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The Minimalists

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus write about living a meaningful life with less stuff for 4 million readers. As featured on: ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, TODAY, NPR, TIME, Forbes, The Atlantic, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and National Post. They live in Missoula, Montana.

Day 2 | Planning

The Minimalists, photo by Adam Dressler

It’s been said that without a vision, people perish. And a good plan is merely a vision thought out.

We hope Day 1 helped you establish your vision: your Must List. (You did complete your Must List, right? And you have it posted somewhere you can regularly see it, right?)

For reference, here’s an attenuated version of Joshua & Ryan’s Must List. It started out much longer, but we pared it down over time.

We must live heathy lives every day.
We must eat healthy foods at every meal.
We must exercise at least four times per week.
We must build loving relationships every day.
We must contribute to others in a meaningful way every day.
We must grow as individuals every day.
We must work towards our mission every day.
We must write every day.
We must read every day.
We must listen to music every day.
We must be passionate every day.
We must be grateful and thankful every day.
We must enjoy our lives every day.
We must live in the moment.

What do any of these things have to do with minimalism? you might ask. Well, if you read our definition of minimalism, then you’ll remember that minimalism is simply the tool to get rid of all the unnecessary stuff in your life so you can focus on what’s important; by removing the excess from our lives, we can focus on these musts, and with the clutter gone, we can focus on living a more meaningful life.

Our Must List is our vision of how we want to live our lives, and we chose to use minimalism as a tool to turn this vision into a reality.

With your vision in place, you must now plan your journey. Spend at least an hour planning today. Develop your plan by answering the following questions:

What is standing in the way of my musts?
When did I give so much meaning to my possessions?
What is truly important in my life?
Why am I discontented?
Who is the person I want to become?
How will I define my success?
How will my life improve if I own less stuff?

“Planning” is Day 2 of Our 21-Day Journey into Minimalism. Move on to Day 3. Read Ryan’s journal entries from this entire journey in Everything That Remains. You can also subscribe to The Minimalists via email.