Have you ever started a big closet clean out, began a debt repayment program or tried to simplify your life in other ways only to lose motivation midway through? Maybe you stopped because you didn’t have a strong support system, or it felt too hard to continue. The thing about simplicity is that it isn’t always easy, especially in the beginning. In most cases, it doesn’t happen overnight either so figuring out ways to maintain motivation is essential.
The good news is that with each thing you release, you feel a little lighter. The new space and time you create will serve as motivation and inspiration to keep going. Here are a seven ways to maintain motivation to simplify your life and possibly inspire people around you to simplify too.
1. Bring it to life.
Reading and sharing books and blog posts is a great way to stay inspired as you pay down debt, declutter, and begin to live a simpler life. Bringing what you read to life is an even bigger dose of inspiration. Attend a meetup.com get together, local minimalist.org meeting, or attend one of the following events:
Tiny Wardrobe Tour. I’m traveling to 33 cities (at least) to share the hows and whys of starting Project 333 (the minimalist fashion challenge that invites you to dress with 33 items or less for 3 months) to bring more simplicity, love, and joy into your life. I’ll be sharing my “enough is enough” moment and what led me to give away most of my stuff, downsize to a small apartment, and leave a 20 year career in sales and marketing. I’ll bring my tiny wardrobe but the conversation will have very little to do with clothes and fashion. It’s all about health, happiness, and love. The Q & A and discussion part of the evening is my favorite.
Next week I’ll be in Louisville (6/6) and Atlanta (6/8). There are seats available and 50% of all ticket sales goes to The Hope Effect, a non-profit changing the way the world cares for orphans. Find your tickets here and please bring your friends, co-workers, and community members. I promise a fun evening for you.
For my Canadian friends, please save the date! We are finalizing venues for Victoria on 8/23, Vancouver on 8/24, Toronto on 8/28 and Montreal on 8/30. Tickets will be available soon.
Less is now Tour. Join The Minimalists for a night of less. Joshua & Ryan will present an in-depth talk about minimalism and record a live version of The Minimalists Podcast. You can learn more about the Less is now Tour here.
2. Get your heart in the game.
If your heart isn’t in the game, permanent change doesn’t stand a chance. Really understand your motivation to change. What’s pulling on your heart? For instance, quitting sugar to lose 10 pounds to fit into your high school jeans for a reunion may get your ego’s attention, but it might not really speak to your heart. But, if you think quitting sugar will help you sleep better, prevent cancer, and live longer … now it’s a matter of the heart.
Why do you want to simplify your life? I simplified for better health and more love. I can’t tell you what your reasons are, but I do know once you identify them, vocalize them, and write them down, you will never look back. Once your heart is in the game, you will find the strength you need to let go of the clutter, the busyness, and all of the other things standing between you and what matters most.
3. Change your subscription habits.
Unsubscribe from emails and publications that encourage you to spruce up your wardrobe, and buy things that eventually contribute to your clutter. Let go of anything that suggests you need to buy more stuff to be more you. Let your inbox and magazine reading inspire motivation and not derail your efforts. Try Simplify Magazine. The first issue on happiness is free.
4. Curate your social feeds.
Fill your social feeds with inspiration to simplify. Join me on Facebook or Instagram and follow your favorite simple living authors and advocates. If part of simplifying for you is cutting back on social media, try a digital fast for 24 hours a week and set a timer when you do engage. It’s so easy to go down the Facebook rabbit hole, but if you set a timer, you’ll be reminded to unplug and go for a walk or do something else you enjoy.
5. Live it now.
You don’t have to wait until you are debt free, clutter free, or living as simply as possible to enjoy your life. Find little ways to enjoy the simpler life you are creating each day. Take a long walk. Cook a simple meal. Spend a phone free evening with people you love.
6. Have fun with it.
We aren’t motivated by tasks and chores. Make your simplicity journey fun and light-hearted by hosting a minimalist scavenger hunt, or play other games like I describe in this video.
7. Be good to yourself.
Big change usually comes with some slipping and sliding, a few steps forward and then even more steps backward. Don’t beat yourself up or let guilt hold you back from trying again. Be good to yourself. Take care of your body, heart, mind, and soul. Good things take time. You’ve got this.
I’d love to know how you maintain motivation while simplifying your life. Is there one thing that’s made the biggest difference?