed with things that really need to get done.
So do them.
Get the cars maintenanced. Paint the shed. Go to the dentist.
Make your to-do list but more importantly write your do list with a CTA. Call To Action. We accomplish a lot more when we line up how and when something is to be taken care of.
So don’t just say get the oil changed in the car.
Say next Saturday in the morning, take the car in at Firestone to get the oil changed. It should only take 30 minutes of my morning.
Can you see the difference?
Envious of people with routines? It seems that they have mastered a way to embrace a time management system for their lives. These time management systems help people create a structure to fit in what they value as important on a daily basis.
So the question for you this year with your minimalist evolution is what do you value to be the most important thing you want to accomplish every day?
Do you wish you had a smoother morning? Maybe waking up earlier and following a morning structure could help you achieve those goals?
Do you wish you took better care of yourself? Maybe an evening routine of an afternoon walk, pre-making your healthy lunch the night before, and always washing your face at night becomes your new routine.
Take the month of April to fine-tune a routine that works for your lifestyle. Challenge yourself to stick to some new habits that promote productivity and self-care.
Remember it does take about a month to develop a habit that will stick, so make April your month to dedicate to your new routine.
Drop the negativity. Have you ever stopped to consider how much energy and effort it takes to be angry? It’s actually quite exhausting. It takes more facial muscles and effort to frown than it does to smile.
Negativity is truly toxic and we all fall victim to it on a daily basis. We make a comment about an annoying driver, we talk to our co-workers how much we don’t want to be there, we openly complain about our family members to our spouses.
Negativity surrounds us and it is heavy.
If you have never done so, try to not be negative for one day. No complaints about how your back hurts or snide comments about your appearance. When someone else in your life begins on their negative warpath try to politely not engage in the conversation.
It is not easy.
In fact, I’m not sure if it can be done, and that’s ok!
As long as we cut down on the negativity we will then start to see some amazing results happen around us.
Your spouse, kids, friends, family, co-workers, will start to match your new profound positive personality. It is exciting to see that happen before your eyes; and all because you chose to stop the negativity in your own life.
Negativity is heavy, yes, but positivity is weightless.
May is your negativity awareness month. As you start down a negative path you real it back in and replace it with positivity. One month of practicing this type of behavior change may just make you become addicted to positivity.
Have non-stop fun. We work our butts off every day, month, and year to make changes mentally and physically. Making changes are fantastic goals but we also may be forgetting to enjoy life in the process.
Getting caught up in responsibilities is very easy to do. But if you need some reassurance of what letting up on your responsibilities will do to you and your life here is the cold hard truth…
You will have fun, enjoy your life more, and it will only take you a few hours to touch upon your responsibilities if you’re finding yourself off the path a little bit.
Not too bad. Now I’m not saying you throw everything to the wind, but maybe you put a little less in savings this month and take a weekend getaway. Maybe you have that second drink. Maybe you don’t deep clean the house this weekend and you binge-watch your favorite show all day.
We work hard and we should also play hard because what is the point of life if we never stop to live it?
So for the month of June, have some fun… guilt-free.
101 Deep Questions to Ask Yourself if You’re Not Happy
Work on your relationship. Could be your marriage, your significant other, your family, your kids, etc. Take July as a month to dedicate building a stronger relationship with a loved one.
We get sidetracked with work, responsibilities, and of course our selves. Don’t get me wrong working on yourself in my personal opinion is the first step anyone should take in mending a relationship with someone else. Yet at a certain point, it’s time to focus outward for guidance and mending.
Communication and quality time are two things that anyone in a rough patch with their loved one should be embracing. Make July the month you carve out some special time that focuses just on your relationship.
Set up more dates, turn off the TV and talk, do something spontaneous and unexpected.
Do not act surprised if your loved one doesn’t reciprocate your actions, because this is about you mending your side of a relationship. They might just need time to adjust to your change in behavior.
Think about it, if for the entire month of July you focused solely on improving your relationship. What types of changes would you see? Probably nothing but positive changes for you both, so isn’t that worth the effort?
The chores can wait, the emails can wait, the excuses can wait… make some time for your loved one, because if they weren’t in your life tomorrow you might regret not making them more of a priority over laundry…
Simplify a process or two in your life. We all engage in a few different forms of neurotic behavior. Maybe we throw everything into our purse and find ourselves searching endlessly for our keys…every single day.
