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Choose to Change and Live Simply

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Courtney Carver. Courtney writes about simplifying and living life on purpose at Be More with Less. You can also follow her on Twitter.

You likely make hundreds and thousands of choices a day, but choosing to change is the most powerful one of all. Some of your choices are made without great thought. Snooze button or off button? Toast or Oatmeal? Check email or pick up the phone? Drive thru or drive home? (or take your bike!)

Like it or not, every choice you make, creates the life you live. Even when things happen to you and your life, your choice in how you deal with it determines the outcome. Since you only get to live your life one time, make your choices count.

Small Change – Big Difference

  • Choosing to bring your own bags to the grocery store
  • Choosing an apple over a bag of chips
  • Choosing a walk over TV time
  • Choosing an earlier bedtime
  • Choosing a kind word over an eye roll

Big Change – Big Difference

  • Choosing to live on a budget
  • Choosing to slow down instead of doing it all
  • Choosing to love instead of judge
  • Choosing to vote with your dollars
  • Choosing to act instead of wish

Living your life with intention and purpose will bring awareness that your everyday choices matter to you, and to the world. You can change everything from your diet to your bank balance. Most importantly, you can choose to change and live more simply, regardless of circumstance.

Sometimes, when we are overwhelmed with the reality of day to day life, we feel stuck. Often that overwhelmed feeling comes from excess. Too many meetings, too much debt, too many emails to check, too much work to do, too much clutter around the house all stand in the way of a real life. We may also get flustered by too little savings, sleep, overall health and clarity.

When you make the choice to change and live simply, you are rewarded immediately with peace of mind. The simpler you make your life, the easier it will be to make a change. Things don’t always happen right away, but by making the choice to change, you fill your life with hope instead of uncertainty, optimism instead of doom. That hope and optimism will inspire your journey as you move from where you are to where you want to be.

Think about this: Choose less to create more.

Less Clutter = More Space

Less Obligation = More Time

Less Spending = More Saving

Less Crazy = More Focus

Less Complaining = More Happiness

Less Fear = More Anticipation

Less Doing = More Being

I know what your thinking. How can I change? I’ve been doing things this way my whole life. Here it comes, the not so big advice. Just start. Take a step towards the life you want to create. If you want to be a world traveler, work on fitting your wardrobe into a suitcase and donate what doesn’t fit. If you want to teach Yoga, research teacher training programs in your area and commit to getting on your mat every day. Yes! Even if you don’t have the money. Yes! Even if you promised to do 50 other things. Even if you can’t see the finish line, just start.

Once you make the choice to change, the choice to live with awareness and purpose, all of your other decisions will support your choice. For instance, If you decide to choose to live by the beach, you might start by checking out coastal real estate. From there you will clear your debt and start saving. You might start walking every day knowing that you will be spending a lot of time in a bathing suit. You might even take a paddle board lesson so you feel more connected to your new life. By the time you find your space on the beach, you will be ready for that lifestyle, and the whole time you were preparing for the big change, you were living your life better than you were before.

After you declare your change, and just start, then connect with like minded people. Surround yourself with people who will support you and lift you up. Be inspired and then be inspiring.

What do you choose to change?


Courtney is a writer and fine art photographer. She writes about simplifying and living life on purpose at Be More with Less. You can also follow her on Twitter.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Epa October 7, 2010, 6:42 am

    Hi :)!
    Have you thought about selling bumper stickers or maybe ads with the name of your website? I really would like to buy one, and help to spread the message in MD/DC.

    • Courtney Carver October 7, 2010, 8:28 am

      Be More With Less Bumper Stickers – hmmm…. will have to think about that. I love the idea of spreading the message but not sure about creating more stuff. What about Be More With Less tattoos? 😉

      • Jaime D. October 7, 2010, 5:05 pm

        Thats too funny “I love the idea of spreading the message but not sure about creating more stuff.” You really are a TRUE minimalist, I loved the idea and was already saying yes for you till I read that sentence.

        It would be on hellofa catchy bumper sticker.


        • David T October 11, 2010, 8:04 am

          How about a reusable stencil and a bit o’paint?

  • Leigh October 7, 2010, 8:04 am

    Courtney, you are *so* right on! Just taking one step in one direction can lead to so many different things and have such a large impact on your life and others’ lives. I usually try to live this rule myself but lately, yes, I have been overwhelmed! Thanks for the reminder.


    • Courtney Carver October 7, 2010, 8:31 am

      Leigh, I think it is a natural fear that we won’t have enough to do, so we fill our days and weeks up…but at what expense? I think if we gave ourselves some time to breathe, we would be surprised at the outcome.

  • Dan Goodwin October 7, 2010, 8:54 am

    Courtney what I love here is how you’ve focused the whole article on the simple fact that we have the ability to choose, we always do.

    Like you say, when everything feels too much, too intense, too overwhelming, it’s easy to forget we made this life for ourselves, we made the choices that led us here and we can choose to make a different life if we want to, starting right now.

    Choosing a better, simpler life doesn’t have to mean the radical act of throwing out all your possessions and travelling the world, it starts with being more mindful and aware of the choices you make in your every day actions, and changing them one at a time.

    Hope you post again on RowdyKittens, it’s a perfect combination!

    • Courtney Carver October 7, 2010, 3:20 pm

      Dan – it’s so true. Nice and easy always seems to win out over fast and furious! Thanks for your comment and ongoing support.

  • Kori Golightly October 7, 2010, 10:41 am

    Hi Courtney!

    I posted about change today, too, and when I read your post, I knew that change was the word of the day. Today, every action I make will be about becoming the person I want to be and living the life I want to live. Thank you for that.

    Please feel free to check out my post, too.


