Most of us are caught up in what I like to call “The More Virus”. More money, more status, more friends, more muscles, more houses, more clothes. More, more, more.
I get it. I used to be one of the many people affected by always wanting more. But what I have found, is that wanting more never leads to better health. If anything, it makes you stressed and anxious. It also leaves you feeling inadequate, especially if you’re not where you want to be and are constantly comparing yourself to others.
So what can we do instead?
It sounds easy, but it’s actually quite difficult.
In this post I’m going to show how the power of pursuing less can improve different areas of your life. I’ll also give you some actionable steps to help you get started.
Let’s get into it.
1. Less clothes
Auditing your wardrobe is a great place to start on your pursuit of less. Chances are, you were already planning to get rid of some unworn items. When you free up your fashion rotation, you will find that you don’t have to make as many decisions and thus, getting dressed will be easier.
Action: Pull out all of your clothes and only keep 33 or less items for the current season. Get rid of the rest. Repeat the process for the next season.
2. Less internet
The internet is one of the best and worse resources we have, depending on how you use it. The internet is a great place to learn, discover, and connect. On the other hand, the internet leads to procrastination and information overload. Just think about how much time you could create if you weren’t procrastinating on the web?
Action: Turn off your internet connection a few hours at a time. If you’re at home, turn off your wi-fi power for an evening. If you’re on your phone, turn off your data in your settings. Take a social media detox.
3. Less ingredients
When we go to the supermarket, we are often confronted with convenient packaged foods with loads of ingredients, of which most, were made in a lab. Your body is not naturally accustomed to digesting such complex foods. Try focusing on simple, whole food ingredients instead.
Action: Challenge yourself to cook meals with 10 whole ingredients or less. Make sure you know exactly where all of your ingredients come from. You will quickly find beauty in simple meals, and your body will thank you for it.
4. Less gym equipment
I used to think that buying gym equipment would give me all of the tools to reach my weight goals. But I just ended up with a pile of unused bars, weights, exercise bikes, skipping ropes and rowing machines. The same can be said about gym memberships, with only a fraction of members actually using their membership more than once.
What I’ve found is that we don’t need all of these tools to exercise. Simple activities such as walking, running, playing with children, pushups, sit-ups, and squats, are available to us at anytime, without any tools. So there’s really no excuse to move.
Action: Create a list of low-involvement activities e.g. walking, running, HITT, yoga, and commit to moving your body for at least 15 minutes a day using one of these activities.
5. Less paperwork
Having boxes of paperwork can be a burden, even if you’re an organized person. Instead storing important documents in folders, boxes, plastic sleeves or on your dining room table, go paperless instead.
Going paperless will enable you to have less paper lying around and will also help you search for documents electronically when you need them.
Action: Download the Scanner Pro App (for iOS) and spend a weekend scanning all of your documents into a cloud storage solution e.g. Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive. Each time you get new paperwork, scan immediately, and discard the rest.
6. Less commitments
In this fast paced world, it’s easy to overcommit yourself. You overcommit because you’re trying to do too much. I’ve struggled with this for most of my adult life. I used to overcommit at work, overcommit with friends and family, overcommit with how many sports I played.
When you overcommit yourself, you end up doing everything at 50 percent instead of 100 percent. And if you manage to operate at full capacity, you will most likely burnout.
Stop trying to please everyone, and focus on pleasing yourself first.
Action: Say no more often and commit to making less commitments.
Hopefully after reading this post you have some ideas on how you can pursue less, starting from now. When in doubt, just say no.
Do you have some actionable tips to pursue the power of less? If you do, make sure to share your voice in the comments below.