Minimalist Living: 4 Essential Habits to Simplify Your Life

Wouldn't it be amazing to simplify our lives and focus on what truly matters? Just like me, I’m sure many of you have gone down the rabbit hole of watching cottage videos in the woods. It portrays a life stripped down to its essentials—living in the countryside, connected with nature, and having ample free time for hobbies, gardening, and outdoor adventures. It's a dreamy escape from our fast-paced urban lifestyles.

But let's face it, most of us can't just up and leave to live in a cabin in the woods. However, what if I told you that we could experience the essence of such a life by incorporating a few key habits?


Life can be overwhelming, can't it? We find ourselves constantly rushing around, buried under a mountain of tasks and obligations. We have this habit of saying "yes" to everything that comes our way, and before we know it, our schedules are bursting at the seams. We end up buying things left and right, trying to keep up with expectations or the latest trends. But let me ask you this: in the midst of all this chaos, do we even know what truly matters to us? And are we willing to let go of the things that don't?

That's where the concept of essentialism comes into play. Greg McKeown, in his book "Essentialism," dives into the power of thinking like an essentialist. A non-essentialist believes that everything is important and wants to do it all. They spread themselves thin, trying to juggle a million things at once. But an essentialist, on the other hand, knows that only a handful of things are truly crucial, and they make time for those while letting go of the rest.

Imagine the freedom that comes with adopting an essentialist mindset. Picture yourself being able to distinguish between what's merely okay and what's truly extraordinary. By stripping away the unnecessary, we can focus on what truly brings us joy and fulfilment. It's not about adding more to our lives; it's about taking things away.

Endowment effect

Ever find yourself tangled in a web of non-essentials, leaving little room for what truly matters? It happens to the best of us. We become attached to our possessions, thanks to the endowment effect—a psychological phenomenon that makes us value what we already have more. Letting go becomes a challenge.

But here's a secret to living more intentionally: challenge that attachment. Take those jeans hiding in your closet. If you didn't own them, would you make the effort to get them now? The same goes for commitments. If attending an event wasn't an option, would you go out of your way to create that opportunity?

If the answer is no, it's a sign those things aren't truly essential. By letting go and saying no, we create space for what truly matters. It's about living with intention and focusing on the essentials. 

Saying no

Getting into the habit of saying no is the most powerful tool in regaining time and creating a simpler life. When we don't say no, our time slips away through countless distractions, unnecessary tasks, and obligations we don't truly want. But when should we say no? I learned something valuable from Greg: "If it isn't a hell yes, it's a no." Saying no can be hard, as we fear disappointing others and crave their approval. However, it's important to remember that saying no to a request doesn't mean rejecting the person. We can kindly express our inability while appreciating the thought behind it. Saying no isn't about being relentless; it's about freeing up time for what truly matters. So let's liberate ourselves from non-essential commitments and embrace the power of saying yes to what truly fulfils us. 

Creating Space

Creating space is a crucial step towards embracing a simpler life. Just imagine the appeal of an off-the-grid Cabin in the Woods, offering us digital, physical, and mental breathing space. It's a sanctuary that distances us from life's relentless stresses. But here's the thing: we can create this kind of space in our everyday lives too. 

Sure, it's a bit challenging in a world where our phones are always within reach, constantly competing for our attention. The non-stop flow of news and fresh content keeps us entertained, but it comes at a cost. It steals away precious moments of quiet and mental breathing space. Instead of mindlessly reaching for our devices, let's develop the habit of embracing idle moments. Give our minds the freedom to wander, and allow ourselves to simply be. Rather than seeking immediate distractions, let's open our eyes to what's happening around us. 

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