As part of my challenge to fund Christmas through decluttering and selling unused items in my home, I've started thinking about how losing these items is enabling me to make other changes. Decluttering of course means less stuff, but it also creates space to pursue other goals...have other dreams. This is what I've been thinking about this week.

Selling my Fitbit was a biggie, it means I'm letting go of the notion that I'm going to be one of those people who regularly walks 10k or 15k steps. I get the idea of a Fitbit, a pedometer, but it's just not me. I'm not competitive enough, and no amount of fancy gadgets is going to encourage me to get off the sofa to walk a random number of steps on a given day. Give me goals - climbing the beautiful fells at Rannerdale or strolling through the gardens at Mirehouse instead, and I'm there.

Instead, I picked up a couple of part-time jobs.

Going back to the sofa - that's where I sit to do my regular job online - means I spend a lot of time sitting down. Typing, proofreading, editing, you get the picture. So getting a couple of little jobs outside the home replaced the pedometer nicely. The benefits? Exercise, getting outdoors, and of course extra money for real aspirations such as travelling more.

Just yesterday, I was talking to the kids about taking them to visit St Petersburg in Russia (photo below), a city where I was lucky enough to live for three months. I was surprised by their enthusiasm...it'll definitely be going on the list of goals!

What else have I left behind on my minimalism journey? I use the words carefully, I'm only learning....I have a long way to go..

1. Cable TV, Sky, Amazon Prime...I just don't need them, or their price tag. Netflix and the BBC are my go to channels, and it's enough. Plus they don't try to sell me anything. Breakthrough moment this week? We were waiting for iPlayer to load to watch "Astronauts, do you have what it takes?" (a series which is fascinating us all) when the kids piped up,..."That's rubbish..." Both kids were derisory about the adverts as we waited for the programme to load.... "I used to believe all that stuff" said my teen..."Now I can just see it's rubbish." Β The adverts in question were shoes and washing powder...I'm so pleased that they don't believe everything they see on TV.

2. Book stores. How I used to love, and still love, browsing book stores. The last time we browsed for school stationery I saw a title that interested me. I was almost tempted....then I thought I'd check out Amazon instead...half the price. Success. Then I thought I'd check the library...free. Perfect. Now I spend less time browsing and more time reading.

3. Comparing myself to others. Why do we do that? Not doing so is freeing. Stop putting pressure on yourself and focus more on your own goals. Don't have any goals? Then the world is your oyster, grab a coffee (or beverage of your choice) and give yourself the time to dream. What would you love to learn, to see, to visit...

4. Rushing. If I choose my commitments carefully, then I don't need to rush so much. We don't feel the need to fill our days with tons of stuff... We don't need after school clubs every day of the week or commitments right through the weekend. When we're starting to feel tired, we just "hibernate" for the day - have a home day, a PJ day, a I-don't-need-to-be-anywhere day. Try it, it's fab πŸ™‚Β 

5. Overstocking our grocery cupboards, freezer, fridge...before our last vacation, I defrosted the freezer. And I was shocked at just how full of food it was. Mostly food that I'd forgotten about. The same with the cupboards. Isn't it so easy to over-buy? How often do we go through and see things that we'd forgotten we purchased, things that have passed their sell-by date, or we no longer enjoy. I'm now trying to buy the minimal amount we need. The recipe calls for two onions? Then that's what I'll buy...not a bag, regardless of whether that would work out cheaper. I know the excess would just languish in the fridge. It takes a little longer to plan, but it seems to be working.

So, these are just some of the things that I've been thinking about this week. I'd love to hear what you think...are there some things that you've given up on your journey to a simpler, more minimalist lifestyle or perhaps you've got some fabulous goals that you can share with us. Please comment in the section below..I love reading them.

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55 comments on “Why I sold my Fitbit (and got a part-time job instead)”

  1. You know what…I might take a leaf out of your book! I’ve been trying to set myself arbitrary goals – like 20mins of exercise every other day and I just can’t get off my butt! I can’t take up a part time job unfortunately but I MAY challgenge myself to walk round gardens, go for a swim somewhere cool etc at the weekends. That’s better than nothing right?!

    • That’s a great plan, Emma πŸ™‚ If you choose something you enjoy, you’ll definitely be more likely to follow through and who knows where it might lead!

  2. I have for many years been a 30 mins. per day walker & have had active jobs. Don’t know if I have walked the FitBit ideal number of steps & I don’t want to know. I would like to stop comparing myself to others so much, I guess that’s a work in progress. Love #4 & I so agree. Love spending the night in! I work with people all day, so the quiet is soothing to me. Good advice with #5. Sometimes I tend to overbuy but I try to use the product before it goes bad. Sometimes successfully, sometimes not. Great post!

