A portion of the world just celebrated Chinese New Year, a reminder that 2017 is still relatively new. I am toasting to a year of mindful living, having recently watched the documentary Minimalism. It reminded me of what I’ve believed for years, even if I live it out imperfectly in fits and starts: happiness lies in intentional living.
The thing I like most about minimalism is that it compels me to a meaningful life. I have gravitated towards minimalism since my early teens (before it was even a thing), but sometimes I’m caught up in the whirlwind of life and I stray away from being fully aware, from being intentional about the choices I make.
So it was that after watching Minimalism, I began the process of trimming excesses from my life. From empty flowerpots and clothes I haven’t worn in a while, to boxes and boxes of books that never see the light of day. I confess to an incredibly great affinity for books, but now is not the time in my life for so many.
As part of my regular soul checks during the year, I ask myself some questions to ensure my life is generally on track for purposefulness. January, with its air of new beginnings, always seems like a good time for this. Questions such as:
- Is my work meaningful to me? If not, does it at least give me the stability I need (financially and otherwise) to do meaningful things (a.k.a. things I enjoy)?
- Do I carve out time on a regular basis to do the things I enjoy (that make me feel alive)?
- Do the relationships in my life bring me joy?
Whenever you‘re about to add something to your life—a possession, a friendship, a snack, a trip—ask yourself: Does it add meaning to my life? Do I enjoy it? If it doesn’t pass muster, let it go. Be intentional. I’m working on that this year and will keep you posted.
If Minimalism is new to you, I encourage you to watch the documentary. Or read the Minimalists’ blog. Craft a minimalist lifestyle that works for you, and I guarantee that you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much happier you are.
Here’s to a year of mindful living!