How to Focus on Quality Over Quantity in Your Life

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Are you at a place in your life where you want to focus less on material possessions and more on building a quality over quantity lifestyle? While a nice house, car, white picket fence, endless stuff and a large circle of friends are great things to have… you’re still not fully content.

You have been finding yourself wanting more from life… and are looking for anything that can give you the lasting fulfillment your possessions fail to provide.

Focusing on quality of life and intentional living, over acquiring material things, can provide that deeper sense of satisfaction you long for.

Some lifestyle experts and economists refer to the quality vs quantity approach using terms such as “minimalist,” “frugalist,” and “valuist.” But each term has a distinct meaning.

Becoming a minimalist and valuist mostly aligns with the desire to achieve quality living. Today, we'll talk about the meaning of quality vs quantity and how to live with intentionality by embracing the minimalist-valuist mindset.

Quality vs Quantity Meaning

Quality

Quality refers to how good a product, service, relationship, or experience is compared to others of a similar kind. It can be used to gauge the return on investment of your resources, whether it's time, money, talent, or physical, mental, or emotional energy.

Quality isn't absolutely static, it can increase or decrease in some cases. For example, increasing the quality of your close relationships.

In the context of lifestyle, the idea of quality over quantity refers to having fewer material wants and more of what you truly need. This approach to living is the foundation of minimalism.

The idea can be applied to various aspects of life, from physical items to your diet, relationships, hobbies, and social connections.

Less of your resources are spent on amassing and maintaining these areas and are diverted to the people, things, and experiences that really matter. You'll no longer feel “stretched thin” or like your energy is scattered.

More time is available to connect with and rediscover yourself. For example, what makes you happy, your goals and dreams, and ways of improving your well-being.

Quantity

Quantity means an amount of a particular thing and can continue to infinity. Having too much of almost anything (tangible or intangible) can be overwhelming or stressful to maintain. There's also no guarantee that the more you acquire, the better your life will be.

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A comfortable apartment may cost less than paying for and maintaining an oversized home for yourself.

For minimalists, too many physical possessions distract from their desire to zoom in on non-material things. These include self-love, personal growth, spirituality, well-being, and quality time with loved ones. Living a high-quality life amounts to seeking fewer superficial things in order to increase health, happiness, and inner peace.

Quality over Quantity Examples

As you embark on the empowering journey of eliminating the non-essentials, you will have to ask yourself important and pertinent questions such as “Do I really need this?” and “Does this person add value to my life?” Here are some scenarios to consider:

  • Scenarios 1: A comfortable apartment may cost less than paying for and maintaining an oversized home for yourself.
  • Scenario 2: Building a solid and lucrative career might be more rewarding than stretching yourself thin between two low-paying jobs.
  • Scenario 3: People say you can't have enough friends. However, a few genuine friends are more likely to provide meaningful and supportive relationships than 20 casual friends.
  • Scenario 4: Eating smaller amounts of nutritious foods is healthier than a lot of unhealthy, or expensive fast foods?
  • Scenario 5: Being single and having peace of mind enhances your well-being than staying in toxic relationships or ones that no longer bring you happiness.

In summary, one or a few good things or relationships can add more substance than many that are mediocre. What's the catch? The answer lies in the benefits of the valuist lifestyle explained below.

Differences between the Minimalist and Valuist Lifestyles

Minimalist

Traditionally, the term minimalism is used to describe a way of living that involves cutting down your material possessions to only the essentials. A possession is essential if it's frequently used for daily living and serves a legitimate purpose. Everything else goes, including those with sentimental value.

Minimalists believe that downsizing and decluttering enable them to live intentionally. They prefer to focus on quality of life by aligning themselves only with that which sparks joy.

The simplistic lifestyle frees up space, time, and money, reduces stress, and encourages psychological well-being. Ask yourself these key questions during the process of elimination, “Do I need it?” “Do I use it?” and “Do I love it?

In terms of decluttering your social circle, the main question is, “Does this person add value to my life?”

Valuist

Valuist is a term that closely relates to financial independence, although it goes beyond that. According to ChooseFI, “…a valuist is someone who spends money on experiences or things that they truly place value on.” “Being a valuist is simply choosing to live one’s life with intentionality.”

The concept is similar to frugalism and minimalism, but involves deliberately choosing to own, earn, spend, or eat less in order to protect or enjoy the things you value. Those things can be more “me time,” quality time with family, or a healthier body. It doesn't always involve money.

You could consciously decide to devote less time and emotions to relationships that don't matter and redirect those resources to achieving new life goals. The decision aligns with choosing to live life on purpose and mindfully instead of merely existing or living by default.

For minimalists, less is more. For valuists, it's about focusing resources (money, time, emotions, etc.) on things they value and trading “more” for a higher quality of life.

It's not always about saving money (frugalism) or owning fewer possessions (minimalism). The overriding goal is to find success and happiness by intentionally focusing on what you value most.

I suspect I'm a valuist since I ensure every dollar is decisively spent on things that add value. I willingly forego getting a luxurious car to increase savings for my kid's college fund. What's the value? Education. My family values education and adopting this mindset helps me provide for my child's future academic success.

Ways to Focus on Quality over Quantity Using the Valuist Lifestyle Approach

Living a life of quality rather than one filled with “clutter” calls for you to become someone who lines up your spending with your values – a valuist. But how do you make that shift? Here are some changes to consider as you pursue this new way of life.

Decide on what you value

What are the things you place value on? You'll have to confront yourself with this question and do an assessment of your personal core values. The answer will enable you to start spending your resources decisively and accordingly.

