How to Start Developing Habits for Living Tiny


Thankfulness is more than simply another virtue; it is a key to almost all virtues. If we are thankful, what idols will tempt us? -S. D. Smith

Whatever you’re trying to get rid of (debt, clutter, weight, negativity, a hectic schedule), it will take time.

I want you to go into this challenge knowing that.

You can’t keep living exactly the way you’re living.

I’m not going to try to change your entire routine, but I am asking for at least 10 minutes. Preferably in the morning.

I know.

How could I even ask that of you?

But is that extra 10 minutes of sleep worth staying in debt? Would it be worth trading 10 minutes a day for the freedom you’ll gain in having less clutter or whatever you want to get rid of?

If your answer is yes, then here are a few things I challenge you to do with your 10 minutes everyday. (It’s not a bad idea to dedicate a notebook or journal to this 31 Day Challenge.):


  • List 3 things you’re grateful for. Be specific, and look for something different each day. Let’s start with being thankful for our problem. I’m thankful for my clutter and all the memories it brings back when I’m sorting through it. I’m thankful for clutter because it is teaching me the discipline of letting go. I’m thankful for the clutter because it is a reminder that I have all I need and more.


  • Create or adjust your plan for the day by taking the time to reflect on what you need to change in order to live tiny. Don’t overwhelm yourself with a list of 17 things. Choose one, and actually do it. Mine is to go through one drawer of clothes and get rid of at least 3 items.


  • Think of a way to keep yourself motivated. Some days you will be more motivated than others. On days when you’re motivated, you can do something that will motivate you later…post quotes around your house, in your car, on your phone. Another way to keep yourself motivated is to encourage someone else. That’s what I’m doing through this challenge.


I’ll discuss these more in future posts, but this should get you started in developing the habits of gratitude, letting go, and keeping yourself motivated. Do this each day, and you’re off to a great start!

Living Tiny, Dreaming Big

I’d love to hear how it goes. Leave a comment below to share what you’re grateful for and what you’re focusing on eliminating.

One last thing before you go…if you’re like me, you have more than one thing you’re trying to get rid of. Just choose one to focus on for these 31 days. Then you’ll have the habits down and will be able to apply them to another area of your life. Go ahead and write down all of them that you want to eventually work on. Then choose just one. Circle it. Commit to it. Maybe choose the one you struggle with most. Or the one you know will help you most with other areas of your life. Just go ahead and make that choice today so you can get started. And rest in knowing that you will have a chance to get to one of the other ones in 31 days.


If you haven’t signed up for the Challenge, you can do so now in order to receive upcoming posts:

31 Day Challenge: 3 Habits for Living Tiny

Who doesn’t want to be debt-free, have a clutter-free house, and breathing room in their schedule?

Yet so many people don’t have any of these things, and even fewer have all of them.

Removing debt or stress or clutter or time-commitments from life today is a challenge avoided because we think we can handle it.


We will get to it later.

Or we will be successful in spite of how complicated we make our lives.

Or someone else will take care of it for us if we wait long enough.


Those excuses may be true, but living a simple life now is much more rewarding.

What could you do differently if you were debt-free? Clutter-free? What if your schedule wasn’t so hectic? What if you had less body fat?

What would you do if you weren’t carrying all of that weight?

What dreams would you be able to pursue?

We can chase big dreams that really change the world, life by life, when we make room in these areas of our lives.

That’s why I’m inviting you to this challenge. I want you to live tiny so that you can dream big. Get rid of what’s holding you back so that you can live in freedom. Develop life-long habits that will make it more manageable for you to focus on changing lives for the better.

If you want that as well, then you are ready for this 31 day challenge.


Living tiny isn’t about getting rid of stuff until you have nothing to do. It’s about getting rid of stuff so you can focus on what’s most important.


That’s why I’m challenging myself to 31 days of developing the 3 habits I’ve noticed helped me to live tiny in the area of debt.

I am now enjoying the freedom of having paid off $25k in student loans. (You can read more about that here.) I learned a lot from achieving that goal. So many people have asked me how I did it. I know there are plenty of others who want and need to learn to do what I did.

Including myself.

See, I need to remind myself how I did it so that I can apply those habits to any area of my life.

If you’re like me, you may have noticed yourself getting rid of a bag of clothes only to refill the closet with new ones. Or maybe you quit one of your jobs to pursue a personal goal only to have other people and activities snatching up that extra time. You know…because you’re so awesome and generous. 😉 In a way, though, you’re robbing others of the help your dream would be giving them.

Getting rid of my debt was great, but it didn’t mean I could just quit making money and/or start buying whatever I want. I still have to practice good financial habits or I’ll find myself in debt again.

The same is true of a cluttered house or schedule. These are the areas I still struggle with. And I believe it’s why so many people fluctuate in their weight. They get where they want to be, feel like they’ve succeeded, and give up their good habits. We think everything is a one-time goal. In reality, living tiny is a lifestyle. It isn’t difficult, but it does take ongoing discipline and focus.

Don’t let that scare you. There’s certainly room for mistakes and imperfection. There’s even room for a little indulgence. If I’m in the habit of waking up at 5am, I may wake up at 7 one morning of the month, but my habit is still 5am. Or I may even give myself one day a week to sleep in. My habit hasn’t changed, but I still have that feeling of splurging within the discipline.


So I’m challenging myself to develop habits to fight against the chaos of life, and I would love for you to join me.

3 Habits for Living Tiny

It won’t officially be starting until January 1st, but you can go ahead and try to begin implementing these habits and brainstorming ideas if you feel that sense of urgency:

I’m really looking forward to January now, and I hope you are, too. Join me as I explore these 3 habits that help teach us how to live tiny so that we can spend time, space, energy, and money on what matters most.

Go ahead and sign up for my newsletter and you’ll receive reminders about the challenge as we go as well as information on how I got rid of debt. You’ll also automatically get the pdf of my FREE e-book, Living Tiny Starts Before You Own A Tiny House

A Tiny House Manifesto

You are a (Tribe) Writer: So Start Acting Like One

This is a life-changing book.

People have asked me how I got my website to where it is today.

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You Are a Writer

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Just to be real, I spent over $25k and 4 years of my life to get an English degree. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great experience.

But did it really teach me how to write a book, get it published, and draw people who wanted to read what I’d written? No. Did it teach me step-by-step how to pursue my dream of making money as a writer instead of writing as a hobby in my spare time? No.

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Plenty of people believe it’s logical to spend thousands of dollars on a college degree that you might not even complete. But how many people realize how smart it is to spend only hundreds on a course you can finish in 8 weeks?

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The last day to sign up this time around is Wednesday, December 17. These are affiliate links throughout this article, so if you use them it will help me out. It’s just another way Jeff Goins has made being part of his community (or tribe) so great.

Go ahead and click the image below to find out more.

Tribe Writers: Find Your Voice the World is Waiting

If you’re like I was at first and simply can’t afford the course, check out his book (and sign up for his newsletter on his blog). Then you’ll see what I’m talking about!