I know I paint the minimalist life as all sunshine and roses. But, jumping into the minimalist lifestyle just because the grass looks greener may not be the right move for you. If you want to be a minimalist there are ten questions you should consider.
By far the most common scenario I run into is people verbally telling me how much then want to be a minimalist, but following up those words with no thought or action. Listen, you don’t have to be a minimalist for me to like you. All I’ve ever wanted is for people to live their best most epic lives.
It just so happens that minimalism is a fantastic tool to eliminate distractions and get you laser focused on what you want from life. And one thing I can tell you for sure, it’s a lot easier to like someone who’s happily enjoying their best life.
Do I Still Want to Be a Minimalist?
It’s been six years since the concept of minimalism first entered my brain. From watching a documentary to deciding to be a minimalist took a couple months. Actually implementing minimalism into my life took several more months.
Soon, we were using our newly minimized house as an income stream to fund two months of travel per year. Then, our minimalist home became a full-time Airbnb funding a full-time travel lifestyle.
Our family has been living abroad for two and a half years at this point and we have minimalism to thank. So when people as, ‘Would you do it all over again?’ the answer is a resounding YES! Choosing to be a minimalist opened up a world wide Pandora’s box of experiences I never could have dreamt of.
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Could You Be a Minimalist?
The disconnect between your desire to become a minimalist and taking action is usually analysis paralysis. You don’t know where or how to start, therefore you just never do.
A good life hack anytime you want to do something but you never seem to do it, is to get really clear about if you really actually want to do it. Saying you want to do something is the easy part, it allows people to praise you for your desire with no actual effort on your part.
The one nuance about becoming a minimalist that nobody seems to understand, minimalism is not the goal. Minimalism is the tool. You need to define the goal in order to inspire the action.
Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Attempting Minimalism
It’s hard to get where you’re going without a clear destination. Choosing to be a minimalist is a huge lifestyle shift for the majority of people, so careful consideration is prudent.
#1 Why do you want to become a minimalist?
Understanding your motivations for wanting to adopt a minimalist lifestyle can help you stay motivated and focused on your goals. Remember, becoming a minimalist is not the goal. Minimalism is the tool.
Your initial attempts to decide on a life goal will fall short of your actual goals. The first few things you claim to be your goals will be level one and level two goals. Be sure to read, Your Why is Wrong, in order to get a clear picture of your true life desires.
#2 What are your priorities and values?
Try to untangle the mental mess of other peoples expectations from your own true values. You might have been conditioned to think a certain way that you no longer align with. This is the time to define those truly personal priorities and values.
Identifying what is truly important to you can help you to focus on what truly matters and let go of what doesn’t. My priorities include creating epic memories for my kids and building generational wealth for my entire future family.
#3 How much time and effort are you willing to put into becoming a minimalist?
Especially in the beginning, minimalism requires effort and dedication. So, it’s important to be realistic about how much time and energy you’re willing to put into it. Time spent now is saved down the line with less searching for items, moving objects in order to get to other objects, and less ongoing maintenance of possessions.
Purging and eliminating physical objects can be a daunting albeit worthwhile step in the process. Having a kick off garage sale can create a one time cash influx that can help launch you towards the next steps to achieving your goal.
#4 What areas of your life do you want to simplify?
Decide which areas of your life you want to focus on simplifying. This could be your home, your wardrobe, your schedule, or something else.
#5 What is your definition of minimalism?
Minimalism can mean different things to different people, so it’s important to define what minimalism means to you. I follow the principles of modern minimalism in my slowmad lifestyle.
Your definition of minimalism might look entirely different from my own and that’s totally okay. Be sure to read, 21 Different Types of Minimalists to better understand your chosen definition.
#6 Are you ready to let go of possessions despite justifications?
Becoming a minimalist often requires letting go of possessions that you’ve justified keeping for a very long time. There are three justifications you commonly use. Financial justification, sentimental justification, or practical justification are the reason behind every item of clutter in your home.
If you want to be a minimalist than learning to overcome your trauma responses leading you to keep unnecessary items is vital. There will likely be some inner work that you need to do in order to un-learn some of these instinctive justifications.
#7 Are you ready to change your consumption habits?
Minimalism requires being mindful of what you buy and how you consume, so you should be prepared to change your consumption habits. Eliminating your existing clutter is only effective if you can prevent stuff from finding a way back into it’s place.
One of the best parts about minimalism is the effect it has on your finances. Aside from your initial cash influx from selling your clutter, further effects occur as you save money on items you choose not to purchase. Be sure to create a minimalist budget to start allowing your money to work for you.
#8 Are you ready to be more mindful of your actions and their impact on the environment?
Minimalism often involves considering the environmental impact of your actions, so it is important to be prepared to make changes that are better for the planet. Choosing sustainable products, buying higher quality longer lasting items, and opting to skip certain purchases all together are all positive steps.
The mental mindset of minimalism makes it difficult to disconnect the environmental consequences of our previous choices. All the excess and waste that’s been created as a result of being a typical consumer will make your head spin.
#9 Are you ready to learn to live with less?
Minimalism does start with less stuff. There is no maximum item count or checklist, but reducing your physical possessions is undeniably a major aspect of becoming a minimalist.
One thing to look forward to is that less stuff will result in more experiences. Minimalism is a lot of things, but it is not about deprivation. Less stuff is means to an end. Your dream life is infinitely easier to achieve when you’ve eliminated the dead weight of possessions.
#10 Are you ready to simplify your schedule and focus on what truly matters to you?
Minimalism often means simplifying your schedule and focusing on what truly matters to you. You’ve been told by gurus for years that you should say no to obligations that you’re not interested in as a way to preserve your time.
The best part about the minimalist schedule is that because of your free time you get to say yes to all those things you wanted to do but you never had time. Even more amazing, because your life gets filled with so many things you want to do, the junk you didn’t want to do isn’t even on your radar.
Be a Minimalist Today
There is no reason to put off a great idea until tomorrow. If you’ve answered the questions above and you still want to become a minimalist, then today is the day.
No more thinking about it will change anything. It won’t be easier tomorrow. The only thing that happens if you put off beginning your minimalist journey is a delayed outcome. Your ultimate goal will be pushed off another day because of every day you wait to begin.
Find me on social media and let me know that today is the day you’re starting your journey. I’m so excited for you and your future.