I’m sure the first thing you want to know is how the minimalism journey is coming along. I believe well. Since this is a journey and not a race, small maintained changes today will add up making a significant difference in years to come. While this seems intuitive, I have included a graphic that I hope, will make this point easier to understand. I haven’t played with MS Power Point since I retired so this graphic gave me the opportunity to keep some synaptic connections in my brain active.
This graphic is not drawn to scale but it serves the intended purpose. The circles represent all the things each of us deals with on a daily basis. Think of it as your circles of life. There is a circle for 1 year from now, 5 years from now and 10 years from now. The center of the circles represents today and the angle represents the one thing I wish to change. To keep things simple, let’s say I have 360 things I do routinely in my circle of life (conveniently, it also happens that 360 is the number of degrees in a circle). In other words, I plan to make a 1 degree change. That’s a pretty small change today, but look how it’s magnified (the distance between the lines) at 5 and 10 years. As already mentioned, this is a journey and not a race. Little maintained changes today end up being significant differences in years to come. The “shotgun” approach to change usually fails (many big changes all at once). Good examples of small maintained changes are: putting a little money away for the future adds up over time, losing 2 pounds a week adds up in a years time, and of course, getting rid of a little “stuff” every week is very noticeable after a few months. But the key is not to take your eye off the ultimate goal and maintain the change. This is easier said than done with the hectic lives many of us live. It seems like long term goals have been replaced with things that provide immediate gratification, like shopping. I want it NOW has become the new mantra.
What minimal changes did I make last week you might be wondering? I canceled Netflix after realizing we really weren’t watching it that much. That’s an annual saving of $132. It doesn’t seem like much now but over ten years that saving could buy a couple of 3d printers or more “much needed” yarn.
I also divided my “junk” room into sectors. Instead of tackling the whole room at once, I took one area and worked with it. My system goes like this, I pick up an object, and decide if I really need it or can it be discarded (trash or donation). If I need it, I put it in a categorized container and then I move onto the next item. The category of items being immediately discarded are things that had to do with my old jobs. This includes things like books, papers, knicknacks, etc. Examples of categories of things I am keeping are tools and electronics having to do with my hobbies. According to some past organizational learning, I know I’m not suppose to pick something up more than once, but my idea is to get all my similar things together and then get rid of unnecessary duplication.
Besides “stuff” I am looking at information organization. You would think that being retired there is less to keep up with but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Every day there is a new piece of information we need to find and neither of us remember where we put it. More on this topic in a future post.
I want to leave you this week with something that goes along well with this post. I use to visit the website Zen Habits from time to time and, during one of my morning internet scans this week, I re-acquainted myself with Leo. This link will take you to a list of things that you might want to consider as you ponder this post from your recliner.