I’ve been thinking about motivation lately, and why we take certain action to change. All of us want certain things in our lives, but we don’t always determine to do them. What is the difference between the things we do accomplish and the things we don’t?
We want so much, but what drives us to follow through with some things over others?
It’s the reason behind the action.
You see this in everything you do; if you aren’t firm on why you are doing something, the drive to follow through won’t be there and you are likely to let it fall away.
When you go to college, you have a goal career to pursue.
When you get a job, you have a reason for pursuing it.
When you change your eating or exercising habits, it’s because you have made a decision about your health and what you want.
The same goes for your home’s atmosphere.
There are many reasons for embracing minimalism, but the only one that matters is YOURS.
How do you find your reason?
Start by asking yourself questions:
- What do I want my life to look like?
- What do I want to have time for?
- What function do I want my home to have?
- How will minimalism benefit my goals?
Take some time to really think about these questions and write down your answers. Writing things down solidifies them and helps you remember and stay focus on the end goal.
Talk to your family
Everyone in your home will be affected by minimalism. Even if they don’t wish to embrace it themselves.
After you’ve done some introspection and written down your answers to find out your own personal reasons for embracing minimalism, then you can gather the family together and talk about what you are hoping to do, what the goal is and how you are going to be doing it.
Make a commitment that you won’t toss their personal items and let them know that you will respect their possessions and will not go through their things. (Unless you have toddlers and younger, then, by all means- make the decision for them)
Come up with some basic house rules
- All common areas need to be free of personal possessions.
- What chores/housecleaning is going to look like and how it will involve all individuals (Read how to implement chores with children here)
Making sure that everything is clearly understood by all involve means there will be less misunderstandings later.
Commit to a schedule
Simplifying your home won’t happen unless you are determined to do it and set aside some time to actually work towards the goal.
We are all busy, life itself is busy and nothing gets done unless you make it a priority.
It’s a sobering thought, really. I was encouraged once to change the phrase “I don’t have time” to “It’s not a priority.”
What are the things you often list as “not having the time for?”
Now, try shifting that thought to “It’s not a priority to ______.”
When I do that, I know without a doubt that my priorities need to shift. What is it in my life that has more priority than these? The truth is generally sobering.
But don’t feel guilty
This particular exercise is not just there to make you feel bad. But we do have to face it if we want to change.
It’s ok if decluttering and cleaning isn’t a priority in your life right now. There is no perfect way to live and if you just want to dream about living minimally, well, that’s up to you and it’s not wrong.
But if you really want to simplify your home, you’ll have to make working on it a priority.
*A note about priorities.
Life needs to be in a constant flux. Once you have simplified your home and have daily and weekly cleaning routines in place, you don’t have to make simplifying a high priority and all that time spent on getting your home in order can be shifted to more important things.
Sometimes you have to set things aside until you’ve taken care of the mess.
Here’s the truth:
I simplified my life because I wasn’t spending time with my children like I wanted. I would be with them, but I wasn’t present, I was always distracted.
By taking time to declutter and learn to clean my home, I was able to get to the point where I felt the freedom to be more present with them.
But to get there, I had to spend time away from them first and then once the house was in order, it was easier to be present with them.
Many people find this in all areas of life – whether it’s starting a business, going to school or something else, in order to do something better you have to get over the hurdles first.
Bottom line: The motivation to simplify is inside you. You have to find it and once you find it, you have to take action on it.
Like Mark Manson says:
Action → Inspiration → Motivation