Back in the day I used to jump on the New Year’s Resolution bandwagon. Lose weight. Save money. Eat better. Study more. Clean and declutter. As I got older I found resolutions were just a reminder of what I had been slacking on. When I became an athlete, I was annoyed by the influx of people at the gym, but reminded myself that at one point, I used to be that person…kickstarting my life on January 1st to “getting back in shape.”
It’s funny how one day can hold so much power with initiating action. Why is that? As a result, companies prey on the weak consumer looking for the “quick fix” to their problem. It would be easier to just start working out because you are sick and tired of the way your clothes fit. One would think.
At the end of 2016 I was strolling through social media and read a post from a friend that really stood out to me. She shared 3 things that changed her life for the better that year.
- Passion Planner: part goal setting tool, part journal, part scrapbook and full-time planner
- The Minimalists blog and podcast. She stated “the older I get, the more I’ve begun to question: When is enough, enough? What are my values? My beliefs” What brings value to my life?”
- The Rocky Mountain Tri Club
Well, here’s what I ended up doing…
- Ordered my Passion Planner. Still figuring out how to best use it for my own goal setting, but it is definitely a great tool and by far one of the most comprehensive planners I’ve ever owned. They even provide a link to pdfs that you can download and use with your Passion Planner once you’ve purchased one.
- Started listening to The Minimalists podcast. I’m now at Episode 42. Talk about a life changer! By far the most meaningful podcast I have ever listened to. Great content, valuable discussions, and full of ideas for me to incorporate in my quest declutter my life.
- The Rocky Mountain Triathlon Club – I had just finished up serving on the board as the Racing & Training Officer and ready to take a backseat and enjoy as much or as little swim, bike, and run as I want.
As much angst I have with setting a New Year’s Resolution (coupled with the fear of failing), I figured there was one worth taking on. After listening to over a dozen episodes of The Minimalists podcast, I knew I wanted to embark on a journey of living a life full of meaning and intention. At first (like most people), I thought this would be about getting rid of all of your stuff and living on the bare minimum. Quite the contrary. These two guys (Joshua Fields Milburn & Ryan Nicodemus) talk about what they’ve done to live a meaningful life. Getting rid of their excessive material possessions, managing the relationships in their lives, leaving corporate America to pursue their passions, living debt-free, and the list goes on and on.
What really drew me to this podcast was they didn’t have a one-size-fits-all formula of how to live a minimalist lifestyle. They inspired me to question everything (things, people, activities, etc.) and choose to keep only those that were in line with my values. There were so many things and people in my life that I found to be just a lot of noise and clutter. So like any person, I started with going through my closet and forming piles to donate to the Goodwill. This was followed by another pile of things I sold on eBay. I even went so far as to mailing items to friends that I thought could appreciate the things I had accumulated.
Little did I know that I started living “minimalistically” for just over a year already. I stopped attending weddings, baby showers, and parties that were just a superficial obligation. Relationships that no longer made me happy, I found myself retreating from. As painful as some of these things were to let go of, I was quickly able to find happiness in other things by simply focusing on what made me happy and stopped worrying about what others thought about me.
In essence, the podcast inspired me to start this blog. It opened my eyes to all the possibilities. Several friends have already heard me preach the “minimalist gospel” and some have started listening to the podcast as well. So here’s to the New Year’s Resolution of living a life of meaning, whatever that looks like!