Setting Goals As A Minimalist

Setting a few simple goals throughout the year and working toward them can create some amazing life changes and give you a more pleasurable daily routine.  However, my approach to goal setting has changed over time. I used to love sitting down with my calendar and colorful pens and stickers, planning out my month and week and days, making my life look beautiful and glamorous.

goals as a minimalist

Now I keep it simple and from a minimalist approach.  Here are my favorite tips for:

1. Give yourself enough time

One of my worst traits is that I can be extremely impatient. Because of my impatience, I tend to give myself nowhere near enough time to accomplish my goals. By thinking out a proper amount of time to accomplish a goal (for example, give yourself a couple of weeks to declutter the kitchen, instead of a couple of weeks to declutter the whole house), you’ll ensure that you don’t feel overly stressed or worried about your goal.

Your goal should bring you happiness and excitement, not stress! I did two to three sweeps of decluttering over six months. That worked well for me, but I was also a single person living in a one bedroom apartment with someone else, and the other person owned a lot of the stuff in our place, so not a lot of it was mine. It was still helpful to give myself time. Minimalism is a journey which can turn into a lifestyle. Enjoy the journey.

2. Set goals that are complimentary to your lifestyle

Another mistake that I very often make is looking at someone else’s life and thinking that if I want to achieve what they have, I should just do what they do. If I follow the same journey that they took, I should end up at the same spot, right? Wrong.

Your journey is unique to you, and your lifestyle will have different needs than anyone else’s. For example, I really enjoy scrubbing my face. It sounds weird, but call it a guilty pleasure. I love using my Clarisonic. Most minimalists do not own a Clarisonic, but it is something that I have been obsessed with for years. I carry it around the world with me, so that when I have a bad day, I can go home and scrub my face. It’s a necessity to me to have my Clarisonic, where most people I know would definitely not carry a Clarisonic around the world.

If you love something, don’t let it go for minimalism. I believe that the most common misconception about minimalism is that you need to get rid of all of your stuff, when in reality that is not true. Minimalism is about getting rid of stuff that doesn’t serve you anymore. Keep the things that are valuable to you and get rid of the things that aren’t.

3. Have a “Why”

Why is it that people always intend to start a new diet on Monday but never do? It’s because they know that along with that diet comes restriction and discontent. And that sounds terrible. Understanding WHY you are doing something can be the key to long term motivation. Many people hold back on the minimalist journey because they consider minimalism as lacking. You don’t have enough stuff, you can’t spend money, why would you want to do that?

Once you take a hard look at WHY you want to do something, you’ll realize the benefits you’ll gain. A minimalist lifestyle has less stuff because you don’t have unnecessary, stressful clutter. A minimalist lifestyle needs less money because you are spending your time focusing on your passions instead of material possessions.

Focus on the downsides of not achieving your goals as well. This can help clarify why you are making the goal, and also give you motivation to keep working toward your ultimate goal.

photo credit

4. Focus on the Process

My favorite part of living minimally is my new attention to everyday moments. The journey to your goal is the most fun part – make sure to enjoy it and savor the feeling of working toward something. Focusing on the journey, even more than the outcome, can ensure that your daily life is enjoyable and less stressful.

Your Turn!

  • Are you a goal setter?
  • What are your current goals?



  1. Great post! It’s nice to be reminded of goals and goal-setting.

  2. I have tried to be a minimalist for years. It is hard for me because I love beautiful things. Only recently has it occurred to me that while I might love the beauty of each and every individual object, I do NOT love the cluttered, overwhelming look of all of these objects together. And, honestly, I spend very little time enjoying the beauty of each little treasure. It is the whole, cluttered picture that I see and deal with on a daily basis. A recent hospital stay also emphasized for me just how little I need to be truly happy. I brought one book along to read, and my journal. Other than that, all I had were basic toiletries, and a few items of my own clothing. I wrote in my journal a couple of times, but I never even opened the book. I was completely satisfied because I was surrounded by and socializing with wonderful people, both the staff and other patients. What a lesson that was for me! It has completely changed my perspective about material possessions.

  3. I just started my tiny house journey and working on becoming more minimalist. My parents have a knack for clutter and it irks me so bad lol. It’s a bit slow going because there are things I think I need but don’t really need. My xbox and TV have been in storage and not used for over a year so that’s something I should get rid of but then I think about well what if my brother or friends want to play later on and here I am and have sold it. So I’m still in that balancing stage and trying to figure out what needs to do. Your steps about time and goals kind of align with I know I should be doing but just haven’t put them into practice 100% yet.

    • I’m guessing that your brother and friends have access to an xbox a lot of places. What they may not have access to is a quiet space in which to reconnect with themselves and each other. Think what a visit to you and your tiny house can provide that is a unique experience — not what they can get anywhere else.

Leave a Reply