A Simple Approach to Living With Less

Progress Does Not Equal Perfection

I have a confession to make. I’m not very good at changing. Next week I’ll turn 34 and while I have many things I want to change about my life, I’m not making the kind of progress I had hoped for.

One of the things I have learned in my almost 34 years of life is:

If nothing changes . . . Nothing changes.

Yep, my life won’t change if I don’t. That kind of truth sort of slaps me in the face.

  • If I don’t install that Spanish program and start practicing, I won’t learn much Spanish.
  • If I don’t quit staying up so late at night, I’m still gonna be tired every day.
  • If I don’t force my lazy butt to exercise more, I’m going to continue to be frustrated with my weight.
  • If I don’t change the way I fill my days, I’ll continue to resent how much I work.
  • If I don’t take the time to write more, I won’t finish any projects.
  • If I don’t plan our next big family trip, it probably won’t happen at all.

The list could go on and on but you get the idea. It’s up to me to change the things I want to change.

Too Many Changes

Sometimes I sabotage myself with trying to change too many things at once.

Taking on too many changes at once is sort of like the mistake of trying to declutter all the rooms in your house at once. It’s just overwhelming.

When I started the Minimize Yo Butt challenge, I set a lot of goals for myself. I wanted to lose ten pounds (or was it 15), drink more water, exercise every day, and switch over to a mainly Paleo diet.

I have to tell you that with only a week left on the challenge, I have really only succeeded on changing over to Paleo. All the other changes I wanted to make have not gone as well as I had hoped. But I will not let myself get too discouraged.

Victory in Every Change

Changing my eating wasn’t nearly as hard as I expected. For years I’ve been a horribly unhealthy eater. I had basically just given up trying to change it. I never felt hugely overweight, just moderately unhappy with how I looked. Eventually I realized that the slow creeping increase of my weight wasn’t just negatively impacting how I looked, it was impacting my overall health.

So switching to Paleo has been great. Have I had setbacks? Sure. Do I consider myself the perfect Paleo eater? Nope. But I am doing it!

The greatest victory was realizing that I have actually changed something about myself. Now I eat Paleo most of the time like I was hoping to. If I stray from eating that way, I know it’s a temporary treat.

I’m not abandoning the change I’ve made and that feels great to me. I’m proud of myself for that. And because of the realization that progress does not equal perfection, I feel encouraged enough to tackle future life changes.

Tell me a change you’re proud of yourself for making. Progress is not perfection! Be proud and feel free to brag on yourself.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider signing up for updates or follow me on Twitter. Thanks so much for reading!

NOTE: Dee was the winner of Matt Madeiro’s book, Roots. I had too hard of a time picking a favorite comment, so I went with a random drawing instead. I’ll be giving away one more copy of Roots along with several other books next week at the end of Minimize Yo Butt.

image credit

Article originally published on 08/22/2011

Letting Go of Your Not-So-Favorite Clutter

I was rocking my three year old daughter yesterday afternoon. We were singing and snuggling. As she hugged me as hard as she could, she looked up at me and said: "Mama, I love you sometimes." I couldn't help myself and just starting laughing. As the … [Continue reading]

Minimalism is my Diet

I read three interesting posts this week that had me thinking about my motivation for minimalism. Jenny's post on Minimalism and the Need for Control, Rachel's post about two four letter words: Debt and Diet, and Joshua's post on the continued … [Continue reading]

Overcoming the Sentimental Sabotage of Clutter

It’s inevitable really. Somewhere in the process of clearing out the junk that is suffocating your life, you (or someone you live with) will fall victim to sentimental sabotage. You know what I’m talking about. That emotional attachment to stuff that … [Continue reading]

The Nitty Gritty Details of the Minimize Yo Butt Challenge

Minimize Your Butt Logo

The Minimize Yo' Butt Challenge begins this Monday, July 18th. I am sure you are counting down the days just like me . .  you are, aren't you? In case you're wondering what to expect with the challenge, this post is here so you will wonder no … [Continue reading]