Your Next Steps
Once you get a handle on The Basics of living small (Food, Clothing, Shelter) and have your essentials identified and separated, it’s time to move on to all the mass of “stuff” in your life that remains.
Overwhelm and The Vegetative State
You are much more likely to enjoy your life more and “vegetate” less if you have fewer busy-work responsibilities and fewer mundane things you have to handle. Think about it. When you feel totally overwhelmed, how much energy do you have? How likely are you to jump up and start organizing and cleaning things? How much do you enjoy cooking or even eating a meal? How motivated are you to pursue a hobby or visit with friends? How compelled are you to go out and travel and have new experiences, when there are so many things that “need” to be done at home and at work?
When you are juggling too much, you are much more likely to select some form of passive entertainment — like television, surfing the web, reading or playing video games — where you can “get lost” and not interact with people. You are much more likely to require this form of vegetative “down time” when you are trying to accomplish too much during the bulk of your day. Modern-day “overwhelm” leaves you less able to be creative, to socialize, to pursue hobbies, to spend effort improving your relationships and spending real time with your significant other, your friends, and your family.
You have less energy to do what matters most to you.
Quit the Guilt
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with watching a movie, reading a book or playing a game — or even spending time online doing nothing in particular — but passive entertainment is becoming the default activity for so many people these days. Those are the same people who often feel like all they do is eat, sleep, work and repeat. It’s not very satisfying and many of us feel constant guilt not for what we ARE doing, but for what we AREN’T doing.
Do you ever feel that way? Have you felt that way today? If so, it’s probably time to tackle some of the advanced simplification techniques and begin lightening your load!
Your Next Steps Toward Living Small
- Start with Self-Care – Before you can care for anyone else or even do your own things effectively, you need to turn your sights inward. Take better care of your body to feel your best, look your best, to be more active and enjoy life more.
- Work and Play – Identify and pursue work (and creative hobbies) that nurture your soul and make a difference in your life and in the life of others. If your work (and your life) involve technology, learn how to simplify the technology in your life (to make it serve you — so you spend less of your time serving it).
- Simple, Fulfilling Relationships – Develop and maintain more satisfying interpersonal relationships. If your relationships suck, you won’t have much energy to improve anything else in your life. In fact, you will spend time avoiding the relationship rather than improving your life — and theirs.
- Organizing and Minimizing and eliminating superfluous things from your life.
- Simple Money – Take charge of your finances. Money troubles are one of the most stressful issues many people face. Eliminate fiscal worries and enjoy the freedom it will provide. Identify ways to become more self-sufficient and learn to be more self-reliant to reduce your need for cash.
- Travel – Trade things for memories and experiences. Meet new people and see new places rather than sitting still and gathering stuff to maintain. The best things in life aren’t “things.” Go explore your world!
It’s All Related
One of the most interesting things about the decision to Live Small, is how interrelated all the basic and advanced topics become.
- Choosing healthier food improves your health and the way you feel.
- Feeling better, looking better and being more active improves your creativity and sense of well-being.
- Being more creative and active encourages you to pursue enjoyable activities.
- Enjoyable activities encourage you to include those near and dear to you in those pursuits.
- Having fewer financial worries makes it possible for you to work less, live more, and travel — near or far.
- Organizing and minimizing means you spend less of your time dealing with day-to-day minutia and more time experiencing life and discovering all the beauty and wonder it has to offer.