Or possibly we scribble important bits of information all over different things in your home and are constantly losing valuable information.
I’m sure there are a few areas in your home or in your life where it is just not functional. So why not make it different? Why not improve it to make it better and in doing so making our lives better?
Make a list of a few dysfunctional things your life and come up with some solutions for how to fix them.
A purse organizing insert? A shoe rack at the front door? A planner to help keep everything organized?
If we never stop to create solutions for problem areas in our lives, they will continue to be a problem forever. If a simple solution exists why not take the month of August to execute it?
Reconnect to who you were and who you still want to be. We all had hobbies and passions that may have taken a back seat to our new lives filled to the brim with responsibilities. Why not take a moment to explore those old hobbies to see if there is still a connection?
Maybe you loved photography? Why not take day trip to a scenic location to take some pictures?
Maybe you always wanted to learn the guitar. Why not invest in your dream and buy one?
We cannot keep pushing our interests and ideas away because we feel we have no time, no money, or because we are just simply too scared to try.
Human beings need more than making sure the bills are paid on time and that you keep up with the dishes. We need to live life. There are so many beautiful and wonderful things out there just waiting for you.
So for September in your minimalist journey, pick something to connect to. Whether it’s a new passion or an old one, reignite the fuel inside you to find excitement and joy in the things around you.
You can be that person if you just say yes.
Embrace the capsule wardrobe. If you have never heard of a capsule wardrobe it is simply put, a smaller wardrobe of clothing that is simple, neutral, well-fitting, that can all be easily mixed and matched to create dozens of outfits.
This type of wardrobe might contain only 20 pieces or less of clothing which in turn makes you getting ready for anything incredibly easy.
Minimalists have developed this concept with the hopes that we give our clothes less power than they actually have.
If you think about it we wash dozens of loads of laundry a month in which we spent countless hours of our precious time doing in the process.
We also have meltdowns over not having anything nice to wear and we feel insecure when we do not have clothes that fit us correctly.
Here you thought… clothes don’t have that much power… but clearly they do!
So with that knowledge take back the power in your closet. Minimize what you own and simplify your life with a capsule wardrobe.
Not sure where to start?
Re-imagine the Holidays. We put a lot of stress on ourselves when it comes to the holidays. We feel we must decorate, bake, go to parties, buy gifts, etc. The truth is you don’t have to do anything but you choose too.
There is nothing wrong with simplifying the holidays, in fact, maybe simplifying the holidays will allow you to enjoy them more than ever.
So with that in mind, why not switch things up this holiday to better suit a more minimalist you. Maybe you ask for donations for a trip you would enjoy instead of gifts?
Maybe you decide to give experiences instead of physical things to your loved ones.
Instead of hosting Thanksgiving dinner, maybe you ask your sister to host or you suggest a pot-luck to take the pressure off of you.
Just keep in mind that you deserve to enjoy the holidays as much as any other person. So make sure you take anything that causes you stress during the holidays off of your to-do list.
Do nothing. Yes you heard me, minimalism is about enjoying the moment, and the best way to enjoy a moment is sometimes to do nothing. We do not always need to make changes and improvements in our lives 24/7.
We sometimes need to turn off our brains, calm down our need for change, and learn how to just simply be.
This December is your final step toward a minimalist life. Your challenge is to gaze longer out that window. To say yes when your niece asks you to play. To not have a plan for the day.
This journey was about change, yes, but it was also about learning how to enjoy the changes that you made. We often seek out the tools and guidance to reach our goals, but nothing about what to do with that goal once achieved.
The goal for you in this year of embracing minimalism was to learn how to live life again. We are so much more than to-do lists and promotions, or meetings and weight loss goals.
We are given the gift of life, so the question is how are you going to live yours?
Don’t forget to download your my minimalist year guide to help you with every step towards minimalism!
2 thoughts on “A Minimalist Guide to a New Year”
Love this article. It’s so well thought-out. I’ve been getting more into minimalism over the past few years and definitely love this list! 🙂
Hi Becky! So happy you enjoyed this article. I find that minimalism doesn’t have to be complicated to embrace! If it was it would defeat the whole point of simplicity 🙂