When you embrace Minimalism and apply it to different aspects of your life, you end up living a simpler life, free from unnecessary clutter and distractions.
It allows you more space, time and freedom to focus on what’s important and let go of the unimportant, whether that’s physical and material possessions or just mental clutter such as negative emotions, bad habits, limiting beliefs and mindsets.
This simple life leads to an intentional life where you make careful, deliberate decisions about what’s important and what’s not and you become more intentional about everything that you do.
Check out this post on intentional living and 4 easy ways you can live with intention now.
Living with less makes us focus more
When you live with less by decluttering the stuff that no longer matters to you, the things that you do keep in life take on greater significance. There’s less general stuff to distract the eye and the mind.
Here are some examples:
- If you minimalise your wardrobe, the clothes that you love and feel great wearing will stand out from the crowd and you can find them easily in the morning when you go to get dressed. It will be quicker to find what you’re looking for, it’s one less decision you’ll have to make that day out of a billion others and you know that whatever outfit you end up wearing, you’ll look good and it will give you confidence.
- If you declutter the toys and leave your children with fewer options, you’re preventing them from getting over-stimulated and they’ll instead find creative, imaginative ways to play for longer with the toys they do have.
- When you take nearly all the photos off your shelf and only leave the ones that have the most meaning, you’ll appreciate them and look at them more closely because they won’t be hidden or lost amongst the rest.
We begin to see what’s important and what’s not
By minimalising and simplifying your life, you’re now looking at yourself and your life in a new way, to really consider what’s important to you and what’s not.
Here are some examples of things that are important to me. They may be important to you too…
- Spending quality time with my family
- Making time to spend on myself without feeling guilty or selfish
- Being calm, patient and always present with my kids
- Not feeling frazzled, stressed out and overwhelmed
- Being able to save money instead of spending it on things we don’t really need
- Time, space and freedom to do things on a whim and just because we feel like it
- Not playing a constant game of catch-up with housework, cooking, laundry and other necessary but mundane chores
- Better able to juggle the work-life balance and not letting it get me down or get out of balance!
- Not trying to keep up with anyone else’s idea of the perfect life, but to live our own perfect life
You don’t let something take up your space, time or energy unless it’s really worth it. You’re not going to spend time looking after something, caring for it, thinking about it, unless it repays the value you put into it.
And, of course, every time you say yes to something, you’re saying no to something else.
Before you let something in, you are making a much more conscious decision on what you feel is important enough to have in your life.
Everything that you let into your life comes with careful consideration and there is intention behind every purchase, action, decision and motivation.
You avoid getting caught up in buying things you don’t need, saying yes to things you don’t want to do, being overwhelmed by too much stuff, commitments, things to do and plates to juggle because you think about what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it, before you actually commit to it.
This is intentional living.
I think one of the best ways to help you understand what intentional living is all about, and to show you how you can apply it to your own life, is to give you some examples like these…
4 ways in which you can live with intention
1. Be intentional with your shopping
Try to find other ways of spending your free time instead of shopping for stuff that you don’t actually need. If you do need to go shopping (and even hard-core Minimalists do need to shop every now and then!), take a list and stick to it.
Plan what you’re going to buy beforehand and think very carefully before you buy something whether you really need it or if it’s just a quick-fix to make you feel better.
I’ve written a whole blog post which you can read on Minimalism and shopping – 18 ways to shop with intention.
2. Be intentional with your time, calendar and commitments
How many times do you take on too much or say yes to something that you don’t want to do, or you don’t have time to do? You end up stressed, overwhelmed or just plain worn out.
Be intentional about how you spend your time, simplify your calendar by only saying yes to the things that you really, really want to do and find a way to say no or postpone the rest. Carve out some free time for yourself and feel your body and mind recover.
If you’d like to know more about managing your time, check out this post on how to simplify your calendar and be more intentional with your time.
3. Be intentional with your home
Everything in your home comes at a price. Either the amount of money it cost when you first bought it, or the time and energy it takes for you to look after it, tidy it up and clean it. Ask yourself whether the value you get from having the stuff outweighs what you have to do to look after it.
Now think about what would happen if you decluttered the things that you don’t absolutely love or need, simplified your home and got rid of the stuff that was taking your time and energy. What could you do with that time, space and freedom instead?
Decluttering your home and being intentional in what you allow to come into it (and stay in it) will leave you mentally and physically free to do so much more. Check out my post on 20 ways to declutter your home to kick start your own decluttering.
4. Be intentional with your morning routine
What does your morning routine look like at the moment? Do you drag yourself out of bed only after you’ve hit the snooze button a few times?
Are the kids pulling at you asking for breakfast? Do you run around like a headless chicken making breakfast and packed lunches and all the time searching for the missing PE kit and checking homework is done, whilst shouting orders that nobody, even the dog, seems to be listening to? Do you feel like you’ve done a full day’s work before you’ve even stepped out of the front door?
What about being intentional with your morning routine?
Try getting up earlier, spending some time on yourself before the rest of the house wakes, planning what needs to be done and doing some of it the night before. Even being able to create time for yourself to shower, wash your hair and get dressed before anyone else is even up! Won’t you feel better, be more ready and prepared for the day rather than madly chasing your tail?
If you’d like help setting up an intentional morning routine that prepares you for the day, then click this link for my post on how setting up a morning routine saved my sanity.
These are just four examples of how being intentional with your thoughts, actions and decisions can make such a positive impact on your life. They’re not difficult to do and won’t cost you anything but they can completely turn your life around.
This is your life, no-one else’s, and it’s up to you to make the most of it.
Be intentional about what you let into it and you’ll get so much from it in return.
Want to get intentional but need more oomph to get going?
If you’d like to know more about minimalism, simple intentional living and how this can help you and your family, please check out some of my posts below.
- Unexpected and life-changing benefits of Minimalism
- 3 things to try if you’re not sure Minimalism is for you
- Why Mums need Minimalism
- 8 ways to simplify your life
- Best books on Minimalism and recommended reading
- What to do if you’re the only Minimalist in the house
- Minimalism and why you should break the rule sometimes
I’d love to hear from you if you have any thoughts, comments or suggestions. Please email me at email@example.com or drop a comment below.