A Call for Change… Make 2011 the Year of Less

There comes a time when the people recognize the need for change.  The movement begins with a few pioneers brave enough to voice their dissatisfaction with the way things are now and who paint a picture of how things could be.  The movement grows as their voices resonate with the hearts of the people.

Such a call for change is echoing around the world.  Voices for change tell us that we can opt out of a culture which preaches that buying more will buy us happiness.  They tell us that a fulfilling life is not about who has the newest car, the biggest house, and the most toys, but that  fulfillment comes from truly caring for the possessions and people that surround us.   Instead of working more hours in jobs that penalize our creativity, these innovators show us how to turn our passions into our occupations.

Are the voices for change calling out to you?  Is it time to end the destructive pursuit of more possessions and to begin construction of a fulfilling, uncluttered life?  The path to your new life will be difficult, but trail blazers have forged ahead and cleared the way.


It is time to make your Declaration of Independence from the consumer-driven, workaholic culture and join the movement to make 2011 the year of less.


Official Proclamation, 2011 is the Year of Less

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for a people to dissolve the ties that bind them to a life of bondage to their jobs, possessions and commitments, mankind requires that they should declare the causes that impel them to separate from such way of life.  To support said separation, let the following facts be presented to a candid world.

  • Corporations and their marketing agencies have led the people to take the wrong path in the pursuit of happiness, a path leading to an excess of possessions and expanding home sizes to house these possessions.
  • These excesses have the people climbing over mountains of clutter and swimming in oceans of debt.
  • Governments encourage this excess consumer spending to stimulate their economies and raise tax revenue to pay on their insurmountable levels of debt.
  • The people have become trapped in jobs for which they have no passion, working too many hours in a day and too many years of their lives, to pay for things that they are told they need, but bring no happiness.
  • Work and obligations leave the people with little time and energy to do the things they love.

Knowing these facts to be true, we must separate ourselves from the pursuit of excess material possessions and free ourselves to live and work where and how we choose.  Therefore, we do solemnly publish and declare the year 2011 as The Year of Less.  In support of this proclamation, we, the undersigned, swear to Own Less, Buy Less, and Do Less in 2011 and the years beyond.


Are you ready to break away from a life where you are owned by your possessions and debt?   Do you want the freedom to support yourself and your family doing work that you truly enjoy and love?  No matter your age or your current situation, it is possible  to change your life for the better.  There is a clear direction for the pursuit of happiness.  Take the first step today.  Sign the 2011, The Year of Less proclamation by leaving a comment stating your participation.   Share this post with your family, friends, and co-workers and give them the opportunity to join you on the journey to freedom and happiness.

Become a voice for change and sign the proclamation.


52 responses to “A Call for Change… Make 2011 the Year of Less

  1. 475831 781461Aw, this became an really good post. In thought I would like to devote writing such as this moreover – taking time and actual effort to make a quite very good article but exactly what do I say I procrastinate alot and by no indicates uncover a strategy to get something completed. 901025

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  3. Maybe a bit late, but I’d still like to join this great movement to become less attached to my possessions and my wish to become more minimalist. As we speak I’m selling/donating all my stuff that I haven’t used in a long time. Step 1 on my way to own less, buy less and do less in 2011. Probably the hardest thing for me would be to do less :S

    • It is never too late to join the movement. It sounds like you have made a good start. As for not being able to do less, as long as what you are doing are things that you have passion for or are totally necessary, you can be as busy as you want!
      Thanks for the comment.

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  6. I’m in too, Rick. Like others who’ve commented before me, I want to buy and own less so that I can do more things I’m passionate about. One of those things that I’m passionate about is writing. I’m near completion of a new website that is similar to yours. I’d love for you to take a look at it when it’s ready to go public.

    I look forward to reading more from you! God bless!

  7. I’m in too for a life of less! Love your tagline.

  8. Hey Rick,

    I’m on board with the own less and buy less parts (I’ve gotten to a point where I can fit everything I own into carry-on luggage), but I’ll hold off a little on the doing less for now. See, there are just so many cool things I want to do!

