Posted: 01 Jul 2013 06:05 AM PDT
Or, How I Made Room for Life
By Leo Babauta
For the next 12 months, I’ll be conducting a personal experiment that I’m calling A Year of Living Without.
It’s my way of finding out what’s truly necessary, of simplifying my life, of making room for other things.
I’m testing the boundaries of my needs. It’s good to test your personal boundaries now and then (or, if you’re me, all the time).
So what’s the Year of Living Without?
Each month, I’ll go the whole month without one thing I do every day. Something that I tend to not want to give up, for various reasons.
I’ll give up something for a month, then evaluate whether it was something I enjoyed giving up, whether it’s worth leaving it out of my life, or if I want to put it back in after the month’s over. The next month, I’ll try giving up something else (see the list below).
The 12 Things I’ll Live Without
Each month, I’ll try a different experiment:
This list might change as the year progresses and I find other things I’d rather give up, but this is what I’m planning for now. I’ll do at least one post each month about what I’ve learned.
At the end of each month, I’ll decide whether I want to keep doing without that month’s Living Without item. It will really depend on how the experiment went.
Some things I’ve already given up:
I’ve enjoyed giving all these things up. They’re not sacrifices, but a joy.
Why Am I Doing This?
If you ever thought something like, “Oh, I could never give up cheese!” (or coffee, or sugar, or your car, or TV, or Facebook, or the Internet), then you know what I’m faced with. I’m faced with a year of this reaction, inside myself.
And I’m faced with a year of learning that, perhaps, none of it is true. We can give up that which we hold dearly to. We can push those boundaries, and feel them push back, and be OK with the push.
I’m doing this for myself, to learn about myself, but also to show others that our initial reaction is false. We can give it up.
And in the process, make room for something that just might be better. You’ll never know until you try.
Some questions you might have:
Q: How can you give up the Internet when you work online?
Q: Isn’t this a bit extreme?
Q: I’ve already been going without these things for years!
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