In case you missed it, I kicked off 2016 by playing The Minimalists’ 30-Day Minimalism Game (original post by The Minimalists). Now that I’ve completed all 30 days, I thought I’d share my takeaways from this experience and what I plan to do next.
I love stories. I’m deeply inspired by a good story, and by the concept of extended metaphor in general. I love stories so much that, consciously and unconsciously, I immerse myself in them from the time I open my eyes to the moment I fall asleep. Fictional stories (the TV is often on all day), the stories of others (the twitch to check social media is almost constant), even while driving (music, audio books…). Since I value stories so much, I hadn’t thought of this as excessive until I began The 30-Day Minimalist Game.
January has seen me successfully rid my home of 465 items, a task I honestly didn’t know if I could complete when I started out. At first, it was mostly about clearing out some clutter and challenging my own views on what I need, want, and what actually brings value to my life. Quite by accident, as my conceptions of physical items and their role in my life began to shift, the same ideas and philosophies began to… well, leak. Questions concerning value, intentionality, and goals began applying themselves to other areas of my life without my permission. As I examined which items I used most and least, I started to see how my use of those items left behind them a wake of evidence for how my time is utilized daily.
All of a sudden the words came into my mind as clearly as if I’d said them aloud: It’s working. This is what the game is meant to do. This is what minimalism is meant to do.
I began to make plans, setting goals for myself once the game is ended. Some things I started right away, not willing to wait for a “start date”. The process of removing the superfluous stuff from my life has already begun to transform my thought life and has forced me to ask hard questions. If I eliminate the pursuit of physical items from the “point” of my life, what is left? What do I do then?
Well, I think exploring that question is a big part of the point of minimalism. Some of my new goals include:
- Limit my time on social media and tv. I will choose the stories I allow into my thoughts more carefully so I can spend more time writing my story, and less on the consumption of others’. I can still enjoy, cherish and value stories, but not at the expense of my own.
- Learn a new skill. It’s been a long time since I’ve intentionally sat down to learn something new, and I have always wanted to know how to animate. My goal for 2016 is to become as fluent as possible in the 3D Animation process.
- Improve my physical health. We’ve started eating a bit healthier already, but I’d like to improve further, as well as implementing a weekly exercise routine – one that we stick to. I’ll have assistance with this one, as I will be participating in Ashley Benson’s TYE4 Little Black Dress Challenge for the month of March (stay tuned for updates on this)!
If you want to see exactly what I got rid of, check out my daily tweets. I highly recommend this game for anyone and everyone, and I hope you get as much value from it as I have.