In This Post
- Why setting new years resolutions can be helpful and why you should include minimalism in them
- 3 ways your self development journey can be supercharged with minimalism
- How to incorporate minimalism in your life
- 3 examples of minimalist new year’s resolutions
It’s s that time of year again when many people set their new year’s resolutions. Today we’ll look over why setting minimalist new year’s resolutions is the best decision you can make. We think most people these days can learn from the benefits of minimalism, and here are just a few reasons why.
Why Should I Set Minimalist New Year’s Resolutions?
The start of the year is when many people start doubting their ability to maintain the revolutionary changes they hope to make. There are a lot of negative and doubtful connotations around New Year’s resolutions, and rightly so. For many people, they are set with good intentions but quickly forgotten when it hits the 14th of January. We’ve all been there…
However, we have no criticism for anyone who wants to start bettering themselves and improving their lives. Even if the timing is cliché! First, take a look at our post here to see how to do an effective review of last year. Or if you’re interested in how to set the best new year’s resolutions, check out our podcast here.
Why Is Minimalism Useful for My Self Development?
Minimalism is all about ensuring the things, people and experiences in your life are simple and meaningful. Having your life full of things that truly bring you joy and removing the rest of the clutter can bring you some much-needed peace. Our world today is more chaotic than ever. We are constantly bombarded with messages promoting consumerism. Think of all the adverts you see every day. The world encourages mindless consumption as the solution to all our ailments, but this rarely is the solution.
Especially in the self development space, it can be easy to focus our energy on finding the next big purchase. In hopes that the latest gadget will improve our happiness, health and well-being. We will become our best selves once we get the new running shoes, the new gym membership, or the fanciest planner. The well-being and self development space is a booming business. So, too often we hear that in order to ensure our success and personal growth we need all these physical things.
Now, don’t get me wrong, personally, I love my journal, the organisation apps on my phone, and my laptop. I also really like my foam roller and yoga mat. But, they are not the sole reason for my personal growth, happiness or success. Do not let yourself get your hopes up on changing your life around through a purchased item. Of course, the tools can be useful. But, the real change and reason for the growth is almost always internal.
What Are the Main Benefits of Minimalism?
Minimalism can bring so many different benefits. Depending on your life and situation, applying as many of the minimalist principles as suits you is all that is needed. You don’t need to throw away every single item you own, but some good decluttering can go a long way. If you’re not feeling persuaded yet, here are a few of the main benefits of minimalism.
1. Minimalism Makes Your Physical Space Feel…Nicer!
Too often the mental elements of minimalism are forgotten in favour of the aesthetic and physical components of minimalism. However, we understand that the physical space and possessions we own have a big impact on us.
Decluttering our physical spaces is a great thing to do in the new year as it’s a fun fresh start. So, maintaining a decluttered environment is a good minimalist new year’s resolution to set. You can do this easily by focusing on each physical space in its own category. Maybe you focus on one room at a time or break it down into sections. Focusing on one zone at a time, like a cupboard, drawer or wardrobe.
Consider also the other non-physical spaces you have. Your phone, hard drives, PC desktop, camera roll or downloads folder might need cleaning up. Other spaces that go unnoticed like your paperwork, bookshelves and wallet might also benefit from a new year’s cleanout.
Decluttering and removing items that no longer bring you joy is a great way to enter the new year with a fresh start. It gives you your time back too, as you don’t have to care for, repair or worry about these items. It makes your life in general a little bit easier, so don’t wait until spring is here for your big clean. Make a start on it now, and go into the next year feeling a little lighter, freer and more relaxed.
2. Minimalism Gives You Mental Peace
If you’ve successfully applied the decluttering element of minimalism to your physical space that’s great! Now it’s time to declutter your responsibilities, social obligations and mental space. Removing things from your life that don’t bring you joy or meaningful benefits should lighten up your mental load. We live in a time when our cognitive energy is constantly being drained. Worse so, our chances to meaningfully recharge are few and far between.
Minimalism can help bring you mental peace because it helps you create a life where you only interact with things that bring you joy, peace, and meaningful benefit. Of course, there are always going to be things you have to do or things that you don’t enjoy. But, your mind should be freed up enough to the point where you can tolerate it. Minimalism helps you breeze through things that perhaps would have previously challenged you.