    • Courtney Carver October 7, 2010, 3:22 pm

      Kori, I just read your post. Congrats on all of your recent change!

  • T.C. Judd October 7, 2010, 11:14 am

    Courtney, an excellent post on the power we have to choose simplicity!

    As one newly moving into a simpler life, the initial decision can seem daunting (or impossible), until you realize that one big decision is brought to reality by the multitude of little, easier, choices we are constantly making.

    I’ve formed a few of my own thoughts on your post and linked here as well from my own blog:

    Thanks for the encouragement!

  • Laurie October 7, 2010, 11:16 am

    I decided to start doing these things when I turned 40 back in the spring. It is AMAZING what happens in your life when you JUST START! I got my first tattoo, had a fundraiser for the homeless at my birthday party, went on my first monastery retreat, decided to sell my house, and started a blog. And that’s just the top end of the list. Thanks Tammy for sharing this post, it’s very encouraging and so simple.
    Laurie in Michigan

  • Ms. Adventuress October 7, 2010, 12:11 pm

    Choosing to buy fresh organic baby red potatoes, instead of that plastic frozen packet. It’s more economical and cleaner/easier to prepare. Just slice and place in the toaster oven, on very low heat, to bake up gently cooked “wedges” that one can sprinkle with sea salt and dab into homemade raw ketchup.

  • kelli October 7, 2010, 1:46 pm

    great post!

    i’ve made great changes and continue to each day. my next step is decluttering and donating. i’m also trying to make gifts instead of purchasing them and have gotten started on the kiddie’s presents, crocheting dolls.

  • Rona October 7, 2010, 3:43 pm

    We have 2 teens ~ a boy and a girl. They have fun finding bargain and stylish clothes at TJ Maxx and Ross. It’s amazing what they can purchase for $50.

  • Rachel October 7, 2010, 4:15 pm


    I’ve found you on alex the girl twitter, I’ve been lurker for a while, I have learn and enjoy reading your posts. Thank you for another great post!


  • Jenny, Plain and Simple October 7, 2010, 4:22 pm

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about making choices to live more simply and to live intentionally, instead of letting life happen to me and my family. I would encourage folks new to this journey to remember that simplifying your life, and creating a life that is more in tune with your values is a continuum. It’s taken us all years to get to the place where we are today. We should know that it will take time and it is a series of small changes to start living life deliberately. Don’t be discouraged. I also completely agree that it helps to be surrounded by people from your tribe.

  • Joanne Wright October 8, 2010, 12:58 am

    Lovely post – felt calm and uncluttered just reading it – will certainly be taking a look at blog! I’m on my own journey – still lot’s to do – so is a great comfort knowing there are like-minded people out there that know there is a different way to live.

  • Tiffany October 8, 2010, 7:21 am

    Great post. It’s easy to forget that all of the little choices add up to shape our day to day life…and that adds up to our entire life!

    I’ve recently embraced simplicity and minimalism. It’s amazing. I used to choose to spend my time trolling the malls looking for who knows what. Now I can’t stand to shop. Only with a list and I’m in and out.

    Just last night I took my dog for a run and saw some neighbors chatting (we just bought our first house) that I hadn’t really talked with before. I had a million things to do last night, but chose to walk over and introduce myself instead of bolting off. I ended up having a great 10 minute conversation and walking away friendly with two more neighbors. Did I miss the show I had planned my frantic night of cleaning/painting around? Yes. Did I care? No. I realized that I would take the neighborhood chat over the Big Bang Theory any day.

  • Grow With Stacy October 8, 2010, 9:57 am

    This is a really great post, I enjoyed it a lot! I really believe that making small choices is the way to make the biggest impact. We are more likely to follow through with smaller goals which leads to a higher chance of success.

    Recently my family has been focusing on decluttering our home, even my preschooler has gotten into it! It has made a difference, walking into a room that used to have clutter but now has open space feels so good! We just take it one piece of clutter at a time and it snowballs!

    Taking that first step can be daunting. I thought about the huge task of decluttering our home and felt overwhelmed at first. But then I thought of one little area in my home to start with and I just did it. It felt great to do it and then I was able to move on quickly to other areas and then the rest of the family followed suit too making even more progress!

  • Courtney Carver October 8, 2010, 11:31 am

    These comments are amazing. Rowdy Kittens readers really are changing the world! Thanks for all of the great feedback and Tammy thanks again for the opportunity.

  • McKella October 8, 2010, 12:28 pm

    I’m not sure exactly where I want to be, but I know I want to be happy, so I’ll start with a change in my attitude. Act the way I want to feel. Learn to be happy wherever I am and whatever my circumstance. I’ve tried changing my view for the week, and this is the first Friday in a long time that I haven’t wasted wishing for the weekend. I can’t believe what a breeze this week has been, though I’ve probably been busier than normal.

  • Eric October 9, 2010, 7:29 am

    The most poignant moment in this post for me is where readers are invited to “Think about this”. So many of us just coast along in our lives without thinking about our actions, without making conscious choices, just doing as we’ve always done, as we’ve been conditioned to do for better or worse.

    If we all would just stop and be mindful of what we’re doing in the moment, I think many more of us would choose to explore new paths in our lives.

  • heidi October 15, 2010, 10:38 am

    Thank you for your lovely post. I need things like this to remind me to slow down.

  • Fred zhao October 15, 2010, 11:57 pm

    Nice post, it will fresh my mind on the happiness i pursue. i am from Shandong, China. i wish to read more from you website

  • Mags November 17, 2010, 4:30 pm

    Really great post. I’m feeling so horribly overwhelmed lately… I’m getting laid off, I’m in debt, I hate where I live… Reading this just let me let out a sigh and realize I need to focus and just take small steps first. This blog always helps me center myself.