Setting Goals and Changing Habits

After we have spent some time answering questions, reflecting on the answers and as I suggested in the last post doing some decluttering, it’s time to begin making changes to your lifestyle. Let’s take a look at some habits that you may want to embrace, and offer some goal-setting tips to help you get started.


One of the habits that will help you avoid focusing on buying new things, and instead support you to focus on enjoying what you have, is the gratitude habit. You can embrace gratitude in many different ways. You can start each day by thinking about all of the wonderful things you’re grateful for.

You can start a gratitude journal and write in it every day or if like me you already maintain a reflective journal then add some gratitude reflections. You can also start saying thanks in a sincere way to people you encounter during the day.

Replace Your Shopping Habit

How often do you find yourself shopping online? How many times do you buy something on a whim? For many, shopping is a habit and it leads to a home full of unwanted stuff. This is stuff that costs money and gets in the way of you living your ideal life.

There are several ways to become more aware of your spending habits. One of them is to simply stop shopping. Ban or block shopping sites on your computer. You can also find hobbies and activities that replace your shopping habit.

For example, instead of shopping on the weekends or surfing the net while sitting on the couch, start knitting, build a dresser, or join a local sports club. Keep busy so you’re not tempted to shop and spend.


If it’s broken, you throw it away, right? Not anymore. Instead of replacing items in your home and life that are in need of a little TLC, why not get creative and flex your skills.

DIY is a nice way to add some personality to your home, to provide you with a sense of satisfaction, and to keep items that you love in your possession. Of course, if you’re not handy, then by all means consider having the item repaired instead of throwing it away.

Finally, find and focus on your passions. Find activities and pursuits that make you feel happy and joyful. It can be anything from Genealogy/Family History Research, making homemade wine to writing travel books to building websites – and everything in between.

Living well with what you have isn’t just focused on clearing out material items; it’s also about clearing away the pursuits and tasks that don’t bring you joy. Sure, no day is without some menial tasks. However, if the bulk of your life is spent on pursuits that make you smile, then you’re living well.
Moving Forward

Once you’ve begun to envision a simpler life – one that is full of meaning and is defined by you as good living – then it’s time to start taking steps toward that vision. The first step is to commit to your path. If you want to live well with what you have, then you have to commit to it.

That may mean different things for different people. On a fundamental level it means not adding more clutter and distractions to your life. It may also mean making major changes to your life. For example, you might decide to downsize your home and/or move towns. Or start a new job.

Committing to changing your life is the first step, so what’s the second? It’s to start setting small goals to help you transition toward that life. Small goals might be anything, such as cleaning out your closet and only keeping clothes that you wear and love. It might mean taking a class that will help you start a new career. Start setting those goals and create a plan to follow through.

Finally, the third step is to begin living your life right now as if you’re already successful. You’ve envisioned your ideal day. You’ve made a list of the things and people that support you as well as lists about your strengths, weaknesses, and the things that don’t support you. You have a good idea about how you want to live your life.

Start living as if you’ve already achieved your goals. This is important because it causes a shift in your mindset. Instead of saying that you’re trying to live well with what you have, say that you are living well with what you have. Instead of saying that you want to write a mystery book, say that you are writing a mystery book. See the difference?

Approaching your life as if you’re already achieved your goals empowers you to actually take steps each day to make it true. When you cut down to the “essentials” and what’s most important to you in your life, you may be surprised at what it takes to make you truly happy.