The Simple Life

It started with my weekly email from Jon Gordon.  The title was “55 Days, There’s No Better Time Than Now.”


Upon opening it, the first line said “Counting today, there are 55 days left in 2019.”


Whoa? What? Reality-check. As you’re reading this now there are even less!


The email challenged readers to pick just ONE thing to better for yourself or your family to close 2019.


The message made me immediately realize there is no better time than now to re-focus my efforts on my health and fitness. My wife Megan is so proud that I’ve chosen health as my one thing for these final days of 2019.


So, with less than 55 days left in the calendar year, I’ve chosen to close 2019 by being intentional about my health.


Tod Meisner


In the last two years, fitness and my overall health have been larger priorities for me than ever before. From writing down workout goals, eating better, wearing a fitness tracker, etc. I’ve taken many steps to make fitness and wellness a priority.


However, during the fall I tend to get a little pudgy. It is football season you know? I tend to have more adult beverages on the weekends, in front of the TV or at a tailgate, than normal. And you know it's not a tailgate without Doritos and pulled pork.


During the fall, I also teach classes at Auburn, so my days are long and the time to workout is shorter. Well, it’s shorter because I don’t normally feel like beginning a workout at 7:30 p.m.


These are all just excuses. What are some of the excuses that you find yourself facing?


Tod Meisner



There is no better time than now to stop the excuses. It’s time to implement changes now, before the holiday food is endless, that will help me maintain a healthy weight and not have me second-guessing my food and drink choices for two months.


What changes will I implement? Well, I have to make myself realize that 2-3 days a week it must be OK to workout at 7:30 p.m. But that is just temporary. The fall semester is over the first week of December and doesn’t begin again until early January. I will have an entire month of normally schedules workouts!


See what I did there? I looked at the positive side of things and not the negative. It’s hard to do, but as I always say, only you choose your attitude, so choose to be positive. What kind of changes can you make to overcome the excuses and be one step closer to your goal?



An Early Jump

By getting an early jump on my intentional fitness goals for 2020, I will be in the right mindset for our holiday travel. There’s no better time than now to re-focus on family and enjoying the foods and drinks that I like, while knowing I have intentionally planned proper fitness sessions along the way.


This mindset all ties back to my minimalist values of focusing on health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution. I’m making a concerted effort to make each of these things an intentional part of my life and not things that ebb and flow. It’s hard to do and takes focus and energy, but it’s been an amazing change for me.


There’s no better time than now. There isn’t. No excuses. It’s time to focus on what matters to you and make the most of what’s left of 2019.


So what about you? What ONE THING will you focus on to close out the year?


The Simple Life

I began my journey into minimalism just under two years ago. In the beginning letting go of the clutter was easy.


I said goodbye to extra pots and pans that made my last two moves with me. I said goodbye to outdated clothes and those extra pairs of shoes lying around. Also said goodbye to extra towels, linens, utensils, tools, etc. Items just sitting in closets and drawers that collect over time. I use the term “said goodbye” because we are not our stuff. Our things don’t define us. We don’t have to hold on to things “just in case.”


New Rules

By using Josh and Ryan’s simple and helpful 90/90 Rule, it was no trouble at all letting go of things that didn’t provide value to me. The 90/90 Rule is simple: Have you used this things in the past 90 days? If not, will you use it in the next 90 days?


However, we often also hold on to things “just in case” we need them. We refuse to let go because we might need these things in some made up, non-existent future-state. We stash away things in the remote chance that we might need it “just in case.”


Tod Meisner


An additional easy way to help let go of these “just in case” items is the 20/20 Rule. As you define “just in case” items, ask yourself, “Can I replace this item for less than $20 in less than 20 minutes from my current location?”


If the answer is yes, then get rid of it. Although I’ve yet to replace any item I had previously saved “just in case,” I now know that I can replace them all for less than $20 and not have to travel more than 20 minutes to get them.


Following these rules I feel much less confined and burdened by the things I do own. I know the things I have in my home serve a purpose. I know that I have just what I need and I can get anything else I may need with minimal effort (see what I did there!).


What About Gifts

That said, there’s one set of items which was difficult for me to fully detach from. Items that prevented me from fully feeling like I had simplified my life. Items that did hold some perceived value. Those items were gifs.


It really wasn’t me who had a problem getting rid of them, but it was my feelings for the people who gave them to me. There are different memories in these items and I knew the people who gave them to me might get a bit upset.  I’m a people pleaser by nature and I didn’t want to offend anyone as I was progressing in my new lifestyle.

Tod Meisner


Then I had to remember that this is MY journey into minimalism and not anyone else’s. Most people won’t notice or won’t care. It’s not like I’d broadcast to them, “Hey, I got rid of that gift you got me!” Even if someone does get offended, that a “them” problem and not a “me” problem and that’s OK.

As I let go of negative relationships because of my focus on intentional living, some people got offended. As I stopped commenting and participating on Facebook so much, people got offended. When I’m more intentional with things that matter to me, some people get offended when it’s not what matters to them.


You can’t let these things bother you. There’s nothing you can do about it. The more you stand for something, the more respect you will command. People will truly respect you when you draw a line and say, “I’m doing this for me and not for anyone else.” As a natural pleaser, it’s hard for me to put aside what other people feel. It really is. But through this journey, I’ve come to realize that what other people think about your decisions don’t really matter.


Be Intentional

If you’re making intentional decisions to better your life, that’s what’s important. It is OK to get rid of the clutter and gifts in your life that aren’t adding value. Minimalism is all about letting go of what isn’t important so you can focus on what’s truly important in your life.


Tod Meisner


The people who truly care about you and love you won’t even notice what you’re giving up if they know it’s making you happy. The people who do care or get offended by your new actions? They probably won’t approve of what you do no matter what. So why try to please them?


When you can truly move past what other people think and begin to live a more intentional life, one where your short term decisions and actions align with your long tern values and beliefs, you will begin to find true happiness. Happiness that comes from relationships and experiences, not from material things.


So what about you?

What are you doing about all those things you hold on to “just in case?”