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The Minimalists

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus write about living a meaningful life with less stuff for 3 million readers. As featured on: ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, TODAY Show, NPR, Forbes, The Atlantic, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and National Post. They live in Missoula, Montana.

Minimalist New Year Resolution

New Year Joshua Fields Millburn

I have a lot of goals in 2011. None of them will be discussed with any detail in this short essay though. Rather, I want to tell you about my one single resolution this year. It’s more of a challenge for myself than anything.

In 2011 I resolve to purchase no physical items other than consumables (e.g., hygiene products and food).

That’s right: no new clothes, no new shoes, no new books, no new electronics, no new gadgets, no new stuff.

Why am I doing this (i.e., not buying stuff)? Because I want to prove to you—and to myself—that I already have everything I need. I don’t need more stuff to be happy.

Don’t get me wrong, I will still spend money on experiences this year (viz. doing things with my friends, things like concerts and movies and events), just not on stuff.

And I’m not doing this because I can’t financially afford to buy stuff, I’m doing it because I’m certain I can do it, I’m certain I don’t need more stuff to make me perfect, and I’m certain it will help me focus my precious time on things that are more important to me, things like growth and contribution and relationships and writing and finishing the novel I will publish in 2012.

If I fail, I will tell you about my failures. But I don’t plan on failing, I’m not that kind of person. Plus telling the world about my resolution is a cold reminder that people are counting on me to resolve.

A year without buying stuff is a long time (and I will certainly buy stuff after 2011). And thus I realize this type of resolution is not for most people, at least not for a full year. So why not try it for a week or a month or a quarter? I’m certain you can do it too.

There are a lot over other good resolutions out there this time of year.

Some of you want to lose weight.

Some of you want to live with 100 things.

Some of you might have impossible goals that you will still achieve.

Some of you want to get rid of your television.

Some of you want to travel and get in better shape and create more.

Some of you want to quit your job.

Some of you want to start taking yoga classes.

Some of you would rather start a revolution than have a resolution.

Whatever you want to do in 2011. Do it. Pursue your passions. You deserve to do so.

So, what do you want to do in 2011?

Updates

January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
Final Update