Becoming a minimalist is not an easy path to walk. It is a very rewarding and fulfilling lifestyle, but it is not easy. It takes hard work, discipline, sacrifice, and even some pain.
Becoming a minimalist begins by developing a mindset focused on minimalism. This can also be very challenging as it counters social norms and what we learned growing up.
Is it worth it? Yes
Is it simple? Most of the time
How can we develop a minimalist mindset? Lots of practice and hard work! If this sounds too hard, keep reading. It gets better.
First, though, what is a minimalist mindset?
A minimalist mindset is a combination of our thoughts, feelings, desires, and dreams. When we have this mindset, we focus all of these on living with less, doing less, eliminating the unnecessary.
We focus on experiences instead of accumulating wealth and physical objects. We let go of unused and unwanted objects and try to avoid bringing too much new stuff into our lives. We focus on what makes us truly happy, healthy, and at peace. We limit our commitments to activities, clubs, organizations to those that help us feel fulfilled and that we truly enjoy.
This is the Minimalist Mindset. There are many more aspects to this mindset, but these are the foundational basics.
To develop a mindset focused on minimalism is simple yet challenging. There are some easy steps you can take to foster this change in your mind.
First, learn all you can about minimalism. Subscribe to this blog and other blogs about minimalism and simple living. Read about minimalism, discuss it with others on social media, try a course or buy a book or guide. You can email me any time for some recommendations on where to begin your journey.
Second, notice your thoughts about excess. Ask yourself these questions and then ponder your thoughts and reactions:
How do you feel when you eat too much, buy unnecessary things, have too many commitments? How do you cope with stress? How often do you shop for new things because you’re bored, stressed, upset, etc.? What makes you truly happy? Could you count everything you own? What if you lost everything in a fire? What stuff would you miss/purchase after the fire?
Try writing your thoughts and feelings about these questions. As you face decisions about what to buy, do, invest in, etc. write your thoughts and feelings. Notice the thoughts you have and record them somewhere.
Third, begin changing your way of thinking. This is the key. After you recognize the thoughts you have, you need to start changing them. I am not a behavioral scientist or psychologist so I don’t have any scientific ways to change your thoughts. I do know that the more you practice minimalism, the more you will foster that mindset. The more you practice minimalism, the more you think like a minimalist. The more you think like a minimalist, the more you practice minimalism.
These steps will help you on your path to becoming a minimalist and developing a minimalist mindset.