By Meghan Bailey

It’s time to live intentionally

The day I decided that I didn’t have the will to “Jones” anymore—that is, I stopped trying to keep up with everyone else—was the day I decided to live with intention. That is the day I started a minimalist lifestyle. There isn’t a cookie-cutter description for minimalist, and you can take it as far as you’d like. For me, being a minimalist meant letting go of overconsuming and enjoying the financial freedom that comes from that decision.

Nothing happened over night. In fact, my journey started with a simple 30-day challenge. The challenge was to do one small thing each day to show that minimizing would end up maximizing your world. Here are my suggestions to get started.

“… my journey started with a simple 30-day challenge. The challenge was to do one small thing each day to show that minimizing would end up maximizing your world.”

Grab last month’s bank and/or credit card statement and ask yourself “What did I buy?” While this tip has been used to help budget, it has a much deeper purpose. It shows you how you live. I had a pattern of bored, stressed or whatever spending. It wasn’t until I went to San Francisco that a lightbulb came on. I looked through my transactions and instead of, “What the heck did I buy?” I could say, “This was when I had hot chocolate watching the sun rays hit the Golden Gate Bridge.” That is when my “aha moment” happened; I remembered my purchases because they were attached to an experience versus a habit.

Ask yourself if this will make the memory bank. Every year I create a photo album and inside are all of the memories that we made as a family. The third random shopping trips to the store never seem to make the cut. But, it made up most of my transactions. So now, I think about whether or not something I am doing or purchasing will end up in my memory book.

Ditch the social media comparison. Every time I would go on social media I would see people having fun, shopping, going to the movies and living a perfect life. And I wanted to live that way too. In fact, I look at my Instagram feed and wonder why I don’t have a bigger following? I’m real; I’m kind of cool. Why didn’t I have the fans? But, in reality, the small Instagram photo doesn’t show you the whole picture. Just because someone photo-showcases their life, it may not be their life. You have to live your own, and when you start realizing that, you can use social media to inspire you versus give you anxiety.

Lastly—live intentionally. Everything I do is for a reason. I write a blog to help my soul. I skip putting on a full face of makeup on the weekend so that I can experience life with my friends and family. Everything that I do in life has an intention because I don’t want to waste mind, body or soul anymore.

Living a minimalist lifestyle doesn’t mean I had to get rid of all of my belongings. It means I live intentionally and not mindlessly.

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