The 14 Day Minimalism Challenge (and how I sorta succeeded)

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STILL don’t know what a good “minimalist” image is. So here’s me on a hill being mindful

As some of you might recall, I recently attempted a 14 day minimalism challenge.

I wish I could say this is the post where I share my successfully 14 day mindfulness diary and declare I’m now a thoroughly cool, calm and collected person. But I think the fact that it has now been 25 days tells you that this is not that post.

I didn’t complete the 14 days. I didn’t even complete 7. But as I said at the time, I’m just not that sort of person – I’m messy, my life and job means turning off my phone isn’t a good option, my mind runs a million miles a minute and I don’t like mental downtime (I even hate massages).

With that said, I did manage to get a number of the mini-challenges done. And the pressure that they relieved (along with the fact that I am totally OK with being anything but minimalist) actually helped with my stress levels. So I kinda succeeded?

For interest’s sake, here’s what I did manage to get done:

1. Don’t buy anything for 24 hours
I’d like to say I manage to get this done more often, but little things like coffee hold me back. But I did pull this off a few times, and it did make me more relaxed (mainly because I hate grocery shopping and watching my money leave me!)

2. Go bare-faced for a day and 3. Leave an entire day unplanned
These are actually pretty regular Sunday occurrences for me, so I don’t feel much of a sense of achievement here. But still, yay for ticking things off lists!

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Lazy Sundays with this rascal

4. Unsubscribe from 3 mailing lists
I got carried away with this one. I went through and unsubscribed from not 3, but 14. Goodbye hotel I stayed in when I was 18. Goodbye clothing brand I can’t afford (and the associated FOMO). Goodbye Spreets (when did I sign up for Spreets?).

5. Identify your three main priorities in life
– Happiness
– Relationships (mainly including family & Brandon)
– Sense of security (not exciting, I know – but it’s important to me)

6. Let go of a goal that isn’t meaningful to you
Remember my 2015 Bucket List? I didn’t want it to be easy, so it included a couple of entries that were there just for the sake of a challenge, and a few things that would have been nice to do, but weren’t actually important to me. But all the same it’s been hanging over my head ever since, and when you add a couple of minor changes of circumstances that have made it extremely unlikely I’d get most of it done? It was kinda sucky. So I went through with a red pen, and removed the things which – on second look – I’ve realised I could happily take or leave. So I removed the one about learning to be a girl and being able to do my hair well, the one about Sydney and some others. Click here for the new version (don’t worry, I didn’t just make it easy!). Not worrying about completing stuff I didn’t care about definitely cleared my head a little!

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And here’s what I fully intend to do at some point:

  • Meditate for 15 minutes – I downloaded the Headspace app, and plan to use it this weekend. Will let you know how I go.
  • Have a no-complaints day – I am actually a very positive person, but even I’m not immune to frustration caused by late buses and rude people!
  • Journal for 20 minutes – I unload my entire day on Brandon and I’ve recently written a few letters to people. Same same but different?
  • Clean out my junk drawer – ….yeah, about that…

Do you think you could do the 14 day challenge, or are you a natural minimalist? I’d love to hear how you do it!

Jessi sig

Full of Living

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