Create your life one vote at a time

James Clear writes in his book Atomic Habits that every action you take is a vote for the kind of person you want to be. He was referring to building habits based on becoming that person.

When I read that my mind immediately went to minimalism. Minimalism is, after all, a way of living life intentionally, with a clear understanding of what thoughts, things, and people add meaning and purpose. Part of the framework for minimalism to allow for that intentionality is in getting clear on who you want to be.

In fact, when you do that work and gain that clarity you can more easily make decisions on what belongs in your life. And perhaps importantly, what doesn’t.

You are, after all, the architect of your life. You get to vote.

Every action you take in life is a vote. Who you want to be is a direct correlation to what you do, as in what is on your calendar and how you spend your waking moments. And it is in line with what you keep, as in the physical things you have in your space.

I am not sure that James Clear was intending to connect decluttering to creating your life. But I am sure he’d agree with the assessment. The act of buying more than you need, and keeping more than serves a purpose is not casting the best vote for you.

Unless of course the person you want to be is overwhelmed, unprepared, and out of time.

While that can sound a little harsh the reality is that in this consumer-driven society, many people are pulled into the “more” mentality. This almost subconscious way of thinking leaves you believing you need more in order to be more.

And that couldn’t be further from the truth.

When you have too much in your head, heart, or home, you are affected negatively. Your ability to see clearly what you want in and for your life is skewed.

And therefore your vote is not in your favor.

If you want your actions to positively reflect your life and the life you want to live do these things:

1. Dig

The kind of digging you must start with is not just into the piles of clutter on your countertops but into your soul. Ask and answer the following questions.

What do I want to accomplish in life?

Who do I want to be? {What characteristics do I want to describe me?}

How do I want to feel in my life?

When you ask these questions you can connect what you want to feel in your life with what you actually own and keep in your space and make make sure they match.

2. Let go

Let go of what doesn’t fit the vision you have for your life or your space. Letting go isn’t always easy. And it is made more difficult when emotions are attached to things. It is, however, a necessity for creating space both physically and mentally.

Space is freedom. It opens you up to be able to take your next best step, and cast your vote in favor of that person you want to be.

3. Build

If you want to be more organized or healthy or insert whatever is your goal you must ask yourself: What does a person who is organized or healthy do? And then you must carve out time every day, show up consistently and do those things. Remember the “why” you determined above for doing any work. Let it motivate you to act so you can build a solid foundation for your life.

This work is imperative. And I say that emphatically because the older I get, the more important I think it is to be honest with yourself about who you want to be and what kind of life you want to live. It is important live deliberately, intentionally, and with some goal or direction based on you being the best version of yourself.


I know the world needs more of the best of you. It needs more of the talent and heart that only you can bring. And to achieve that you must act with intention, and treat this one, wild precious life you have as the power source that it is. Let go of what doesn’t serve you so you can create space and spaces that positively affect you  – and therefore the world – on every level.

You’ve got my vote.

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