New Year’s Revolution: Less is Less

Eric Levi FP

Welcome to 2016! How’s your New Year’s Resolution going? It’s good to know that there is some science behind New Year’s Resolution. Apparently you are 10 times more likely to stick to a change made at the New Year (See here). So if you have any new year resolutions, good on you! I hope you’ll stick by them.

Most New Year’s Resolutions are about becoming better, healthier, more successful. We are always aiming to have a better, bigger year than last. Our society drives us to expect that this year is meant to be more successful than last.

I’m going the other way. I’m going for less.

Here are my 3 simple New Year’s Revolution.

  1. Do less.

How often have we cried “Too busy, too noisy, too much, too many things to do, too many commitments.” It’s the underlying exhausting dance of our society. We are burnt out. Our souls have not had enough time to catch up with our bodies running at breakneck speeds. Even holidays are no longer about resting, it’s about doing. Running from one place to another checking your phone in between. I’m guilty of doing too many things. I need to simplify my life. Before I commit to anything this year, I need to ask myself, “Do I really need to do this?”.

  1. Speak less.

We use words to puff ourselves up everyday. We use hyperbole and superlatives to describe things. We paint a hyperrealistic picture of ourselves and our lives. Words have been cheapened. Words have been used to hurt, harm and belittle others. The meaning, value and sanctity of words have been diluted in today’s age. Let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no’. I’m guilty of the unnecessary use, misuse & abuse of words. I need to simplify my words. Before I speak, I need to ask myself, “Do I really need to say this?”

  1. Own less.

Our possessions are called possessions because they do just that. They possess us. How many times have we heard that money and stuff doesn’t buy you happiness, and yet we disregard that and fill our lives with goods to impress people we don’t even know or like? Look at how many pairs of socks I have! There are so many bestsellers out there now about how to declutter, tidy up and simplify your life. People are realising more and more that decluttering our lives from goods has a powerful effect on our souls. I’m guilty of cluttering my life with wants and not needs. I need to simplify my life. Before I have, own or buy anything, I need to ask myself, “Do I really need to have this?”

With doing less, speaking less, and owning less, wouldn’t I be… less?

Well that’s the crunch. Do I really have to be bigger, better, more successful this year compared to last? Why? What measuring stick am I using for that? At the core of my new year revolution is the simple question: Am I humble enough to be less? Am I humble enough to be a nobody? Am I humble enough to surrender to this process this year of doing less, speaking less and owning less? Am I humble enough to surrender to whatever comes my way and tackle them with less deeds, less words and less things? I need to simplify my life.