23 Responses to “The Drip Method: A Minimalist Guide to Success”


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  1. The simplest of things always seem to matter the most….

    …the good and the bad alike.

    When I started taking 30 seconds everyday to just focus on my breathing, I saw my stress and blood pressure plummet. All it took was acknowledging one small simple act and my life was changed.

    Thanks for acknowledging the small things in life.

    David Damron

  2. When a person wants change in their lives, they try to make MAJOR changes and in most situations, they changes will overwhelm them. This makes it difficult to continue. While those types of changes may be necessary in serious situations, we can usually best affect log-term major change by taking those little bitty steps, the drips.
    I want to be physically fit, but I know better than to start with an hour of working out everyday. So, I made a committement to walk on the treadmill for 15 minutes. That was 2 weeks ago. I have missed 1 day and I am up to 30 minutes. I will do my best to continue that minimal commitment of 15 minutes, and hopefully it will propel me into a longer more lasting exercise routine.
    Great post! If we were to implement these suggestions, we could change so much in our lives!

    • Hi Bernice!

      I think you’re right, major changes sometimes cause us to focus on the outcome of our changes while taking baby steps tends to have the opposite effect – we enjoy the process and we’re more likely to stick with it.

      Hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving :)

  3. I love this post! There is a tap that drips vigourously in the staff room at the place I have been working for the last few months. I think that it hasn’t been fixed for just the reason you described. I wonder if it would have been fixed if someone had blocked the sink one night.

    I also love this post because it has just encouraged me continue with my blog. I missed a post the evening before, and even though I fixed that straight away last night, it sapped my morale, because I thought that I would lose all the readers I don’t yet have.

    Your post has reminded me that this blog that I’m building will only grow slowly, with careful attention, and in its own time.


    PS – You have a new subscriber! :-)

    • Courtney Carver

      Joe, Thanks for subscribing. Let me know what you want to hear about and how I can be more helpful!

    • Joe, that’s awesome. Seriously.

      I’ve been tempted to give up on things when I fall off track or don’t see progress come quickly, but if you do that every time, you’ll never get to experience the joy of doing something just because you enjoy it. When you focus on that – the results will probably follow :)

      Take care!

  4. Courtney,
    I’m low on patience, help! What I like about this process is the enjoyment. That alone is worth it to me. If I’m not enjoying something…why am I doing it? When in a rush to succeed I cheat myself out of enjoyment.

  5. Carol

    Brilliant! I LOVE the metaphor of the drip and how it will fill up a sink in time – great way to remember this concept. Which, by the way, is similar to the Japanese principle of kaizen – small changes, repeated many times = success. Thanks to both Mike and Courtney – Mike for writing it and Courtney for putting the guest post on her blog! :)

  6. Awesome post Courtney! I love how you talk about focusing on the small steps. I too have noticed that if you just put your head down and do things little by little, big things happen. Focusing on the sheer magnitude of huge goals is a sure recipe for overwhelming oneself and getting discouraged. Bravo on another great article!

    • Courtney Carver

      Marvin! thanks for commenting. This is a guest post from Mike at The Art of Minimalism. So glad you like it.

      • Marvin

        Hi Courtney!

        Hahaha…had the “scanning” lenses on today. Missed the notations on it being a guest post. Nonetheless…awesomeness! Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. I declutter by the drip method and it sure is working for me. Instead of rushing to offload a heap of stuff I have taken my time, decluttered one thing a day for the last 329 day. Not only do a have less stuff cluttering up my home but through the drip method I have taken the time to learn from my mistakes and embraced a more minimalist approach to decluttering. Therefore I am far less likely to find myself having to start from scratch in twelve months time.

    • Hi Colleen! I think you’re blog (and lifestyle) epitomize the drip method. One thing a day is easy – multiply that by 365 things and you have a brand new life. wow!

      Thanks for sharing!

  8. Excellent post Mike.

    What’s great about the drip method too is that it lasts because you embed new habits into your daily life. It’s not a quick fix you try for a few days then abandon in frustration. Working a little each day on something you’re passionate about – even for just 10 or 15 minutes (or as David Damron said above – just 30 seconds!) – will enhance your life in a lasting, profound way. The older I get, the more powerful I realise the daily practice of the things that matter to you is the way to contentment and calm, and making a significant difference to the lives of others.

    PS/ Thanks Courtney too for invited Mike to guest post. : )

  9. “Instead of striving towards success, and wasting valuable mental energy, you focus on the habits that will let you reach your goals naturally.”

    Great post. I really liked the piece above. It’s hard in this deadline and goal oriented world to remember that life is about the journey and not the destination. I see in so many areas of my life that it has to be about enjoying the process to get to the success/finish line.

    • Rachel, you are so right. I find it hard with all the pressure to be goal oriented, but I’m slowly letting go of this attachment. I hate promoting my own stuff, but you might enjoy my recent post: the unproductivity manifesto – I talk a lot about the things you mentioned.


  10. Great post! It truly is the small changes that eventually lead to big results.

  11. Hey Mike! Just got around to reading it after all the holiday craziness. I’ve always been guilty of the “get angry if the water doesn’t come on full blast right away” mindset. This was an important reminder for me to be patient, especially with growing a new blog. Thanks for another great post.

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