According to The Minimalists’ Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, living minimally is probably quite different than what you might think. The art of minimal living is less about throwing away all of your material items; it’s a realignment of what’s on your priority list. When we allow our values to take priority in our lives we strip away the excess.  As we approach the end of 2018 and into 2019, many of you may be considering what changes to make in the new year.  

Here is a way to practice – make a list of what brings you joy:

  • activities
  • events
  • kitchen utensils
  • plans
  • conversations
  • food items
  • books
  • plants
  • art

If it’s on your list keep it. If not, time to reassess why that particular item or event in your life is there.

What does it provide you?

What purpose does it hold?

How much value does it have?

Now imagine how much simpler it would be to access the items that bring you joy when you no longer have to weed through what does not.

One of the misconceptions about minimalism is that is has to be extreme. Before I learned about minimalism I pictured a tiny home with white walls and no furniture. What I know now is that it’s a lifestyle. A way for each thing I own or everything I do to have purpose and meaning.

Living minimally may look different for each person or family. The reality is that even simple changes can make an impact. Getting rid of material items can allow for faster cleaning of your home.

Taking some events off your to-do list can encourage needed relaxation. Saying “no” can allow a “yes” to more focused attention on tasks that are important to you.  Imagine how freeing that may feel.  

There are several online resources, books, and documentaries for additional insight on this topic. Whether you choose to learn more or not my hope is that everyone can ask themselves this question Does X bring me joy? Remember that it is okay to honor what that answer is.

Perspectives Therapy Services is a multi-site mental and relationship health practice with clinic locations in Brighton, Lansing, Highland and Fenton, Michigan. Our clinical teams include experienced, compassionate and creative therapists with backgrounds in psychology, marriage and family therapy, professional counseling, and social work. Additionally, we offer psychiatric care in the form of evaluations and medication management. Our practice prides itself on providing extraordinary care. We offer a customized matching process to prospective clients whereby an intake specialist carefully assesses which of our providers would be the very best fit for the incoming client. We treat a wide range of concerns that impact a person's mental health including depression, anxiety, relationship problems, grief, low self-worth, life transitions, and childhood and adolescent difficulties.