I know what you’re thinking: don’t I want less? And the answer is yes, there are probably a lot of things you want less of, like stuff, laundry, meetings and notifications on your phone. You might want less arguing and less whining from your kids. Essentialism and minimalism are about clearing the clutter, both literal and mental, from your life. And I know all about wanting less! I have spent a lot of time figuring out how to get less craziness in my life.
However, for me the pursuit of less is related to the pursuit of more.
What do I mean by that?
The reason I want less of some things is so that I can have more of others. I want fewer meetings so I can have more stillness. I want less work time so I can have more time with my girls. I want less stress so I can have more calm. See what I mean? There are plenty of places in my life where I want MORE.
To figure out what you want more of, it’s important to get really clear on what is important to you. When I talk to my clients about taking control of their lives, I often remind them to ‘value their values’. What does that mean? Well, it basically means to prioritize and make space for the things you hold dear. Here’s the good news: that can be whatever you want! YOU get to decide what’s important. But here’s the catch: the key is to also make sure you make time for it.
Ask thoughtful questions
If you’re having trouble figuring out what’s most important, ask yourself some of these questions:
- What do you enjoy?
- What do you care about?
- What makes your day productive?
- What makes your day meaningful?
- What makes it a GOOD day?
Within your answers to those questions lies what is most important to you, and what you likely want more of.
Find more on the flip side
Here’s another trick to figuring out what you want more of: find the things you DON’T love in your life, and then figure out what the flip side is. Hate wasting time in meetings? Maybe you want MORE time to think about larger strategic initiatives at work. Now that you know what you want more of, you get to make it happen. Start by scheduling a one hour work block every week dedicated to thinking about those things. Don’t let a meeting or conference call creep in on that time. Make it sacred. To help set yourself up for success, pick a time that will be easier to protect – and then do it!
Some of the things we want more of are easy to figure out, but other ones might take more time. I hear clients say they want more joy, more connection, and more confidence. There is no quick fix here, but you can still think about what you might need less of to get more of the good stuff. Where can you clear the clutter?
Your challenge this week
This week, I encourage you to start making a mental list of what’s important to you, and what you need more of in your life. Then join me next week where we’ll give you some tips on creating boundaries, to help you protect space for your more.