    • Thanks, Linda πŸ™‚ I can so relate to the peace being calming, it must be even more so if you’ve been working with people all day.

  3. I got rid of my gym membership somewhere along the way in my minimalism journey. Not only is it less complicated just to step outside for a walk or a jog, but also it’s MUCH less expensive. Goals . . . well, I have a goal of writing a novel. I just now finished today’s mini goal relating to it. I might as well admit right here that it’s not at all an old lady story. (Me being an old lady and all.) It’s a scary ghost story! Good post, made me reflect.

    • Thanks, Priscilla. And wow, a ghost story! That sounds intriguing, I’d love to hear more about that. What a fantastic goal πŸ™‚

  4. Hello, I’ve just found your blog recently, and am really enjoying it. In the last few years, I’ve really cut down on mindless spending on holidays. I used to buy bits and pieces at the airport, just for the sake of it, and then more bits and pieces whilst away. Now, we only spend money on food/drink, and entrance fees, things like that. It makes going away that bit more affordable. I suppose the goal is just to enjoy the holiday for its own sake, rather than making it into a shopping trip. No more pointless souvenirs here! Thanks for the thought-provoking post!

    • Hi, Elaine, thanks for stopping by and for your kind comments. It’s amazing how all those small purchases can add up, isn’t it….much nicer to enjoy the holiday for its own sake. It means fewer things to carry, too πŸ™‚

  5. Good post. I recently downloaded the free Active 10 app to my smartphone. This encourages you to take brisk 10 minute walks and tells you when you have achieved your daily goal. It’s motivated me to get out of my armchair and start walking, so who needs a Fitbit?!

  6. The part about the freezer made me chuckle – we have a second separate freezer in the garage and when I cleaned it out a few months ago it was filled with stuff (mostly that had worked its way to the bottom) that I had no idea was even there, half of it well out of date!! x

  7. Yes to all of this except the TV, we don’t have Netflix, never watch box sets, the last interesting thing I watched on telly was Peaky Blinders. Don’t have the time either. But we do go out instead and go to the cinema if we can get a babysitter.
    The rest, yes, work to do for me too x

    • Hi, Eva…thanks for your comment. You’re making me wonder if Netflix could be the next thing to go, but I think my kids would object! Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  8. It’s crazy how easy it is to be drawn into the latest craze. I have been there. Ads don’t help. Making you feel the one left behind. I think a simple life is best. Never had a FitBit, but do have a dog. Never had Sky or Netflix but do have a sewing machine and too many ideas. Love that you have replaced your FitBit with part time jobs. Just goes to show that minimilizing does not equal less productive.

    To tackle the food cupboard, etc, I’ve set one week a month as a no-buy week. Meal are unusual sometimes, but I have less surplus to go to waste. I am yet to resist a bag of onions though. I am impressed. πŸ™‚

    • Hi, Cheryl! I love your idea of having a no-buy week πŸ™‚ And a sewing machine. I wonder what you sew, that must be a great skill to have. I’ve just started to try and learn to crochet…it’s great finding creative hobbies. Thanks for stopping by x

  9. So interesting to read your findings. My mum & I were having a conversation about the fridge and food only yesterday – why for some reason we feel obliged to keep it filled. It’s a strange psychological thing. I’m learning to love a sparse fridge instead, seeing it as a sign of less waste rather than ’emptiness’!

  10. I try and live a bit like this in recent years. We ditched cable and now use Freeview, no fancy Fitbit here. I just walk to and from school/nursery several times a day. I sell things we no longer need, we have saved a lot of money and we are happy.

  11. I’ve been going through things to cut the clutter too. I have to do it periodically. I also ate or had to throw away most of the food in the freezer. It gets “freezer burn” when you have it too long. My goal is to only keep a few staples in the freezer. MMBC

    • Freezer burn is such a waste, isn’t it? Your goals sound very much like my own…at the moment we’re down to leftover bread, ice cream, ice and frozen fruit/veg. I’m hoping we can keep it that way πŸ™‚

  12. How exciting to visit St Petersburg especially since you lived there. I wonder if it has changed. Your post has reminded me I need to do some more walking as I also spend a lot of my time sitting down. I also have a Fitbit but it’s still in the box oops lol!!

    • Thanks, Jenni. Yes the trip to Russia was exciting, how I hope we can visit again πŸ™‚ I wonder if you’ve unboxed your Fitbit yet….I hope you enjoy using it, I know it works for a lot of people.

  13. It is so easy to over stock your cupboards. My cupboards seem to go through cycles… For a while they will seem totally empty just a few tins here and there. Then they’ll seem full to capacity. I meal plan which helps a little in that I only buy what I need for the week but I also like to have a few extra bits and pieces.

