New year’s resolutions are a tricky thing to get right. On one hand, too extreme or extravagant means they are quickly forgotten before January is even over. But on the other, the right resolution — just enough of a change in your lifestyle that it’s easy to commit to — can result in significant, positive benefits that last.
I’m guessing you might have already committed to a few resolutions (and maybe broken them) by now, but if you haven’t yet, I wanted to share how I’m challenging myself to live more minimally in January. If you want to learn to live with less this year, this is an easy challenge that only takes a few minutes from your day. And don’t let the fact that January is more than halfway over prevent you from committing. It’s never too late to learn to live more intentionally, and you don’t have to wait until a fresh new calendar year to change your lifestyle. So what’s the harm in starting today?
I grew up with Asian minimalist principles, and I’ve been consciously creating a more minimal lifestyle for myself for the last few years. My life is pretty streamlined already, but I knew that if I spent time accounting for all my material possessions, I would probably find more stuff that I thought gave me joy or was a necessity but actually wasn’t.
So each day this month, I’m challenging myself to identify one item I no longer need or adds clutter to my life and put it in a basket. If I need the item during the course of the month, I’ll remove it from the basket, but if I find I don’t touch it, I’ll donate, recycle or give away the items in the basket at the end of the month.
So far I’ve put an old kitchen knife, lipsticks I haven’t worn in over a year, and random electronics cords in the basket — all items I thought were essential but I’ve found I haven’t used or thought about them since. It can feel very uncomfortable to put an item in a basket — especially if it is one you’ve held onto for a long time. But this challenge is a risk-free way to see if you can live life without it (after all, if you find you really do need it, there’s no harm in pulling it out of the basket). And by the end of the month, you might surprise yourself with what remains in the basket.
I’ll keep you updated on how this challenge goes for me, and what I end up keeping and getting rid of. I hope you’ll join me in creating a more minimal life in 2021, because let’s face it: when we focus less on our “stuff,” we’re spending more time focusing on the things that matter: relationships, experiences, and life. Let me know how you’re living more minimally on Instagram @okko.co!
- Phoebe Kunitomi, founder xx