Living a peaceful life is difficult. There are always challenges and things that may not go the way you want, and there are an infinite number of things that we cannot control, as much as we would want to. Living life in a minimalist way means that when we are faced with challenges, we can approach them as directly as possible. Our lives aren’t filled with meaningless fluff and clutter, so the quality of our life is higher, and that should hopefully be a soothing counterweight to the unwanted, but unavoidable hurdles in life.
3. Minimalism Is Good for the Environment and Your Wallet
Minimalism is heavily linked with sustainability. Simply owning less means that you require less energy to care for, or transport your belongings. It also means that you buy less and waste less full stop. We all know that being more sustainable and making sustainable choices as individuals is important, regardless of the large structural changes that need to be made.
Reducing your environmental impact simultaneously reduces your financial impact too. Most of the time, choosing the sustainable and more environmentally friendly option is the cheaper option – although we admit that sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. Making an initial investment in the more expensive reusable option often works out cheaper in the long run. Setting some goals around being more sustainable and more financially responsible is a goal that benefits you and the planet, and is often easily achieved through minimalist principles.
How Can I Incorporate Minimalism in 2023?
By now we hope you are feeling persuaded by the appeals and benefits of minimalism, especially for the upcoming year. Including minimalism in your life is something you can do whenever you feel like it. As we said, you don’t have to completely throw your life away and own nothing. You don’t even have to apply minimalism to all your life areas (although we think that if you give it a go, you won’t look back).
Remember, starting small and making incremental changes and habits is the most sustainable way to make meaningful changes in your life. Of course, a huge declutter or revolutionary change in your life might make you feel inspired and motivated. So do what you think is best. Making the decision to face your own flaws and trying to grow as a person is brave! It is a worthy journey to make – no matter what stage of life you are in.
What Are Some Examples of Minimalist New Year’s Resolutions?
Below are some examples of minimalist new year’s resolutions. They are just examples that aim to inspire you to think and reflect on your own life, goals and scenarios, so think about what the most meaningful changes you can make are, and follow that path.
1. Live in a Clutter-Free Environment
This could involve decluttering your physical space intensely at the start but working on creating a routine for regularly decluttering and maintaining your space. You can apply this anywhere, but some good places to start might be: your wardrobe, kitchen cabinets, junk drawer, cosmetics and toiletries, electronics, DIY supplies and housing maintenance equipment, photos and sentimental memorabilia, DVDs, CDs and games, décor and seasonal decorations, linens, towels and blankets, etc.
2. Consume Less Stuff
This is a really effective goal and is great for your wallet and the environment. It is also a key part of the previous goal, as consuming less means that you are less likely to create clutter in the first place. Consuming less could mean buying less stuff in the first place (e.g., online clothes shopping, or buying food items you don’t need at the grocery store), or it could mean not accepting unwanted gifts, or watching TV that doesn’t bring you significant benefits. Maybe you might want to try not having social media for a while, to try and reduce the amount of stimulation you give your brain.
You might also want to avoid consuming things that are bad for you – perhaps you know that you eat too much sugar, or you know it’s time to cut back on nicotine or alcohol. There are lots of initiatives and other people doing similar things at the start of the year, so use your social network for support and do it with someone else too. You can help motivate each other and hold each other accountable.
3. Add More Value
Much like the avoidance of things that detract value from your life, ensuring that you make enough time for the things that do bring you joy is in a way a minimalist principle. The people, things and activities in your life should bring you happiness and peace – although sometimes there are things that don’t feel good in the moment, but long term are essential, we all know going to the gym is essentially mandatory in January!
Whether it’s travelling, going to live music events, seeing friends you love but never make the time to see, or trying a new recipe, creating time for the things that bring you joy is essential. Actively planning novelty, fun and recreation is something that everyone should strive to do. There is no point ridding your life of all the negative things if you don’t also make time to add back in the fun. Book that trip, call that friend, and make sure you do something good for yourself.
To Put it Minimally
- Choosing minimalism and combining this with your new year’s resolutions is a great way to improve your life and boost your progress on your self development journey
- Minimalism is great because it can improve your physical space, make you feel calmer, is beneficial for your financial wellbeing, and also the environment
- You can incorporate minimalism into your life and your new year’s resolutions in any way you like, but some examples we have given are: decluttering your environment, consuming less, and focusing on value