Your struggle matters. Discouragement and self-doubt can be such daily beasts to tackle. You desire meaning in your life — we all do. You want to do something worthwhile with your time. It’s an innate part of being human. But you also have a life with demands, deadlines, expectations, and overall busyness. When was the last time you felt bogged down by pressures in your life and felt intimidated by what’s ahead? And then, just when you think you might be juggling all you can handle, life throws another ball into the mix. Oh and, P.S., the earth is on fire.
If you’re anything like me, I’m sure feeling the weight of it all wasn’t too long ago.
Chances are, you came to this site because something in your human core is drawn toward connecting with a grander purpose, whether that’s taking better care of our environment, or believing that access to healthy living should be a basic human right, or just wanting to “Stick it to the Man”, with that Man in this case being Corporate America and its excessive mindset, pushing for more and more unnecessary consumption… Or you’re not totally sure what you’re looking for yet but something about That Minimal Life caught your interest. You desire to be generous with the life you’ve been given, but there are many obstacles to overcome in the process.
You’re not alone. In my work, I take in so much research, sifting through loads of content, and learning a great amount — which I love! At the same time, it can be overwhelming to take in all this information about the many ways our earth is hurting and not feel paralyzed by being unable to solve everything. Often it can be intimidating to see all the amazing people out there advocating and inspiring and creating and teaching and making a difference… How do they have the time? The money? The access to all these helpful resources?
Thankfully, these struggles have helped me to create a plan with simple steps to powerfully impact the environment while living your everyday life, and I’m excited to share this with YOU! But first, in order to better understand, let me share some of the internal battles I fight on the daily which have provided the foundation for this plan.
Where do I fit into this whole equation? There are so many voices out there… am I just throwing mine into a vast sea with no real effect? If I can’t solve all the problems, why carry the weight of any of them? Do my efforts even make a difference?
I’m that “all or nothing” personality type. An Enneagram 2 with a 3 wing, if you’re into that typology stuff. When I commit to something, I want to give it my absolute best. And while I do love that about myself, this trait can prove to be a cause for worry when left unchecked.
Maybe you can relate? Isn’t it always easier to focus on the negative or the fear or the doubt or the ways you tend to come up short — so why even try to do something about it?
I continuously come back to this quote and will probably share it many more times because it has just been that encouraging to me:
“Don’t do nothing because you can’t do everything. Do something. Anything.” – Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
Your something-anything will look different than mine and mine will look different than someone else’s and so on. Can you imagine what would happen if everyone just put some more thought and intention into their daily choices and did what they could do? So I’m here to tell you (and myself), you can’t do everything, and you don’t need to. You do what you can do.
This brings us back to the plan. This plan does require some honesty, vulnerability, and a willingness to re-examine your capabilities as time passes. Here are my 3 steps to keep it simple:
Approach. Budget. Live.
First: Approach. Take this journey step by step. What is one thing you want to try in order to minimize your waste, live more sustainably, take better care of our environment, and so on? That one step could be bringing your own bags to the grocery store. It could be taking a reusable coffee cup with you when you leave the house. It could even be carpooling to work rather than driving alone one day a week. Starting somewhere can feel tricky and taking that first step is always the hardest. Name the one step you want to begin with in your approach. Do something.
Second: Budget. What’s realistic for you? Everyone can do something, but not everyone will do the same thing. And that’s totally ok! If you chose to replace single-use utensils and water bottles as your first step, then you shouldn’t feel the need to go buy some fancy replacements just because you saw them in a cute Instagram photo. Do you have a water bottle from some work event stashed away in your closet ready to be used for free? Or a couple of perfectly handy utensils in your kitchen drawer you could stash in your bag for when you’re on the go? Some of the steps you’ll begin to take will be free, some will cost a little bit, and some may be an investment that will pay off in the long run, but you don’t need to feel pressured to do something you’re unable to and shouldn’t do yet — this applies to both your money and your time, by the way.
Third: Live. Commit to this one step you’ve chosen. Do the best you can do each day and know that every effort matters. Give yourself grace when you feel like some days are better than others. This is where that vulnerability and honesty I mentioned will often come into play. Then, when you’re ready, revisit these steps and approach something else. As your life changes, so do your capabilities. If you want to reach a goal that requires more of your wallet or other resources, give yourself time, commit to these steps, celebrate the journey, and you’ll get there.
Imagine your life transcending your current frustrations as a result of following these 3 steps and repeating the cycle. Imagine feeling more empowered with each step and experiencing a sense of enlightenment when you consistently return to learn more and try again. Imagine not needing to lug those trash bins out to the corner every single week because they aren’t even full yet and not having to shove more plastic bags into that one cabinet that’s already overflowing each time you get back from the grocery store. Imagine the money you’ll save when you stop throwing out wasted food, or when you don’t have to keep purchasing cleaning products that are mostly just water mixed with harsh chemicals in brand new plastic bottles, or when you can finally beat that urge to impulse-buy because you’re stronger than our current society’s cravings for excess. Imagine feeling connected to a greater purpose, to the efforts of all those fighting for environmental justice, and to a lifestyle that is sustainable…
I’ve personally experienced this transformation and am here to support your journey. I have developed a large (and ever-growing) bank of simple steps for you to approach. New posts are uploaded weekly and emails are sent every Monday containing even more helpful tips that you can sign up for on the Home page!
Your efforts matter. Keep doing what you can do, revisiting these steps as your life and capabilities ebb and flow. All of us working together in this way inspires me to keep going on the tougher days. I’ll do something. You’ll do something. It all adds up and maybe you’ve begun to see the beauty of this ripple effect we’re creating.