Changing your life can seem really complicated and challenging. The process of transformation is a life long journey, but it can begin with a few very simple steps.
5 Minimalist Life Changers
1. Keep a Journal
Try keeping a daily journal of your food, activity, sleep, and mood. This is a powerful tool to notice and change your habit patterns.
When I was preparing to take the Buddhist precepts, I started a daily reflection practice. Every night I spent a few minutes reflecting on the days events. I thought about how I had held the vows I was preparing to take.
I not only discovered some blind spots, but learned to appreciate my victories as well.
2. Go Small and Consistent
Changing your life is about building the confidence to change your habits. Start small and build from there.
When I quit smoking, I didn’t quit cold turkey like many people. I slowly cut back over time. Every time I wanted to smoke, I would delay as long as possible.
I called this practice quitting. When I stopped smoked completely, this practice helped me defeat the urge to cheat whenever it arose.
3. Get Support
Social accountability is a big component for people who are successful in transforming their lives. Having friends on the path makes the journey much easier.
When I was training for my first century ride (100 mile bike ride), I committed to riding with a training group every week. The weekly ritual kept me honest about my training and encouraged me to keep going.
4. Redefine Success
It’s helpful to think of success as measured by both internal and external improvement. Don’t just work to make your body look better also make sure you are nourishing your heart and mind.
It’s important to honor every part of yourself. The part of you that wants a treat isn’t bad or evil, it just wants you to pay attention to something you need.
When I quit smoking, someone told me I had to honor whatever need the smoking filled for me. If I did that, I’d make sure to stay quit.
One thing I loved about smoking was that it made me feel rebellious. So after I quit, I started reading under my sheets after lights out at the monastery. It was against the rules so I felt rebellious. But it was mostly harmless.
Eventually, I was able to put down the crutch, but it helped for a while.
If you feed that need without engaging in the same habit; you make better choices and honor yourself at the same time.
5. Believe In Yourself
Change is very possible, but it’s not a straight and easy road. You have to remind yourself often that you can do it.
Even though I have changed my life drastically over the past 2-3 years I still worry that I’ll slip up. I have to remind myself regularly that change is possible. And that I am manifesting that possibility with every small change I make.
I hope that you find these 5 tips helpful because they have helped me so much.
My number one goal is to help people change their lives. My dream for everyone that reads this blog is that you stay focused on your path and never give up on your ability to change your life.
4 thoughts on “Do Less, Change More – 5 Minimalist Life Changers”
Great post. I totally agree that sometime our biggest changes in life come from the smallest steps and affirmations. Many times all we need to do is start slow, and build momentum to build into these large changes. When you start out too strong, you quickly lose energy and drive, as one of my students taught me, “sometimes going slow is the fastest way.”
Thanks for your thoughts Josh. You are totally right.
It’s amazing how the old allegory of the tortoise and the hare may have really been all about mindfulness.
Everything starts small and grows from there.
Thanks for reading.
Terrific article. I have been in the process of totally changing my life. I have found that believing in myself is one of the most powerful things ever. It was a long road to discovering that I was worth believing in. But once I did, I found a strength I didnt know I had. Journaling also helped me on my journey. Sometimes I like to go back and read past entries to remind me how far I have come. Thank you for sharing.
That’s awesome. One thing I often neglect to do is review old journals but it is such a powerful practice.
Thanks for reading and commenting.
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