Showing posts from December, 2019

Making SMART Goals for a Better Life

With 2020 about to pass over my time zone in just a few hours, I'm reflecting once more on what I've accomplished in 2019 and thinking about what I want to accomplish in 2020. Like plenty of other people, I've made some pretty lofty goals in the past that were hard to stick to past a month or two. I'll be trying something different this time by making "SMART" goals. A SMART goal is s pecific, m easurable, a ttainable, r ealistic, and t ime-bound. I think framing each goal with those criteria will have much better payoff than making generic goals like "get healthier" and "be better with finances". Without further ado, here are my top 3 goals for 2020 elaborated into SMART framework: Lose weight. I'm going to try to lose between 1 and 2 pounds per week leading up to an IT conference and my birthday in September. Of course, losing 2 pounds per week is ideal, but even 1 pound a week is progress. Drink less alcohol. I'm going to l

Where Clutter Likes to Hide

I'm sure that there are some experienced minimalists out in the world who have managed to keep their homes completely free from clutter. I, however, am not one of those people. A clutter-free space can sometimes take a good bit of effort to attain and then maintain. A solution that's seemed to have worked fairly well for me so far is to target places where clutter likes to quietly or invisibly accumulate, and change the environment and/or my habits so clutter doesn't come back. I've found that clutter likes to hide in or on: Entryway tables - Having a table so close to the main door makes for an easy spot for paper clutter to accumulate. Junk mail, bills, and local bulletin papers loved to come in from the mailbox and spread out across the table in the entryway. I changed my habit from bringing all of the mail in to bringing in only bills and personal letters. On my way back up to the house from the mailbox, anything that's a promotional or junk mailer gets tos

Three Years of Discarding: What I said Goodbye to and Why

I've read a lot of other minimalist blogs that make lists of what their readers should discard, but have yet to see many lists of what the minimalists themselves have discarded. One kind of post I don't like is the "100 (or some arbitrary number of) items you should discard today". Curation of a happy minimalist home takes more than a day. It might take more than 100 discardable items to get there, but it also might take fewer. Finding useful items and objects that "spark joy" can be overwhelming when first starting a journey toward modern minimalism. When you come from the background of being a broke college student like I did, there's a lot of memory of need and sentimentality attached to objects that helped you get through difficult times. The hardest things for me to get rid of were books and glassware, which come close to last on my list. At the start of my journey in 2017, I discarded (recycled, tossed, or donated): "Some-day" cloth

My Introduction to Minimalism

If you had asked me five years ago if I ever thought I'd become a minimalist of any stripe, I'd have likely replied that I thought minimalism was a load of porpoise hork. Who would want to live a life of austerity and nothingness... on purpose? My opinion rapidly changed after reading and being captivated by the charm of Marie Kondo's Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up . Ironically, I'd acquired that book along with a box of junk I didn't really need at a rummage sale. After finishing the book in a few short sittings, I ended up getting rid of pretty much everything I'd acquired with it at the sale. Within a few months, I purged 8 bags just of my own clothes and shoes and 30-some-odd bags of other stuff from just a few small rooms I occupied. As the next few years went by, I gradually got rid of more and more of my belongings until I had only the things that were useful day-to-day and things that made me happy to have. I've moved twice since reading about