Just One Less: The Practice of Choosing Less in Order to Have More

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the choices we make on a daily basis and how those choices can add up over time. Not the earth-shattering, life or death decisions, rather, the mundane, seemingly inconsequential ones. Decisions such as buying just one extra (unneeded) item at the store, saying (yet another) unkind word, or taking an extra helping at the dinner table. What if, instead of choosing more, we practiced the art of choosing just one less. Would it ultimately make any difference at all?

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Just One Less: The Practice of Choosing Less So You Can Have More

Just one less

Just one less purchase = more money to save/give away

If we all committed to buying just one less thing, every time we went shopping, think of all of the money we would save. We could use that extra cash to pay off debt, make more memories with our family, or simply give it away to someone in need.

The next time you are in the store, before you check out, select just one thing to put back. Set the money you would have spent on it aside. Challenge yourself to do this every time you go shopping.

Just one less piece of clutter = more space/time

Even though I am a minimalist, I guarantee you (if I tried hard enough) I could find at least one thing in my home which my family and I can do without. I’d be willing to bet you could too.

What if we resolve to remove one item a day from our homes for one year? We would not only gain the benefit of having more space to live in, but we’d also gain back the time we would have spent cleaning and maintaining those items.

Just one less unkind word = more love

How many times have you said something you later regretted? I would say this occurs at least once a day for me! What if, the next time we started to say something unkind or unwise,  we resolved to stop ourselves? We could even take it a step further and choose to substitute a kind word (or two) in its place.

Just One Less: The Practice of Choosing Less So you Can Have More

Just one less bite = more health/energy

As a child, I was raised to finish every last bite of my food, whether I was hungry or not. Unfortunately, this practice has continued into adulthood. What if we chose, instead, to listen to our bodies and stop eating once we are satisfied?

Undoubtedly, we would begin losing weight. If we started losing weight simply by eating less, then we would be able to move more. When we increase our physical activity, our energy levels tend to rise. When we have more energy, we are more willing/able to spend some of that energy on others.

Just one less tv show = more sleep/increased productivity

Raise your hand if you’ve ever stayed up until the wee hours of the morning binge watching your favorite tv show. {I’d raise mine, but it’s really hard to type one-handed.} Those Netflix originals are just so addictive! What if, we put down the remote (or clicker depending on where you are from), and opted instead to go to bed at a reasonable hour? Chances are, we’d wake up the next morning rejuvenated, refreshed, and ready for the day ahead of us.

If we had more energy, we would be more productive with our waking hours, which would allow us to go to bed earlier, so we could start the process all over again.

Here are 9 good reasons we should all get more sleep.

Just one less thing on our to-do list = more relaxation

What if, each day, we looked at that day’s to-do list(s) and eliminated just one unnecessary thing? Would the world come to an end if we “failed” to accomplish that one thing?

We tend to cram our days full to the last possible minute leaving no time in our day to just sit in silence and relax. 

Studies have shown that when we have fewer items on our to-do lists, we actually tend to get more done. I’ve found this to be true in my own life. If I am faced with a long to-do list, I procrastinate and slowly drag through each thing (and I almost never finish everything on my list). Before I know it, the day has come to an end, and I’m left wondering where all the time went.  However, if I know I have just three things to get done, I will breeze through them so I can get on with the rest of my day. Sound familiar?

Just One Less…

By choosing just one less thing, whether it be stuff, words, food, or busyness, I believe we can make immense progress towards the simple life we all long for. These seemingly insignificant decisions can yield tremendous long-term results if we let them.  All it takes is just one less.

I'm willing to have less of these things in order to have more of what truly matters. Who's with me?



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About Cheryl Lemily

A wife, mom of 3 boys & 2 dogs. A minimalist raising a minimalist(ish) family. Living a small, slow, simple life. Helping others declutter & simplify.

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