I feel as is I’ve learned more about myself this year than in years past. I’ve learned more about what I want in life and don’t want. And in a world of metrics and busyness, I have found more rest for my anxious, worrisome soul along this road called simplicity.
Sometimes we get to caught up in routine that we forget about where it’s leading us. I want to make sure I am making the most of the journey before me, not taking time for granted, not worrying so much about the future.
“If you’re searching for a
sunrise, it’s important
to be headed east;
for a sunset,
Joshua Fields Millburn
I am actually quite exhausted of striving and concerning myself with things that don’t exist. I’ve tried to just catch my thoughts entering worry-mode and I have been working on minimizing whatever is non-existent in my head. I’ve chosen to face whatever is worrying me when it’s right before me, but not before its time.
The future can be scary, full of surprises and uncertainties, and also adventurous, but living in the present is the best choice. I don’t want to get to the future and then look back at time I’ve wasted in the past, whenever it was the present, because I was so intently focused on the future, but not sure why I had my head wrapped around it so much. After all, there is no life in the future, only in the present.
It’s crazy how it works, I guess, but sometimes the smallest things give me anxiety. And since we’re talking about the New Year, I thought this topic would be appropriate. I remember when I used to set goals for every area of my life. I had a mood board, a vision board, a Pinterest board (no, not really, that didn’t exist then), calendars, and planners to make sure I was setting goals, measuring their progress and ultimately, arriving at their awesome completion.
After embarking on a minimalism journey, or said plainly, a life where I remove the excess to make space for what’s meaningful to me, I’ve learned that having a direction goes a longer way than goals. The latter might actually get in the way, cause stress and headaches. So I’m letting them go. This is becoming a game changer for me. Life is lighter, more joyful, and I’m still very productive!
Here’s why. This is an idea based on simplicity and to me, simple is better. That goes for all areas, by the way, not just stuff in the house. As Joshua Fields Millburn of The Minimalists puts it, “I prefer to have a direction in which I travel. If you’re searching for a sunrise, it’s important to be headed east; for a sunset, west.”
So I’ve decided to try that out, and here’s how: by identifying those areas in my life that I believe are important to me and deserve attention. These include faith, relationships, health, passion and contribution. I don’t need to take a long time to brainstorm what I value. These areas are my compass and guide on this short, but precious journey we call life.
By giving attention to them, I have a sense of direction that aides my every decision, either daily, weekly or even annually. So goals are unnecessary, because I’ll always be doing those things that revolve around these “core values”. If I know what actions I need to take to improve my health and relationships, then having to measure their development becomes obsolete, because there is no finish line. I’m a work in progress. There’s always room to grow. It is also easier to say no to other things whenever I say yes to what I consider first.
There’s nothing wrong with setting goals, but why are you setting them? The setting of goals is not hard; executing them is. In fact, if there is no resolve within to even achieve said goals, then the famous New Year Resolution won’t do anyone any good. I may have an idea of things I’d like to accomplish this coming year, but without goals, there is no more pressure, no more anxiety, and no more disappointments if nothing gets done. I understand deadlines are needed, heck, my accounting full-time job would know, but I know for a fact that if I want to do something I value, I’ll do it until the end, I mean, who wouldn’t? But now there’s margin, there’s space to breathe. The journey ahead towards a more simple life is a pleasant one, not one of toil and stress. Here is also some additional reading on this topic that has helped me along the way.
I know many people this time of year are full of goals for the future, and I have plans regarding those areas I’ve mentioned earlier, and obviously I’ll have to-do’s here and there (and my planner that I love!), but nothing set on stone, nothing tied to a strict and obligatory deadline, and boy, am I feeling lighter already!
I also wanted to take this time to let y’all know, that for the sake of my health (an area I value a lot), I won’t be posting weekly as I’ve been since tax season starts January 3rd for me, and that will demand a lot of my time. But I’ll have guest bloggers to collaborate with from time to time and it will give me more space to develop more topics on minimalism and the simple life. Don’t forget you can always find me on Instagram! 🙂
This is definitely a different concept, but I’d love to see your thoughts about it on the comments. Happy New Year, everyone, and may we all live well in 2017!