Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed. ~ Abraham Lincoln
It’s easy to get discouraged when you are building a new life for yourself and for your family. It’s hard work to live differently than you have before and to be different from those around you.
I get discouraged by messes all the time. My brother and nephew are home for the summer, so our typical household of 10 is now a full dozen family members under one roof. To say that messes pop up quickly would be a major understatement!
Most days, my dream of living a clean minimalist life feels very far away. But those are the days I find a few moments to retreat to my peaceful bedroom. It’s there I remind myself that minimalism is more of a journey, not a destination.
Here are some tips for making it over the hurdles that stand in your way. These are taken from a section on discouragement in my book Family-Sized Minimalism. I’ve applied them to pursuing minimalism, but the principles work for almost anything you’re pursuing.
Don’t Doubt Yourself
Despite the challenges that come from the initial decluttering and the ongoing upkeep, don’t doubt your decision if you have chosen minimalism. If you’re like me, you knew you wanted this kind of change before you even knew what minimalism was.
Now that you’ve been convinced minimalism is the solution for you, cling to it no matter what roadblocks stand in your way. Over time the roadblocks get smaller and smaller.
Take It One Step at a Time
Like anything worth pursuing, you have to make the time if you want to see results. Even baby steps will get you where you want to be if you keep putting one foot in front of the other. The journey towards minimalism is definitely a marathon and not a sprint.
Simplifying your life won’t happen quickly and it won’t be a one-time race. It’s important to pace yourself and try not to get discouraged when you see how much farther there is to go. Enjoy the little victories along the way.
Remind Yourself of Why You Chose Your Goal
Always keep your finish line in mind. Remember to write down the reasons why you’re on this journey to minimalism. There are bound to be setbacks along the way, so having your objectives and reasons clearly defined can be the sort of encouragement you need to cheer yourself on.
Make Progress Not Excuses
Taking action and making progress is what brings us closer to our goals. Claim today as your day to make some progress. If you are a planner, you already know what you need to do. Pick one thing off your list and go do it. If you are a jumper, choose three individual things you want to accomplish today and then start with one.
Reach Out to Others
There is strength in numbers. Find others who are like-minded in your quest for living with less. Thanks to the growing popularity and awareness of minimalism, there are more books, online resources, and communities on the topic than ever before.
Reach out to your friends and share what you’ve been reading and learning. You might be surprised how open they are to minimalism and the freedom it can bring.
Are you experiencing any hurdles standing in your way?
If you’d like to learn more about minimalist living, please consider reading my book, Family-Sized Minimalism or subscribing to the RSS or the weekly update newsletter in the sidebar. Thanks so much for reading.