Inside: In a world that tends to move quickly, it’s easy to get distracted and caught up in it all. Live more consciously and make more mindful choices by doing these ten practical things.
A guest post by Melissa Waltz
Living a more consciously is about being mindful of the choices you make and how they affect your own wellbeing, the wellbeing of others, and the wellbeing of the planet. It’s about questioning your actions and aligning them with your personal beliefs.
Mindfulness is one of the keys to living a more conscious life. By purchasing thoughtfully, consuming less, and learning how the products we consume are produced we can begin to live a life that reflects our morals and values.
There’s no right or wrong way to live consciously. It will look a little differently for everyone. The best way to get started is to make one small change at a time, work at it until it becomes a habit, and then build from there.
Start with a few of these ten practical ways to live more consciously and you’ll be on your way to making more mindful choices.
What does living more consciously mean to you?
Start by thinking about what living more consciously means to you. What might the benefits be?
For many, it’s about less stress, more free time, less clutter, and fewer belongings. It might also be about taking better care of yourself, others, or the planet.
What do you want to change? Maybe you want to tackle bad eating, spending, or lifestyle habits.
Or maybe you want to improve the way your home looks and feels by decluttering your space. Or, maybe you simply want to simplify your life, so you have more free time.
Asking yourself the following questions can help you find your priorities:
- Am I being true to my personal beliefs and values?
- Am I devoting my money, energy, and time to the things that are important to me?
- Do I feel like I am living my best life?
- Do I wish I had more time to spend on myself or with family and friends?
- Am I living from paycheck to paycheck or going into debt without any real idea of where my money goes?
Your focus should be on what’s most important to you. When you step back and consider your priorities, you’ll discover that you have all the motivation you need to start living more consciously.
10 Practical Ways to Live More Consciously
Living a consciously driven life isn’t just about making big changes. It’s also about creating new habits that you can incorporate into your life for the long haul.
When you really think about it, the concept is actually quite simple.
Make conscious decisions and think things through before acting. But while the concept itself seems simple, it’s more challenging to actually practice it.
It’s easy to go through your entire week on autopilot, doing the same thing week after week because that’ what you always do.
It’s not easy to make changes to your routine, even if it means getting what you really want out of life. It takes energy and willing effort to think about every choice.
Here are some tips you can use to develop daily habits that lead to living more consciously.
1. Think about how your purchases impact the world.
How do your lifestyle and the things you consume impact others and the planet? How do they impact the voiceless and powerless?
From choosing cruelty-free foundation and makeup to eating a plant-based diet, every decision you make has an impact. What do you want your impact on the world to be?
2. Consider the real cost of every purchase.
Your daily coffee at the coffee shop is only $6… no big deal, right? But thirty coffees add up to $180 over the course of a month.
Do you really want to spend hours of your life earning the money to buy a fancy coffee every morning… hours that you’ll never get back? It’s definitely worth some thought.
3. Think about what you buy.
We often find ourselves spending money on things we don’t really need. We’re often guilty of buying something new before we’ve used what we already have.
Before you make a purchase, get into the habit of considering whether it will add value to your life and whether you really need it.
The first step toward minimalism and more conscious living is to stop buying impulsively. Don’t focus on trends, focus on owning things you truly love and prioritize quality and longevity over quantity.
Find joy in using what you have.
4. Reassess how you shop for clothes.
The fashion industry is a great example of how the high quantity, low-quality system is impacting not just our wallets, but also the planet and its inhabitants. Unethical manufacturing practices lead to human rights violations and misuse of natural resources.
When you purchase from these companies, you’re saying you’re ok with their practices. Choosing what you buy and who you buy from is a major part of considered living. Adopting an anti-capsule wardrobe approach can revolutionize the way you shop for clothes.
Start by finding brands that produce sustainable fashion made by people who were treated fairly. Then focus on developing a streamlined wardrobe based on function and quality.
Be realistic about how each purchase fits with what you already own and how it will work with your lifestyle.
5. Make gratitude part of your regular routine.
Whether you keep a daily journal or set aside a designated time each week, reflecting on what you’re grateful for regularly is key to living more consciously.
6. Review your life goals.
Sit down at least once a year to review your goals and think about where you want your life to go and how you’re going to get there. Write it down, keep it in plain sight, make a plan, and take action towards your goals.
7. Think about your relationships.
Do you spend enough time with the people you care about? Are there communication barriers you need to work on?
The people you love are important, so be sure to assess your relationships often and look for ways to improve them.
8. Consider your possessions.
Our lives are filled with things… at home, at work, in the car, and everywhere in between. And beyond the financial cost of all this stuff, having so many belongings takes a toll on our lives in a number of ways.
Having things you don’t really love, want, or need can affect your mood and disrupt your mental wellbeing and lead to visual stress. Clutter can be a timewaster, too. Your stuff must be cleaned, organized, and taken with you when you move.
If you have stuff that’s not worth all that hassle, donate it, recycle it, give it away, or toss it in the trash.
9. Think about how you spend your time.
Consider keeping a log of everything you do each day over the course of a week. Think of it as doing a time audit to really understand how you spend your time.
Are you spending a lot of time doing things that aren’t important to you? It’s time to be more conscious about how you’re spending your time and to reassess your commitments.
10. And finally… reflect.
Take a step back and reflect. What are your values and beliefs? Do you live your life according to those values and beliefs? How do you treat others? How do you treat yourself?
Are you living your life and presenting yourself in a way that you can be proud of? If not, it’s time to rethink your priorities and make some conscious, positive changes!
It’s important that your life and values and in alignment and it’s an integral way to live more consciously.
What ways will you live more consciously? Share it in the comments section.
After pursuing her music career as a singer for an alternative rock band, Melissa began writing about the music industry. She is an independent writer who is continuously researching, learning, and exploring new areas in life. She now spends her days offering private music lessons and writing on various topics.
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I loved this post Melissa, I’ve been a minimalist for quite some time, but I was a broke minimalist so I didn’t give much thought to sustainable and ethical purchases. I feel like I’m leaning into that more now as I see that I don’t need to buy things very often so I should probably buy them the right way. What are some sustainable and ethical brands you like to buy from? Do you thrift shop?
As someone who just started her “minalmist journey” I am trying to scale down my belongings. All the “stuff” I thought was importan to collect in my 30″s is no longer as important. I selected the items I love and have started selling and donating the rest. It is a journey, but small steps every days will eventually get me there.
I have done a lot of cleaning out in the last six months and are enjoying the feeling of looking around without so much clutter. I still feel I have more to go but I can move more slowly now.
One of the companies I have started using is the Orange Grove Co who makes things is a more sustainable fashion and aiming for the same goals as I. I would recommend them for trying for yourself. I love the method toilet bowl cleaner and it does not have the chemical smells of other popular items for sale in stores.
Regarding clothing: Don’t forget the option of second hand clothing. There are a couple of thrift stores that I find clothing for a fraction of the cost, and it gives that garment another life. It keeps it out of the landfill. I can find things that will fit with what I already own, and some even have tags still attached from a buyer who changed her mind and sent it to the thrift store to become a low priced gift to myself! (My latest acquisition was a brand new pair of jeans!)
I also donate gently used clothes to thrift stores so the circle is complete.
My Grandmother’s advice from the Depression Era years- “Use it up and wear it out. Make do. Do without.”