Have you ever dreamed so BIG that you thought your head & heart would explode?
When my husband and I embarked on this minimalist lifestyle journey not too long ago, we didn’t know exactly what we would discover along the way, which doors would open and which would be locked. How we would feel or if we’d still like each other at the end of the process. We didn’t care. We just went for it, together.
Change was inevitable as we both felt a strong pivot in our lives. How did we know we needed change? Our bodies told us. We talked about the pain we felt in our bodies, whether it was anxiety in my chest, or his sleepless nights, the tight hamstrings or stiff bicep tendon, soreness, fatigue, shortness of breath, bloat. We had run ourselves down emotionally and physically over the last few years and our bodies were screaming for us to, STOP! Slow our roll, pay attention and everything would be fine.
How did we respond? We listened and took action!
For us, the timing couldn’t have been any more perfect to begin crafting our minimalist lifestyle. Recently, I accepted a job transfer to Northern California and our attention was on the move North. We identified this move to be our most urgent and challenging push towards minimalism. Every picture frame that hung on the walls, every knickknack and photo-album that sat on the shelves, CD’s, DVD’s, furniture and clothing had to be evaluated. 90% of our possessions did not make the cut! That’s right! We got rid of a lot of stuff. You don’t just arrive to your perfect minimalist lifestyle. Ok, maybe some people do. But not us. We saw the benefits that a minimalist lifestyle would bring us and we did the work. Heck, we’re still chipping away at that final cut but we are closer then ever to that finish line.
I invite you to think of your own experience in the goal setting process. Set aside a few moments for thinking and feeling. Sit in a special place, a chair or on a meditation pillow. Take a moment to sit and feel your body within that space. Take a few deep breaths and draw your attention to your feet and notice how you feel. You too can create the life you want. In fact, I’m sure you are already doing it.
I tell you this story because it almost didn’t happen for us. We almost did not move from that expensive house, we almost went our separate ways, we almost had that dreaded talk, we almost didn’t make it. What held us together was a shift in mindset and a commitment towards our unified goals. Not very romantic, I know. The hard work had to be done. Becoming a minimalist was a broad goal and we defined it even further by discussing our desires, writing and creating vision boards of the things we enjoyed doing the most. Hiking in nature was a big one for us, along with enjoying great meals, a small and cozy living space where we didn’t have to spend much time or money to clean it, heat it or cool it. By defining what we enjoyed the most and setting actions to achieve the small wins is how our minimalist lifestyle began to unfold.
Below is a simple SMART Goals guide that will set your BIG Goals into action plans.
SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. Unpack your BIG Goals using the SMART method.
SPECIFIC. “I want to create a minimalist lifestyle to reduce stress and spend more time together in nature.” This a specific goal. A non-specific goal is, “I want to have less stuff.” Know what the thing you want looks or feels like. Or if you don’t know yet, make it up! The trick is to not get attached to the outcome. All the really good stuff lives in the process.
Measurable. Can you measure your goals & keep track of your progress? A goal without measure is like a sports competitions without a scoreboard. How will I know I’ve met my goal?” I have donated and sold items from my home and now I have 90% less stuff and I feel less stress everyday.”
Attainable. Set yourself up for success and keep your BIG Goals grounded in reality. We still want the comforts and conveniences of modern society so we aren’t getting rid of the kitchen sink but we are getting rid of the too many dishes and cups that fill up that sink. We aren’t moving to Mars (unattainable), but we are moving to a smaller space and all the things that live in our current BIG space will not have a home in our SMALL space.
Relevant. Is your BIG goal relevant? Our own internal calling for change along with the minimalist movement has inspired us to go small, own less, still the mind and step into nature more often. We think that’s pretty relevant. Who doesn’t want to feel peace within?
Time-Based. Choose a time frame to accomplish your goal. If we need to be out of our current BIG house and moved into a SMALL space within a month, then we need to schedule time to do the necessary tasks. Who will be involved? When?
And that’s how we set SMART goals. There are plenty of free printable SMART Goals worksheets on the internet. Find one that you like and get started on your BIG Goals. We have this one life. How would you like to spend it. Don’t overthink it, simply choose one thing to get started.
* It’s ok, just let it flow.