The new year is approaching quickly and I’ve been thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. Since I have been focusing on different aspects of minimalism this year, I naturally began to think about minimalism resolutions I could try for 2016. But, as a minimalist, I think I’m actually going to forgo these types of challenges/goals/resolutions this year. But here’s a recap of some challenges and games I’ve tried during 2015.
This past year, I participated in the 2015 in 2015 Decluttering Challenge created by Rachel over at Nourishing Minimalism. She has a 2016 in 2016 Decluttering Challenge available right now, too, but I won’t be participating myself in 2016. I actually ended up having a hard time gathering 2015 things to get rid of by the end of this year and don’t want to put such a lofty goal on myself for the second year in a row.
To help with the 2015 in 2015 Decluttering Challenge, I spent two different months throughout the past year attempting the #MinsGame challenge created by The Minimalists. This is only a month long challenge and I find it quite difficult to accomplish, but it also has quite a profound effect in a short period of time.
I’ve also done Courtney Carver’s Project 333 this past year and while I really enjoyed it, I have pared down my wardrobe so much that I don’t have much more than 33 articles of clothing for the whole year, let alone 3 months. All of my clothes fit easily into my dresser and closet so there is no need for me to choose and switch out certain pieces per season.
There is also the 100 Thing Challenge by Dave Bruno. I have not attempted this challenge and I honestly don’t think I ever will. It is very open-ended (what is counted or not as part of a participant’s 100 personal things — which may benefit some people, but I think it’s not structured enough) and it also seems a bit gimmicky to me. I don’t think it would be practical for me to live with 100 things. Not at this time in my life, at least. Maybe when my kids are all grown up and my husband and I are retired and living in a tiny house or something, but not now. So challenging myself to live with 100 things now for any amount of time seems like a silly practice to me. I’d rather focus on how to best live my life now with simplicity and practicality. I’d rather focus on my family and how having less can benefit us all than the strict number of things in my own possession.
I like minimalist challenges and games because they are, a-duh, challenging and fun. The ones I have tried have gotten me to see my stuff in a different light and scrutinize it for how it really did service me. And I think the lessons I learned will stay with me within this next year, too, even if I don’t commit to any of them for a specific month, season, or year. They taught me how to be more discerning with what I keep around the house and I can use that skill continually at my own pace.
If you think any of the above challenges would be fun or interesting to try, I definitely think you should give them a go. Even if you don’t “win” them, per say, I’m sure you’ll learn something, so it’s a win anyway.
I will be continuing my minimalist journey this year of course. As for specific New Year’s Resolutions, I want to focus on my writing. Specifically, I want to work harder at getting my writing out there, connecting with author agents, sending query letters to publishers, and continuing to edit my arsenal of works so far accumulated.
I think the uncluttering that I have been able to accomplish with the help of the 2015 in 2015 Decluttering Challenge, the #MinsGame, and Project 333 has cleared out my space enough that I will have time to focus more on my writing as opposed to the material things around me. If you have a project that you’ve been wanting to do, consider getting rid of some other crap to make room for it.