This article is part of The GOOD (and ReadyMade) Guide to Slowing Down, from GOOD Issue 18: The Slow Issue. Read more of the guide...
This article is part of The GOOD (and ReadyMade) Guide to Slowing Down, from GOOD Issue 18: The Slow Issue. Read more of the guide here."Simplify, simplify" isn't just a jazzy slogan from Henry David Thoreau-it's wisdom you can use in our overconsumptive, cluttered lives. Try going for a set period of time (we recommend a week) without doing something wasteful-or at least something unhelpful that you rely upon but wish you didn't.Get Started1. Identify what you'll eliminate. We tried to ditch plastic bags once. Other ideas are processed foods, your car, your cell phone, TV, driving, drinking, credit cards, meat, garbage-anything you want to change your relationship with.2. Make a game plan. Think of all the areas where that thing comes into your life. If it serves a necessary purpose, with what are you going to replace it? If your thing helps you relax, what are you going to do instead?3. Improvise. The week is going to start and you're going to have to think on your toes. Channel your inner MacGyver and get creative about filling in the gaps that your sacrifice has left.4. Learn. There-that wasn't so hard. How did it feel to go without that thing? Did being without it slow you down, literally or figuratively? Did you do anything differently that you'd like to make part of your regular life? Yeah. We thought so.Illustration by Tim Lahan