We live in a fast paced world full of addicts. We are addicted to our phones, shopping, social media, television, etc. While these addictions don’t seem like a big deal when we are discussing the harmful effects of drug addiction, they can be just as harmful. Yesterday I told you we would be discussing replacement behaviors.
So what are replacement behaviors? Now I know what you are thinking, this is just replacing one bad thing with something else that will only become the new addiction. While that may be true for substance abuse addicitons, it can be a very useful tool for someone wanting to try out a new life of simplicity. If we can replace our most common occurring behaviors such as shopping with something else that fills our time in a more productive way, it can become a good replacement.
The goal of minimalism isn’t to just rid you of all your unused stuff. The goal is to grab hold of the life you dream of living and start putting that into focus. Retiring the old items that are holding you back from what is most important to you. Minimalism isn’t one size fits all. It is unique to each individual. The common goal being, putting what is most important to us, in it’s rightful place, front and center. So what is most important to you?
The life I have always wanted, has been right in front of me. I wanted simple. I wanted to spend time with people. I wanted to live with intention. Yet, I found myself constantly running! I was always going shopping for something. I was under the impression that in this world, if you aren’t running constantly, you were not doing enough. If I didn’t do it all, I wasn’t enough. Let that sink in. My worth came from my stuff, my busyness, my constant moving. Woah! Ya’ll I am a Christian woman that has read her bible. I know where my worth comes from! I know this to be true, yet I allowed the world to tell me I wasn’t good enough because I wasn’t busy enough.
So as I sit here drinking my hot cup of coffee, I can say with every conviction of truth I can muster, that YOUR WORTH doesn’t come from any of that. That is a LIE. So if you have been believing this lie, please do me a favor and reevaluate. Search the scriptures and know that you are worthy of more than this world says you are!
Alright, I am done preaching! Amen! So how do we replace our behaviors? We start by giving ourselves a mission statement. Ask yourself Why you are taking this journey. What do you want most out of life? What can you control? Some of you may be in a place that it is going to be harder to change. You may work in a job you love, but that takes a lot of your time. You may be in debt that is causing you the burden of having to work over time. If that is the case then be honest and say so. Don’t stop there though. Don’t get stuck in the mud and clawing your way out. Focus on how you can change your life. Can you stop buying your coffee at the coffee shop on your way to work? Can you take your lunch to work instead of ordering takeout? Can you choose not to shop on the weekends and put the money you saved towards paying off those debts? How can we begin to strategize a plan that works for you?
So what will I do with the time I have now that I am not consuming as much? Here’s where we begin finding healthy replacements. Start with something you like to do. I enjoy reading. In my pre-minimalist days, I never had time to read. I was always wishing I had the time to read. Wish granted, now I have time to read. I enjoy riding my bike or taking walks. When I feel the urge pushing me to go get some retail therapy, I instead pivot, and choose to use the time for something I enjoy. So what can you do to replace the pull to consumerism?
- Read! Find a book you will enjoy, cozy up somewhere and dive in. Let your body rest and release.
- Exercise. For some of us (ahem ME) the last thing we want to do is exercise. So maybe we don’t look at it as a strenuous workout, but rather just 30 minutes of movement. Take a walk, dance in your living room, ride a bike. Just do something that gets your body moving. You will feel better in the end.
- Pray. Find quiet time with God. Allow yourself to take time to talk with him.
- Get outside. Sometimes just sitting on my deck and listening to the birds or kids playing, is the most enjoyable part of me day.
- Find a hobby! When I finally decided to take the plunge and go minimalist, I took up a hobby. I started playing the Ukulele! I may not be good and I still can’t find the right finger placement, but it is something I am enjoying.
- Learn something new. Curious about our solar system, but don’t know much, find out! Not sure where things are in the world , look it up! Now is your chance to learn! Never stop learning new things!
- Call a friend. You may have been too busy before, but now you have the time. So plan a phone date and reconnect.
- Tell someone about minimalism. Tell someone how your life is changing. Give them all the info they never asked for! Not only will this excite you, it may even spark an interest in others.
- Eat healthy meals. Now that you have more time, focus on your health. Have you wondered about that Whole 30 diet but didn’t have time to cook? Now’s your chance!
- Go on a date. My husband and I enjoy spending time together. Now that we have more time, we are choosing to do more together. Our dates are not always going out and spending money on dinner or a movie. Our best dates sometimes are just taking a walk in the evening, or sitting on the deck with a glass of wine after the kids go to bed.
The point is that, you can find things to do that will speak more life into you, than buying another blouse! When you see the effects of using your time intentionally, you will be excited to keep going! When you realize your relationships are blossoming, you’re more available to those you love, and you have the time to rest, you won’t want to live the life you had been. You will want more of what minimalism has to offer you!
So go out, and try something new! I would love to hear what minimalism is doing for you! If you have a question or want to hear about a specific topic regarding living simply, send me a message! I would love to hear from you.