As a society, we need rules. Rules help to keep things in order. They keep people from harming other people. But when it comes to simple living, I’m not going to tell you how to live. I want you to set your own rules.
As I build Hip Diggs, I want to be sure not to follow the direction of many minimalist sites. I’ve noticed something. Many minimalist bloggers set the rules for you. They tell you how many clothes you should own. They prompt you to play their minimalist games. They want you to follow their rules.
I Want To Help You Create Your Own Rules
I love sites like The Minimalists and Be More With Less. They’re both helping people to live with less stuff. They’re spreading the message that consumerism will consume you in the end. It’s all good stuff. But rather than teaching you how to set your own rules about simple living, they tend to set them for you. Here’s the problem: as humans, we’re individuals, and as individuals, we’re less likely to follow someone else’s rules and more likely to follow our own.
That’s why I want to help you set your own rules. Although I’ve decided not to launch the Live Simple program in 2017, the month of January will bring some changes to Hip Diggs. Rather than jumping right into a preset decluttering program, I want to help you create your own lists of goals. You’ll be making your own rules.
Everyone is at a different stage in their simple-living journey. If we apply the same rules to all, they’ll be too much for some and not enough for others.
- You can work on your own strengths: We don’t all simplify our lives in the same way. While some people can haul big loads of clutter to the thrift store, others might need to unclutter a little at a time. Your strength might be simplifying your schedule or limiting technology. I want you to find your own strengths. I want you to help yourself in creating a program that works for you. I want to teach you to fish, not just hand you a fish.
- You know your own limitations: Only you know how much time you have. Only you know your own physical and emotional limits. I love music. I’m not going to let anybody tell me that I have to let go of half of my instruments and CDs. So why should anybody set your rules in regard to how many clothes you own or wear? Maybe you’re not ready to pare down to less than five pairs of shoes. The key is to learn to stop buying more. But only you can make that decision.
- You’ll become more disciplined: You’ll never learn to live with less if you don’t have self-discipline. If it takes a game to trick you into getting rid of your excess, what happens when the game is over? You’ll likely go right back to living the way you were living before the game. But if the game helps you make your own rules, it might just work. When you create your own goals and work hard to reach them, something happens. You feel a sense of accomplishment. You begin to tear down the self-defeating beliefs that you’ve held onto for so long.
- Your own rules lead to longer-lasting change: Once you start setting and reaching your own goals, it becomes a habit. It’s that deeply-ingrained habit that will lead to lasting change. Following someone else’s rules doesn’t hold the same power. It’s too easy to say, “their program was too hard,” or “I couldn’t keep up with their pace.” Your own rules allow you to choose your own rigor and your own pace. Sometimes slow change is the best change.
Find True Freedom
If you want to find true freedom in simple living, you have to do it for yourself. That means doing it on your own terms. That means setting your own goals by your own rules.
If you want to create lasting change, you have to say enough is enough. You have to weigh your own pros and cons. Nobody else can do it for you. If you need a little help setting your own rules, stay tuned for more information on new challenges from Hip Diggs in the future. I may have opted out of creating an online course for now, but that doesn’t mean I’m not planning to reach further to help others live more simply.