    I think I get you point though. Too many people are busy just for the sake of being busy, trying to earn more money to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like. In that sense, yes, people should definitely stop playing the game and resolve to do less!

    Nice job putting this together. I’ll help spread the word.

    • Niall, Thanks for the comment and the promise to spread the word. Together we can help thousands of people live simpler, uncluttered and more productive lives. Your experience is inspiring to me and my readers. Rick

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  12. I’m in! I’m glad to find someone over 50 who is making this change – it’s quite a challenge to change the habits of a lifetime, and shed decades of accumulation and debt. I’ve been slowly (for the last year) making these changes – this pledge renews my commitment for 2011!

    • Lian, thanks for signing the pledge. It is more of a challenge to lighten the load when you have 30 or more years of stuff to deal with, but it can be done! I’m planning on focusing on the 40-50+ reader in my blog and I welcome any questions or suggestions you might have.

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  14. I love this….I’m in!
    I recently watched an interview from Tammy at Rowdy Kittens on Peak Moment TV (on youtube). It has opened my eyes to this anti-consumerism/simple living movement. I have been totally wrapped up in learning more and starting the process myself. It has given me a path to start on and it has been wonderful to know other people are out there that think like me. Before I was weighed down with guilt knowing the environmental and social impacts of my lifestyle.

    • Thanks for jumping in Erin. I just spent the last 2 weeks rearranging my life. I’m going to share what has been going on in my life in my next post. It was pretty drastic! There are ots of people who are finding out about the benefits of living a simpler life and I hope we can unite behind the 2011 The Year of Less theme.

  15. Thanks for the post, Rick, and like many others count me in. Having weathered an annoying health issue, I too am making time to do what is truly important, am eliminating debt, and declare my independence from the corporate culture of consumerism. Thanks to Tammy Strobel/Rowdy Kittens for the life changing link.

  16. Fantastic post, Rick. I found may way over here from Rowdy Kittens.

    My husband and I just paid off our credit card and car debt and are adjusting to the crazy idea of paying for things up front. The only payments left are my student loans. It would be so great to see those gone!!

    It seems like once you commit to going down this road, it gets easier. It is helpful to know other people are doing the same thing!

  17. Count me in. I came across the idea of simple living late summer of 2010 and I was inspired. My new hubby and I discussed the idea in length and have been decluttering, reprioritizing, and attempting to make more mindful decision when it comes to our consumption habits. I also have been reading as many blogs and books on the subject as I can get my hands on. It has been an amazing journey so far. Simple living is a life style change we want to adopt. Our discussion has been met with some resistance with family members especially around the holidays but we are having a lot of discussions with family and are making it through.

    • Brie, thank you for signing the pledge. It looks like you and your husband started the same way and about the same time as my wife and I. It is good that you are discussing your decisions with your family, but don’t expect everyone to understand and approve. You will influence people by your example. Pass the pledge on to those who are receptive! Rick

  18. Count me in! It’s the kind of pledge i need for this year…

    • Nathalie, thanks for your enthusiastic support. Follow through on the pledge and when 2012 starts you will be enjoying a simpler life with more freedom to do the things you love to do. Rick

  19. I can sign up on this pledge. However, what is one to do with a spouse that not only couldn’t take this pledge, but would be appalled at the idea? I continue to declutter and cut back on my things at any rate.

    • Roxie, thanks for signing the pledge and helping to get the word out to others who will benefit by decluttering their homes and lives. Fortunately, my wife and I agree that we need to declutter. We do disagree on what to do on some items, but we work it out. There are a number of posts on other blogs that address the issue of having a spouse that is not on board with decluttering. I found one for you to get you started: http://zenhabits.net/lose-stuff/. Be patient and he will soon realize the advantages of decluttering.

