Sunday, February 17, 2013

One in, Two Out (and other simplifying decisions)

"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly." -- Buddha

If you have read my blog before, you know that I am reading and enjoying a book by Tammy Strobel, "You Can Buy Happiness, And It's Cheap" Previous to reading this book I got involved with my local community through volunteering and helping to run facebook groups specific to Laveen, AZ. I also got myself an electric push motor and a recumbent trike in an effort to improve my health and independent mobility, got solar panels on our home, and moved into a smaller room to do a test run  for eventual tiny home living. I also have started learning aquaponics, built my first aquaponics system, and started eating healthier and learning where to get affordable healthy food in my area. More recently I started loom knitting, making green smoothies which I love, and working out to continue towards my goals of health, simplicity and peace full living.

I often think that the next step is tiny living, but really, there are still so many things I can do to improve my life and the way I interact with the world around me right now, in this place, in this moment. As I continue to read Tammy Strobel's book, I am inspired to take further steps in my current situation to make small, or sometimes more sweeping larger steps to change my current situation, and not just dream of living more sustainably some day. What are you doing today to live simply?

So I wrote down a list of commitments to myself. Some of these are new things I have already started, and some are brand new. Most are due to suggestions of "micro actions" in Tammy's book, which I am reading bit by bit, because I am applying the things that I take away from it, and sometimes need more time to work on something before I can move on in the book.

The list of commitments to myself boils down to this:
Make time in my schedule for things that bring me health, peace and joy
Eat healthy, whole foods
Use the one in, two out rule
Organize, Organize, Organize!
Change Consumption Practices

On that last one, I listed several questions to ask myself, which I feel will help me become less consumption oriented, and happier with my life. Here are the questions I plan to ask myself when I am wanting to buy something, and hopefully my loved ones will help me stick to my desire to simplify:
Is this a need, or a want? (sometimes fulfilling a desire is just as important as needs, but not usually)
Do I already have one that works? If so, do we really need to replace it?
Is buying this thing worth getting rid of 2 other things?
Is there another, cheaper, better, more sustainable way to fulfill this need or want?
Can I wait/put off buying this and add it to a gift list instead?
When people ask what I want for a gift, tell them useful things and/or experiential things such as concerts, shows I want to see, classes I want or need to take, gift subscriptions to food delivery clubs, and the like.

There are also things I am considering committing to such as giving myself a certain amount of time from the first impulse to buy something until I make a decision. (like 30 days, 2 weeks, or whatever) This would help me eliminate impulse buying, which I believe is a bit of a problem in my life. I have taken steps in the past to move away from impulse buying, but I still find it happening. For now, the above list of commitments is my definite plan, and as time moves on I am sure I will refine it.

Have you made similar commitments to yourself? If so, I would love to hear which ones have worked for you.

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