My Year of Living Intentionally

I’ve flirted with minimalism for at least eight years. I know this because Leo Babauta started ZenHabits.net in 2007 when I first discovered him. To quote Leo’s own story, “He started Zen Habits to chronicle and share what he’s learned while changing a number of habits, including:

I find any one of those life changes impressive. Leo achieved them all by tackling one challenge (quitting smoking, for example) a month and devoting all his energy and attention toward changing his behavior around that activity.

While I greatly admired Leo and have followed his lead in fits and starts over the years, I’ve allowed distractions such as  work, entertainment, chores and a general lack of priority in my life get in the way of changes I truly want to make in my life.

In a few months, I’ll turn 43. If I don’t prioritize things to improve my life now, when will I?

A few of the changes I’m working on (some individually and some with my wife, Courtney) include:

  • Simplifying my wardrobe
  • Going on a spending diet to pay down debt and really start saving money, inspired by Blonde on a Budget’s Shopping Ban.
  • Mindfully eating to better appreciate the food I consume and to choose food that better nourishes my body
  • Get out and move more
  • Meditating regularly
  • Writing regularly
  • Intentionally choosing how to spend my time so every day feels valuable

I’ll write at least one in-depth post on each of these topics in the future.

I know Leo’s advice to tackle one bad habit at a time works, but I feel like I’ve ready to make a course adjustment in my life. I’m taking things easy and not beating myself up if I miss a goal on any one thing as long as I’m making progress on the list as a whole.

Even though I’m just now writing about it, I started on this path a few weeks ago after we returned from summer vacation. While I haven’t blogged, I’ve meditated several times each week and recently started a daily Morning Pages practice.

Each little win adds up, building habits and a mindset that reinforces my ability to grow toward the person I want to be. While I don’t plan to stop this work after a year, I’m looking forward to what changes my year of living intentionally will bring.