If you try to take on changes on your own, it is easy not to keep yourself accountable. Try telling a close friend or family member what you’re doing and have them check in on you periodically.
Kathy Stanton, Simple Living and Loving it
Simplify with a Friend
Challenge and Support
You’ve decided that the minimalist lifestyle is for you and you’re ready to make a plan and put it into action. Changing your lifestyle can be exciting but also challenging. Make the change less difficult, and more fun by doing it with a friend. When you are starting fresh and enthuse, it might not be too hard to keep going, but when you hit a bump in the road or a dip in your resolve, calling on an accountability buddy can be just the thing you need to motivate you to keep going on the path. Someone to give you a little pep talk when you start to slip into old habits or even give you a little kick in the butt when you are ready to give up because it is not going as smoothly as you hoped.
It is great if your accountability partner is also on a minimalism journey but it is not necessary. You need someone you trust to remind you of your goals and push back if you start to lag. Your friend might be on a similar journey as you or they might just support you because you ask. If you invite someone to take on that role, be specific about what you want to achieve and what help you want from them, whether it is just to tell you can do it or if you want them to help you make some decisions. You might even join a friend or two who need help on different journeys. Regardless of your goals, you can meet regularly to check-in and compare notes. Each of you can set goals you want to achieve for the week or month and ask your partner(s) for what kind of support will help you for the next check-in period. Maybe it is just accountability or maybe you want them to come to help you purge a closet. Here are some of the many benefits of having a partner to support you with life changes.
Someone in Your Corner
As you know, not everyone will necessarily be encouraging of your decision to try the minimalist approach (Sharing Your Minimalism Story). Some friends or family members might discourage you or dismiss what you want to do as a passing fad. Your accountability partner will be there to motivate you and support your decision and, perhaps more importantly, your efforts. You will have someone you can count on to have your back and to remind you why you want to make the change. They will talk you up when you want to give up and might even be able to make you laugh when you feel like you want to cry or scream. They will also be there to celebrate your wins, even when you forget what you have achieved. Here are some of the things that having an accountability partner offers.
Someone to Keep You on Track
One of the strongest reasons to have an accountability partner is that person will help you get back to it when you slip. Everyone backslides occasionally
when trying to develop a new pattern of behaviour. Your partner can help you realize that is not the end and get you turned around. Choose someone that you can trust for some tough love, who won’t let you get away with just taking the easy way with a return to old practices. It should be a friend that you can rely on to push you, call you on your excuses, and be there to lend a hand.
A friend or family member who is holding you accountable can also help you stay on track but digging in with you on some of the hard parts. They can help you pack up and remove boxes for donations, or question you about some of the things you having a hard time letting go. They will often challenge you to make a decision and not let you put something back to decide later.
Someone To Make it Fun
There is no doubt that it is more fun to do something new with a friend or family member. Any goal can be easier and less stressful with someone at your side. Someone who knows how to make you laugh, and can lighten the load. You might have a secret language or shared experiences that you recall while you work. Or maybe you send each other motivational notes. And sometimes, you need to take a break from the simplifying and get your head out of it, especially when decluttering more emotional items. A friend will often recognize you need a change of pace or a short break and can help you choose something positive to do. Take a walk and get some fresh air and then get right back to it – or maybe set it aside for the day and go for a movie or a camping trip. If you do not let these other activities become a distraction or form of procrastination, it can help you be more productive. And doing it with a friend makes the process a more positive experience.
Someone to Offer a Different Perspective
Your friend can frequently provide a more objective view of some of the things you are considering letting go. They usually won’t have the same emotional attachment to items. They are also less likely to be swayed by the costs or the experiences of the purchase – or any dreams you had when you bought something. That will frequently help them to give you some insight into the decision, to encourage you to let go of duplicates or an outfit that does not flatter you or suit your style.
An accountability partner might also have additional resources to share. This is particularly true if they are also exploring minimalism or have made steps to simplify their own home and life. In that case, they can share with you what worked or didn’t work for them, or tell you about some new article they have read. they’ll also be interested in hearing what you have learned or what you are finding is working well. Even if they are on a different journey, you might be able to discuss common challenges and be able to identify successes that each other doesn’t notice or remember. Sharing information and tips can be a game-changer
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Accountability can be the key to success when you are trying something new, especially when you move past the initial excitement phase to working on the day-to-day implementation. This post shows you some ways that a good minimalist partner can make a big difference. Working together almost always makes learning easier and the journey go smoother.
Challenge Questions for Day 19
Do you have a friend or family member who would be a good accountability partner for you? Who would you ask and why?
Have you worked with an accountability buddy before? What were the circumstances? How did it work? What if anything, would you do differently the next time?
Declutter Challenge for Day 19
Kid’s Room / Play Area
Collect clothes that no longer fit or are damaged beyond weability. Collect toys that no longer are used or in working order. Donate anything that might be used by others . Involve kids in the process.