When I searched for the top goal setting books of 2018, Cait Flanders book caught my attention. It featured a white cover, with a few simple icons, a title and tagline in all lower case, in a font so subtle I had to zoom in: my year of less. how I stopped shopping, gave away my belongings, and discovered life is worth more than anything you can buy in a store. It looked like a book on simplifying and organizing, not a goal setting book, but there it was.
Many of the books I’ve read on goal setting are about doing more: setting bigger stretch goals, and trying to get more done each day. Flanders’ goals all focus on doing and having less. She sets out to stop shopping for one year, give away all belongings that are not needed, live on less income to save more (some months she saves more than 50%!), and stop habits that cause poor decision making, such as drinking.
You might wonder, like I did, how Cait could let go of her vices, her things, and her consumer habits all at once. But it may not surprise you that she discovered these things all go hand in hand. Because she saw how many things she already had that she didn’t need or even use, she wasn’t as tempted to spend money on new things. Because she wasn’t over consuming and over spending on things, she was not as tempted to binge on alcohol. Doing all three helped her to see the links between them, and refraining created a virtuous cycle that gave her the momentum to continue her year long project.
I won’t tell you the outcome of her book, but I will tell you that her year of less changed her life. Reading her work challenged my thinking and inspired me to simplify even more than I already have. It was a breath of fresh air in this age of consumerism. I hope you enjoy it too! Lauren