Jul 8, 2010

Focusing On The Essential – Ten Growth-Inducing Habits I’m Forming Right Now

Everett and Glen both recently wrote posts about what they’re NOT DOING in order to grow their businesses. While amazing lists, they got me thinking – what am I DOING in order to not only grow Minimalist Knitter, but to also grow my own minimalist life?

It can be easy to feature the “do nots” in lists – there is an entire show dedicated to what we SHOULDN’T be wearing, and entire networks dedicated to how we shouldn’t decorate or design our homes.

Whenever I read a list like this, my first question is: alright then, if this is what I shouldn’t be doing, then what SHOULD I be doing? I’ve taken some time to think this through, and this is what I’ve come up with – my non-definitive, always subject to change list of ten things I’m doing every day to grow as a minimalist and to grow Minimalist Knitter.

1. Writing down patterns as I come up with them. For several months, I would just assume that I could hold a pattern in my brain until I was ready to knit it. I’ve come to realize this just isn’t true – if I don’t write it down immediately, the pattern will be lost. So I’ve started writing the patterns down, as much of them as I come up with, and storing them in a “patterns” file on my computer. I’m excited to watch it continue to grow, and to know I’ve got tons of fun patterns to share for months to come!

2. Reading and following the blogs and Twitter accounts of a handful of inspiring people, both minimalists and knitters. A few weeks ago I clear-cut through my feed reader, paring it down to around 80 blogs I love and read every day. I don’t miss the hundreds that used to be there, and I love heading to my Google Reader a few times a day for a small shot of inspiration. Time suck? Probably. But it’s well worth it to me, creatively, so I’m fine with it!

3. Culling small amounts of stuff from my life. Daily. We’ve started to slowly pare down all of the stuff of our life to a more minimalist existence, and have agreed to take at least one load to the Goodwill each month. We’re finding one or two things a day and adding them to a pile, and it feel so good when that pile gets taken out of our home and donated! We’re figuring out together what we truly need in our lives, and it’s a wonderful process!

4. Knitting what I love. It’s easy to get caught up in the latest trends, to feel like you have to knit a pattern because everyone else loves it. I’m allowing myself to not be that knitter, instead knitting what draws me in – this tends to be clean lines without a lot of fuss and muss.

5. Connecting with knitters. I try to connect with as many knitters as I can on a daily basis. Whether this is commenting on their finished items in Ravelry, commenting on blogs, or responding to as many comments as I can {thanks to Blogger, that doesn’t seem to be too many … boo!}. To me, connecting with the knitting community is a must – fuels my creativity and reminds me that knitting is a group sport!

6. Focusing on my life goals. I try to re-read over my life goals and my 34@33 goals at least once a week. I tweak them if I need to, but mostly I read over them to remind me of where I want to go. Having goals written down, these big dreams and someday wishes mixed in with very tangible and attainable tasks, has helped me to move forwards on projects like Minimalist Knitter. Before I wrote down my life goals I just floundered – they are life changing!

7. Taking time to read. I’ve been trying to read during my lunch hour at work every day. Not only am I reading more books, I’ve found I’m much more calm when I head back to the dreaded window-less cubicle!

8. Drinking lots of water. I’m always amazed at how much better I feel when I drink more water. I now have a reusable water bottle at my desk at work, and I try to drink a glass or two of water before I go to bed at night. I wake up more alert – okay, I’m alert faster! – and I’ve found I’ve got less headaches and my super dry skin isn’t so dry!

9. Using what I’ve got. As I knit my way through my yarn stash, I’m finding myself using up the stuff around me in other ways as well. It’s nice to know that we’ve got tons of stuff we can use up instead of needing to buy new all the time, and our home is slowly becoming less cluttered as a result.

10. Sitting outside and relaxing. My husband built this AMAZING fire pit area in our backyard recently, and now that we’ve got it, we’re spending less time inside in front of the television and more time grilling out, enjoying one another’s company, and being in nature. It’s totally medicine for the soul – stuff that we didn’t even know we needed!

Let’s focus on the positive today – what is one thing you already do that is growing you into the person you want to be? For today, let’s focus not on the “here’s what I want to be doing” but instead stand up proudly and claim what we are ALREADY DOING!!{photo credit}

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