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A few genuine friends are more likely to provide meaningful and supportive relationships than 20 casual friends.

Is it fancy cars, a huge home, love, building strong family bonds, educational success, or traveling to experience different cultures? Is it religion? Humanitarian work? I think by now you get the point.

Once you have the information, you can proceed to consistently align your limited resources with your values.

Identify your priorities

There's a saying that we put our time and money where our priorities lie. That's not always the case if you're spending impulsively trying to keep up with the Joneses or wasting a lot of time chasing dead-end relationships. Are those truly your priorities? Ask yourself?

Your priorities should be things that produce reward and satisfaction. A priority might be upgrading to a bigger home for your growing family. Instead of buying a new car, you can save that money towards purchasing your new home.

Taking this approach shows that you value family comfort over the new-car culture. This example demonstrates aligning your priorities with your value system.

Choose quality over quantity 

Meaningful and intentional living can begin once you've decided on what you value and have set your priorities straight. It also becomes easier to choose things based on both monetary and non-monetary value.

You're better able to filter out what doesn't matter. What remains is what's needed or enhances your life. Wearing one good pair of shoes may provide more comfort than the four pairs of inferior ones that hurt your feet. Can you sense the relief?

Filtering and eliminating what is unnecessary allows you more time to focus on the significant areas of your life. You can save physical and emotional energy by being selective about who's in your social circle and the activities you engage in.

Remember the idea here is opting for quality and substance to maximize gratification.

Embrace minimalism

The valuist and the minimalist mindsets can co-exist just fine. As Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus put it, minimalism is choosing to get rid of life’s excess to focus more on only the possessions and experiences that promote happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.

You also accelerate your way to financial independence. Freeing up “space” allows the things you value to come front and center, such as a less stressful life, discovering your purpose, pursuing your passions, and emotional freedom.

Live intentionally

Intentional living is creating a lifestyle around your values and beliefs. In other words, things that add meaning to your life. These can be ethics and justice, love and relationships, financial or academic success, or health and wellness.

Some lifestyle experts refer to living with intentionality as living consciously versus passively. The steps involve making decisions that align with your core values, mindful living, spending wisely, cultivating a growth mindset, and managing your time well.

All your resources are deliberately dispensed toward the people and things that boost your quality of life.

Focus on the experience

A better life experience is for the taking if you're able to find the balance between your expenses, the quantity and quality of your possessions, priorities, and the things you value. Of course, you wish to live a comfortable life and extend that comfort to your family. You also want to invest and save for retirement or experience greater financial freedom.

Even when you spend lavishly on products and services, you don't mind it at all. You're doing so intentionally because of the anticipated relief, joy, or satisfaction that comes with it. You skillfully navigate life knowing when to settle for discounted products or services and when to throw caution to the wind.

Talk about finding the balance between the minimalist, frugalist, and valuist lifestyles.

Make structural life changes

Getting into the valuist mindset can go as far as needing to adjust or restructure. Financial progress and freedom and enriching your social life might mean opting for a smaller home or one that requires less maintenance.

Sometimes it's driving a used car, taking public transportation, or carpooling. In other cases, the life change is relocating to another town, city, or state. The benefits can include securing a higher-paying job or enjoying a lower cost of living.

Strategic planning may land you in a location that has a shorter commute time to work and mainstream places. 2018 data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the average American worker spent 27 minutes daily traveling to work one way.

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Building a solid and lucrative career might be more rewarding than stretching yourself thin between two low-paying jobs.

A shorter commute saves on transportation costs and gives you surplus time to enjoy the activities of daily living.

Working from home was a fantastic valuist idea for me and I took advantage of it. I decided to go this route so that I'm able to nurture my family and spend more time bonding. I save a ton of money and time commuting and can literally work in my pajamas.

Note well, as a valuist, you can have the best of both worlds!

Consistently conduct the valuist check

Successfully creating a valuist lifestyle calls for consistency in behaviors that align with what you're trying to achieve. The valuist check involves asking yourself three critical questions to guide your decision on where you allocate your limited resources:

  • What do I value most in what I'm about to do?
  • Is it possible to get a similar value for less of my resources?
  • If I invest more resources, will the reward or experience be greater?

Benefits of a Valuist Lifestyle

Broadly speaking, the valuist mindset frees you up to start intentionally pursuing the essence of life. There are also financial, social, physical, emotional, and mental benefits to gain from aligning your resources with the things that are truly important to you. The most noteworthy benefits include:

  • Ability to increase earning capacity
  • Bigger bank account and financial independence
  • Opportunity to live a less stressful life
  • Chance to spend more quality time with loved ones
  • More time to pursue new goals or start that gratitude journal
  • Chance to live mindfully and with a greater sense of awareness
  • Improved emotional, physical, and mental well-being

Final Thoughts on How to Focus on Quality over Quantity in Your Life

Dedicating your attention to the quality of your experiences instead of how many things you can accrue can be a life-changer. There's a great opportunity to set your priorities to suit what makes you and your loved ones happy.

All this can be achieved through a minimalistic and valuist lifestyle. It's not about being cheap, trying to live within your means, getting rid of possessions or reducing living expenses. The ideas revolve more around a balancing act that creates more resources to dedicate toward improving your quality of life.

If you think we’re onto something, be sure to read Intentional Living: 8 Strategies to Live According to Your Values. Life is about making memories and doing what makes you truly happy, which is achievable if you check-in with yourself often to redefine what those things mean to you.

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