  14. I’m really enjoying reading about your minimalism journey.
    I really need to declutter my kitchen cupboards. Your posts are inspiring me to crack on with my own minimalism journey.

  15. Rushing is such a big one for me! We always seem so rushed and angry if we are late, come on, chill! I’m trying to adjust to it!

    • Ahh, rushing is just no fun, is it! We have major road works in our town at the moment…meaning it takes such a lot longer to drive anywhere but there’s nothing we can do. Except plan for it and start our journey a little earlier…at least no-one gets grumpy if we do that x

  16. I’ve not owned the Fitbit (although I have been considering it), but you’ve just convinced me not to! I’ve also just started a new part-time job, and I’m on my feet all day…so here’s to being more active AND earning some money!

  17. I think I need to do most on the list. Especially number 5. I loved browsing old book stores. The smell of books filled floor to ceiling and picking them up for 50p was my crack. I need to get back into reading more x

  18. I’m really loving your minimalism journey. I especially loved your Christmas post the other day. We’ve started to try and be more minimal. We’ve decluttered and now we’re working on minimalising all the things that worry us and stress us out. I love that you’re setting yourself little goals of things to work on. x

    • Thanks for your kind comments, Chloe πŸ™‚ I love that you’re simplifying your life and making it less stressful, too!

  19. I’ve been really into decluttering my life recently. It’s amazing how you feel so different after getting rid of a few material possessions. Especially if you’re a bit of a hoarder like me!!

    • Hi, Meghan…thanks for your comment and for stopping by. It’s lovely to hear that decluttering is positive for you πŸ™‚

  20. Hi Rachel, your attitude and outlook are refreshing. Being honest with ourselves does free us of stress. Why have things just because of the whole world and it’s Auntie has if you just aren’t going to use it? People need to know that it is okay to have PJ days without feeling guilty. In fact they should be compulsory every now and again. Life is full of pressure without us adding to it…. I am in the process of working my way through the contents of our freezer when we are done, there is going to be a rethink of how I keep it stocked!

    Thank you for linking up with the #MMBC.

    xx

  21. Another great post!

    It’s interesting how different we all are and how similar. I love my Fitbit, I’ve given up trying to do exercise that I don’t enjoy and now stick to walking and swimming. My Fitbit gives me the nudge when I’m cotemplating being lazy, again!

    We reallly do have to stop comparing ourselves, I remember realising this and being much happier, I’m me and you’re you, both amazing in our own ways!

    As for rushing, I agree, I was just talking to a friend yesterday. She has two children and they each have a club every week night, sometimes two in the same night and often weekend too! we drew the line at three a week when my daughter was little, so that we could have time together, she could just play and we could all actually breathe!

    Oh and congrats on the jobs! Good luck x

    • Aw, thanks, Sarah! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. I’m pleased the Fitbit works for you and that you’ve succeeded where I failed with that one πŸ™‚ …I love all the fab photos you share on Instagram from your walks! My job is going well thanks, it’s making me walk and walk, so it’s funny how these things work out in the end. Thanks for stopping by and for your kind comments.

  22. I love this, and I so want to take a leaf out of your book! I dream of a minimalist lifestyle, it’s just so hard knowing where to start. Getting outdoors always reminds me that we don’t need anything at all but each other.

  23. I bought a Fitbit when I was employed (now self-employed) and it lasted about a year (I bought it cheaply off eBay). It doesn’t work anymore, because of some weird update that doesn’t work with I don’t know what. So I am thinking that’s money thrown out of the window right there :((( I am approaching life with the same perspective – borrowing from the library, trying to be mindful with food shopping (yes, so easy to overspend πŸ™

    • Hi, Linda πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by and commenting. It’s so easy to get drawn into buying things like Fitbits, isn’t it…I expect we’re just two of many. Like yourself, I’m definitely trying to be more mindful about how I spend my money these days.

  24. I love it! I could use some decluttering right now…physically and mentally.
    I will say that I never jumped on the Fitbit bandwagon. It seems like people use them as an excuse to think that walking is a good substitute for exercise. Yes, walking is good exercise, but that’s when you do more of it than normal and don’t just count your regular daily steps…

    Best of luck to you in your decluttering. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Lexie. What an interesting point about pedometers….that’s so simple and so true! I never thought of it like that before….thanks for stopping by!

  25. I really like this idea of decluttering for Christmas. I don’t have a Fitbit, but I know people who do and the competitive aspect of them is almost obsessive for some so I’m not sure they are always a good thing. I read somewhere as well that they are making people less fit overall! Well done on your minimalism journey, to a hoarder like me it looks like you’re doing amazingly!

    • Oh, I read that too, Kirsty. Something along the lines that if people were walking x amount of steps then they thought they didn’t need to do any other exercise. Thanks so much for your kind comments xx

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