  20. Hi Rick,

    I happened on your site via Tammy Strobel’s “RowdyKittens”. I couldn’t agree more with the invitation to buy less and own less. I don’t know if you’ve seen Annie Leonard’s video on “The Story of Stuff”, but it really shows where the driving force to own more stuff comes from and gets people thinking about ways to cut back on consumption and the inevitable waste it produces somewhere down the line. I hope that choosing to do less mind and soul numbing work (or recreational activities like watching hours of brainless television) will encourage to do more in the way of connecting with neighbours, engaging in their communities and working collaboratively to find sane solutions and alternatives to our generally unsustainable systems on the planet.

    All the best for a wonderful year ahead.

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  22. Jean-François Micard

    Great pledge, Rick !

    Inspired by the same websites as you were, i decided a few months ago to get rid of my overloading stuff, giving/selling or throwing away one thing a day for an infinite length of time. Some days it’s a big step, some others it’s more simple (books given to the local library, cd sold over discogs…), but it’s a steady process. So far I gave away my car (given to my neighbor, who needed one more than me), sold two lawnmowers (and replace them with sheeps), a huge array of exercise / cooking / gardening tools, hundreds of CDs and books, and i will continue day after day (today, it was a bread cooking machine that goes away because i didn’t use it in two years since i began to make my own bread)… so i think i could pledge with you that 2011 will be again a year of less.
    PS : sorry for my somehow broken english, but i’m french…

    • Jean-Francois, thank you for signing the pledge. Everyone finds their own pace in reducing their possessions and finds the level of minimalism that is comfortable for them. You are well on the way! Share what you are doing with people you know and help them start their own journey.
      PS: Your English is great

  23. I have also started down the road to less. I sold my car last September and haven’t missed it yet. I don’t have TV either. Credit cards debt is zero and I hope to go part time at my job very soon

  24. Count our family in. We’re totally on board and might I say that your proclamation is well put indeed.

    • Lisa, thanks for signing the pledge. I burned out after a 25 year career in retail management. Like you, minimalism struck a chord with my wife and I and we started our journey to a better life. We can all help each other on our journey and also introduce minimalism to some of the millions of people who could benefit from some level of a minimalist lifestyle.

  25. Sabrina Smith Saxon

    I am in and I have already begun this process!!! Thank you for this proclamation!!!

  26. I love what you’ve done with this! I am absolutely in. I’ve just actively and publicly begun this journey and while I feel my husband and I are well on our way, there are so many aspects of this I feel require the pledge to be “A Lifetime of Less” and that thrills me! I understand for the rest of you it is also a lifetime commitment, I just mean there are aspects of this that are going to take us longer than a year to move toward I think. But truly, we are going to make our way there ACTIVELY in 2011. I here by pledge.

    I can’t wait to share a link to this on my blog this Friday.

  27. I’m in! A year of less… but a year of greater fulfillment in so many ways!

  28. This is GOOD.

  29. I’m all in, Friendo! I’m all over this pledge. Trying to make 2011 one of my best. More family time, more nature, and less crap. Kicking debt in the booty and living a life of purpose. Here’s to all of you and here’s to the pledge! Knock it out of the park in 2011!

  30. I like it Rick! I’ve been thinking alot about this. We’re actually going to be selling most of our belongings later this year to fund our 1 year abroad. It will be interesting to see how we feel about that when the time comes but I like the idea of living more simply and sustainably. I’m in!

  31. You know I am in!! We are living proof of it, right here…right now! ;o)

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  33. Great great movement here Rick!

    I’m up for the pledge.

    With buying less, owning less and less commitments I want to have more of the following:

    ☺ More quality time with my family
    ☻ More time to travel (Rockies Spring Training, Jamaica, CA, etc.)
    ☺ More time to enjoy my favorite things (snowboarding, hiking, camping)
    ☻ More time in building quality existing friendships and making new ones.

    I dig it Rick!


    • Thanks for taking the pledge Eric. You will find the time to do all the things that are important to you. Who else will take the pledge and find the time and money to do what they dream of in their lives?

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