How to Leave the Rat Race: The 7 Steps I Took

Get up, rush to get ready, then rush to get your child ready and fed, then rush to get child to day care, then rush to work in a ridiculous commute, then work 8-9 hours constantly feeling unfulfilled, then rush to pick up your child, then rush to get home, rush to make dinner, get child to bed, try to relax then off to bed yourself. Then guess what………wake up and do it 4 more times until you can actually enjoy life and do things you want on the weekend.

That was my life 3 years ago. I was constantly stressed out with work, with parenthood and I was really having the feeling I was stuck in this “rat race” for life. But once I found out I was pregnant with my second child I began exploring alternatives and you really can escape, I promise, I am living proof!

With a supportive spouse, a LOT of research, some down right creative thinking and a vigorous action plan, I was able to say good bye to my 9-5.

Step 1: Figure out what you don’t like about your current work. I hated commuting and I hated leaving my child. So it got me exploring how I could stay home once my new baby came and still make an income to help support our family.

Step 2: Find different goals. I stumbled into Homesteading and the more and more I researched and gained skills and knowledge the more I knew where I was headed. But yours could be wanting to work for yourself, a total career change, to travel, whatever sounds like a better more fulfilling way to live your life.

Step 3: Be willing to let go. I needed to get over the sonority I had build up at my company and all the responsibilities I had “earned”, I was higher than many others and it was difficult to let go of all the that work I had spent 10+ years grinding for. But since I had found a different goal for my life, I had something else to put my energy towards.

Step 4: Get rid of possessions, debt, unnecessary assets and liabilities and live more frugal. I sold my beloved horse as he was just too much money when you have to board it somewhere else and I didn’t have a ton of time to enjoy riding since I had 2 little ones. I also gave up my lovely Land Rover SUV and bought a more practical mini van that was cheaper to buy, cheaper to run and cheaper to repair. I started shopping at thrift stores more and more. Instead of spending money to take our kids somewhere to entertain them we simply went outside or drove to the mountains for the afternoon. We rarely eat out and I spend much more time in the kitchen making wholesome meals which is actually very fulfilling for me. We are still working on this step to get rid of our very expensive home (in the suburbs) so my husband can also kick his 9-5 and we can get our acreage and commit to homesteading.

Step 5: DON’T JUMP TO QUICKLY! Don’t just go and quit your job tomorrow. If you are looking for a total lifestyle change you need to diligently make plans and steps of your own, otherwise you will find yourself broke, in debt and needing to get back to the rat race again. This step is hard, I will admit many days I would drive home just telling myself I am walking in tomorrow and giving my 2 weeks. But I kept reminding myself that would derail everything I had been envisioning and planning.

Step 6: Create an action plan. Make plans for what you can do right now. Then make plans for what you can do in the near future, say 3 months out, to keep stepping towards your goals. I have a little book that I would write all my action items down in and I still use it to this day to help us move towards our more sustainable life.

Step 7: Be willing and okay with change. My plans at first were to just become a full time photographer, it had been a passion of mine for a long time but after a lot of research I found the market is saturated with photographers in my area so now it is just a side hustle that makes some nice money here and there. So instead I decided to open a home day care type business, I was going to be home with my kids anyways so I decided to take in a couple more. It has worked out great and gives me a lot of freedom!

Step 8: Keeping working and dreaming. It only took me a couple years to fully quit the rat race but I still have very different plans for how I want to live my life. I dream of getting out of suburbia, starting a market garden on an acreage we buy, blogging and vlogging more, starting a business and the list goes on. Just keep moving, keep dreaming and accomplishing goals.

No matter how you want to live your life it is achievable, have faith in your power to do what ever you can, but only YOU can do it. Keep stepping in the right direction even if things throw you off course and always be willing to bend and change as needed.

If you want help, goal planning, ideas or anything to help you shift your goals please comment below or feel free to email me and I would love to chat. Sometimes just having an outside ear can help you, I definitely had a few people that helped me realize my potential.

You can do it too!

-Nicole

worthyhomestead@gmail.com

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