A bit of minimalism – 6 steps for a good start
Minimalism. How to bite a change?
Minimalism is a matter of persistence and for many people it’s a big change in lifestyle. As humans, we don’t like changes. Our brain like what it already knows – the routines done without unnecessary effort. This is why we have problems with changes and usually end up going back to old habits. So how do you safely “guide” yourself through the minimalist approach as a beginner? It’s good to start with something small. The Kaizen philosophy, which has long left the factory walls and moved to everyday life, can help us. Kaizen, in simple words, is a change for better through constant improvement. For everyone who associates Eastern names with a philosophy that is difficult to introduce – a surprise! This approach was invented by an American (it is no longer associated with the level of complexity, right? 🙂). In the 1930s, Kaizen rules were introduced to the factories by William Demming, who decided that instead of making big revolutions in production lines, it is enough to make small changes using the method of small steps and be consistent, and you will achieve big goals. The method was so successful that the industry began to develop, people began to live better, and the method itself was quickly forgotten. Its creator went to Japan, which was struggling with the crisis after the war, and started working in a Toyota factory. And it was him who started to implement there a method that the Japanese later called Kaizen.
Mini-step to maxi-goal
Okay, and how can the Kaizen philosophy help a beginner minimalist? Let’s start with the fact that minimalism for many of us is a big, revolutionary goal. Big goals are kind of overwhelming and discouraging. Apart from that, we are taught that the reward is due when the goal is fully achieved, which means that the path itself does not involve any gratification. On the contrary, it can make you unhappy, because the happiness is waiting for you at the finish line. Your true goal is to become minimalist and be happy every moment of this path. If you have small goals, you achieve results faster and feel satisfied with yourself, which is encouraging. A little change doesn’t hurt that much. You do not change your lifestyle, you only improve it by going in a certain direction. Many small steps can mean a lot of mistakes, but if a step is small, the errors are not that overwhelming – you can learn and try again. Kaizen assumes there is always a step to go. So you can try minimalism in different areas of life, in different ways, until you find the right one.
Minimalism. How to start?
These are 6 step you can do right away. They are simple, quick and effective. You can go through them all over a cup of a good tea!
- Define what the minimalism means for you. It can be something different for everybody, so do not force yourself to take other people’s definitions.
- Choose the area to start (coset, home, relations with other people, kitchen/cooking, work, entertainment, money etc. — ex. I have start from the closet, because it was the most significant for me at the time and here I can see the biggest effects).
- Do your own Kaizen list: the list of small improvements, that you can implement to chosen area. Small goals are easier to achieve.
- What will be your first small step? Don’t wait for a perfect solution, choose the simple one. Waiting for the perfect one you can never move on.
- Do this first step right away and immediately find the next one.
- Other people could not see your small changes, so give yourself small rewards. This may be very simple things: a cup of a very good tea, a half an hour just for yourself, a good book etc.
For those of you that want to achieve that goals I recommend a great and inspiring book about the Kaizen in personal life. It rules! and interview with Polish sociologist and journalist Jarosław Gibas, the author of books based on Kaizen. The interview is in Polish, but it is very wise and interesting, so I recommend reading it with some translate app.
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