small. simple. minimal. whatever type of lifestyle/value-system you want to call it, for us it is about asking ourselves: what things, people and activities do I value? what do I wish I had more time for? We try to align what we do, how we live, and what we own with those values. It sounds straightforward, but it isn't. For us, it's a constant work-in-progress.
here's some questions we constantly revisit:
Which 3-5 activities are most important to you in life? Does the way you spend your time reflect these? Are they complimentary or do they inhibit each other?
What activities always leave you feeling fresh and re-energized?
Which of your commitments (side projects, clubs, memberships, etc.) truly add value to your life and which don’t?
What part of the day do you look forward to the least, and have you considered eliminating/outsourcing it?
Do you like where you live? What could you change?
Where do you actually spend your time when at home?
What do you want to buy? Would that material desire survive months on a wishlist?
What do you not use?
Where do you want be in five years?
These questions got us thinking critically about our activities and interests as a whole; and how these influence each other, as well as the ways we spend our time, money and energy, and the space we occupy.
Part of our decision to live in a smaller space is that we really wanted to camp and learn how to surf. Downsizing our home and belongings gave us space in our budget for Agathawagen. It's positive reinforcement: our small space forces us outside, while our van makes it more comfortable to be outside... and easier to stay motivated (#frothin) on all those rainy westcoast weekend mornings.