I’ve reached the home stretch of the Minimalism Challenge. I now have the five hardest tasks (for me) remaining for the month: Stay offline for one day, no-complaint day, practice single-tasking, no TV all day (which I’ve already attempted twice), and leave a whole day unplanned. Wish me luck!
No purchases for 24 hours. You would think this is easy, but then you suddenly have the urge to get Starbucks or a doughnut. (Or is that just me?) I succeeded in not buying anything, but, like the other tasks in this challenge, it was a battle.
Practice gratitude. I had a particularly unpleasant day recently when I attended a court hearing regarding my apartment building, which is in foreclosure. On that same day, some miscommunication at work frustrated me so much that it came out of my eyeballs in the form of tears. And so I journaled about what I’m grateful for to remind myself I am actually blessed. Some of the things I said I’m grateful for: my hard-working husband, my ability to work from home, and our ability to travel.
Evaluate your commitments. What are my commitments? I have my full-time job, this blog, my running group and half-marathon training, my yoga practice, and of course my relationships with people in my life. I am going to start my five-week photography class as soon as I find one that fits my schedule and when I buy a tripod. I think I have enough going on right now that I am not overwhelmed, which is why I have been holding back on pursuing a teaching gig. I have always taken on too much. While I enjoyed teaching, I remember rushing home after my full-time job to change and then driving in rush-hour traffic to get to my class. I loved teaching, but I didn’t take pleasure in the constant chaos of always having to be somewhere.
Create a relaxing bedtime routine. Having a set bedtime routine isn’t always feasible for me because no evening is the same. Some nights Graham is home from work and we spend time together, and other nights he isn’t home until late and he finds me sleeping on the couch. The only things I tend to do regularly are wash my face/use a facial toner and brush my teeth, and to be honest, I skip washing my face sometimes. I know I shouldn’t, so I’ll work on doing that. Ideally I would do some relaxing yoga poses before bed, too.
Examine your daily habits. I could always add in a few minutes of yoga and meditation to my daily routine, so I’ll try to remember that. One thing I want to cut back on is starting my day by scrolling through social media. I need to ease into the day before I concern myself about what the world is up to.
Part 1: Unfollow and unfriend; streamline your reading list; turn off notifications; clean out your closet.
Part 2: Evaluate your last five purchases; learn to enjoy solitude; go for a walk and practice mindfulness; go bare-faced.
Part 3: Meditate for 15 minutes; no email or social media until lunch; let go of a goal; downsize your beauty collection.
Part 4: Journal for 20 minutes; identify 3-6 priorities; follow a morning routine; identify stress triggers.
Part 5: Declutter your digital life; define your goals for the year; take a step toward learning a new skill; clear out your junk drawer.