I want to adopt some minimalist habits into your life to make it more productive and pleasant, read my story, and some practices I currently have, maybe some of them will resonate with you.
Before minimalism came into my life, I was not only a compulsive shopper; I was a person without a routine of good habits.
Minimalism was first a decluttering process and naturally evolved into new habits, some appeared organically, and some adopted over time.
I feel these are minimalists habits because they involve activities where I don't waste money, or it is the bare minimum, you will see what I'm talking about as I go through with this list.
This list is in no particular; I'm just explaining each habit as I wrote it down on my notebook.
1 Walk everyday
I admit I hate the gyms and used to be the type of person who would pay a subscription only to attend the first month and then avoid it altogether, dragging the shame and guilt of not reaching my goals, have you ever been in that situation?
The sad truth is that frequently we have good intentions upfront but do not lack the motivation to keep it up. I'm socially awkward; I get anxious when there are too many people around, and the gym is one of those places.
I quit the gym and started walking; when I was working full time, I'd go for a walk in the evening, now that I'm not working because of the current pandemic I go out for a walk in the afternoon after finishing my job on the laptop.
Its such an awesome thing to do, and if you are working most of the time indoors, a breath of fresh air is going to help reduce stress levels and clear your mind.
Let me be clear on something before moving on; I'm lucky enough to be able to take walks where there are almost no people; if you live in a crowded city, avoid going out for walks at least until the current pandemic is over.
Another great option is exercising at home with youtube videos; you can choose between different routines to cover all your needs, from yoga to HIIT.
2 Better wardrobe
Lord! It annoys me to think about how much money I used to waste on clothes that were not the right fit and color for me; it is scary to remember how careless I was with my choices and funds.
Better late than never, they say, with minimalism, I realized we do not need as many clothes as we tend to believe by retailers and society.
When I first decluttered my closet, I ended up selling shirts, jackets, shoes, and many other clothes I either wore once or never, ridiculous.
With minimalism I learned to be mindful of what I buy and add to my collection, so far this year I bought two plain t-shirts, I do not plan on buying any more clothes for the rest of 2020.
I have read a bit about a capsule wardrobe and is something I might be interested in creating for myself in the future, but for the time being, I like all the items in my closet and look good on me. I gravitate towards grey, mahogany, olive green, and black.
The key is to buy when you need to (not when there is a sale) and know what colors you like the best or flatter you the most; this is very personal and in no way, I believe everyone should use only neutral colors, clothes must express who you are.
Before minimalism, the writing was more of a necessity than a habit; it was either for studies or work.
As I'm writing this post, this blog is still new, and writing here is part of that habit.
With minimalism, I started a habit of writing down everything I had on my mind before bed on a notebook, and it has been working for me for the following reasons.
It is incredible how many backspaces in your mind all those thoughts take, and even when you are not actively thinking about them, they are still draining your brain energy. Writing it down takes all those words out of your mind into a paper where you can refer them anytime.
For this same reason, I get much better sleep; my mind can rest at peace because all my ideas, duties, and worries are elsewhere.
And finally, it makes you more productive, you will not forget anything, and you won't lose extra time trying to recall everything, just as I create this post, I look at my notebook, and I can use all the ideas and words in there.
4 Turn off the phone at night
The amount of time I'd just lay on my bed with the phone's blue light on my face binge-watching random youtube videos must be insane. I would even stay awake as far as 3 or 4 in the morning.
A terrible habit that affected my concentration, and my anger level was high as I did not get proper sleep, thus damaging my relationships and my mental and physical health.
I've learned that my smartphone serves me for work and entertainment, but I only use it until a specific time of the day.
As part of my night routine, I delete everything that is no longer needed in my phone to avoid virtual clutter, and I clean it externally after I turned it off.
I still use a battery alarm watch near my bed (to be more precise on a dresser to the side of my bed) because I like to wake up at the same time every day, as I'm still unable to do it on my own.
The alarm watch has been with me before minimalism and will stay with me for as long as it serves its purpose.
5 Shopping with a list
Closely related to a capsule wardrobe and just like clothes, I would buy random things because I wanted them. At one point in my life, I had to purchase furniture specifically to store all the clothes, music, movies, shoes, etc.
When I go shopping, I make sure to have a list and stick to it, think of your shopping list as a map to guide you through the supermarket or whatever store you are shopping.
Without a shopping list is easy to fall into temptation and buy wants, not needs.
6 Tracks your expenses and incomes
I never did grow up, I had money and spend it, only to wonder why I had no money a few weeks later.
Just checking your bank account is not enough; I have an excel sheet where I keep track of the expenses, including the date, store, item(s), how much it cost, and how I pay.
It helped me a lot to see what we're those random things I was buying and I could easily cut first, nowadays my tracking is compromised mostly of needs like food, I do not treat myself every once in a while, but I'm very intentional when I do it.
7 Make the bed every day
I never made the bed, well it's not surprising as I slept very little and had almost no time to get ready and leave the house. So to me, making the bed was always something unnecessary, the last thing to do.
I remember reading that making the bed every day would set you up for success as you did tackle one small goal, thus started your day in the right direction.
I was like meh... but as I minimalized my belongings, I had less stuff to take care of, and making the bed started to seem possible, and I honestly can't believe how I went without doing it for so many years.
When I make the bed as soon as I wake up, I feel better, like I accomplished something that early in the day. Besides, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing your bed made before going to sleep, it is awful to have the sheets, and duvet covers falling to the side or not properly covering your body.
8 Organize your chores with a list
As I mentioned, as part of my night routine I write down everything including chores and duties for the next day or in the future, with this random list I create a path to make sure I tick every single goal before the day is over.
I feel this helps me get motivated every day to move forward towards my goals step by step. If you think you have too much to do, start with a list and once you finish a task, put a check on it and move to the next one, try to focus on one at a time, and take small breaks between them to avoid mental burn out.
9 Being grateful
Before minimalism, I always wanted the latest, shiniest things, the rat race. Even though I was happy with what I had for a while as soon as it was outdated, I was feeling miserable and jealous of those who had the latest whatever.
Be careful of this very toxic mentality; not only are you sabotaging your savings but also contribute to today's substantial wasteful society lifestyle.
Instead of being jealous of someone having the latest item, I'm grateful for what I own because my belonging serves me well, so I take care of them.
10 Stop caring what others think of you
How my older self was back in high school and college; I can not begin to count the number of hours I wasted thinking about what others' perception of me and my behavior was.
I learned that in the end, the only person who knows what's best for you is you, I still listen to other peoples advice especially from family and close friends but ultimately I'm the one who has to decide what's the best for me, what I want and do not want to do, and what makes me happy.
Not everybody will like us, and that is a fact, and it is ok, as long as you love yourself, everything will be fine.
Because we can't live our short life trying to make others happy, as long as you do not hurt anybody, be yourself and not let others disturb your spirit.
Here are some other Minimalist Lifestyle posts you might find interesting.
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