Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Live Deliberately: A Plan of Action

Deliberate living is very much a lifestyle that requires active participation. I came to this conclusion after years of following the path of least resistance and wondering why cool things just never happened to me.

I realized the problem wasn't everyone else, it was me. 

So I changed my life. In my case, I built and moved into a tiny home and quit my job to pursue freelance writing. Your deliberate life may look completely different.

It really doesn't matter what your dreams and goals are, just that you actively work toward them. If you are already doing this in your life, congratulations! This is awesome and I encourage you to keep doing it. However, if you feel stuck there may be some things you can do to kick start your path toward deliberate living. I suggest creating a plan of action. For example, here is what my plan of action looked like between 2007 and 2012. (That's right. Looking back it took about 5 years to make such a big change in my life.)

  • Buy Land. We knew we wanted to build our own house near Asheville, North Carolina. We didn't know what kind of house, but something we could build with our own hands. To do this we needed land.
  • Research building techniques. Some might say we put the cart before the horse, but it was important to us to have our patch of land to get started. Then we looked into several building styles and settled on Tiny Houses.
  • Build. First we learned, then we practiced, then we started building. 
  • Downsize. The next step for us was to prepare for living in our new tiny house. This meant we had to scale back a lot of stuff. We sold our 2700 square foot house and moved into an 800 square foot apartment. That intermediate step helped with the transition
  • Pay off debt. I knew my next step was to pay off my debt. I didn't have very much compared to others, but I wanted to be free of any debt when I quit my job. Selling the big house was a huge help in this regard. It didn't take long to pay everything off. 
  • Start freelancing. Before I quit my job, I needed to start building a portfolio of writing work so I could get more clients. I pitched myself to a few places I thought might be interested. I landed my first client who, to this day, is still my biggest. I took the age-old advice to "write what you know." I took my 15 years of recruiting experience and turned it into my first professional writing job. 
  • Quit. Then, I quit. Once the house was built and I was making some money freelancing it was time to jump without a net. I put in my notice and six weeks later I was independent. This step also involved some things like buying health insurance and learning about taxes. 
  • Make connections. I quickly learned that making connections was probably the most important thing I could be doing in my new life. Some of these are personal and some are professional. Connections help keep me engaged in my new self-employed lifestyle and that is important for me. 
Your deliberate living plan of action should be significantly different than mine. Look at your goals, your ideals, and your dreams. What can you do today to start down this path of living more deliberately?

3 comments:

  1. This is right on the money in so many ways! I had a similar journey and realized that there was many times that I was the only one standing in my own way.

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  2. What a great message!! My name is Whitney, I am completing a Certificate at Yestermomrrow Design Build school in Warren, VT. For my project I am researching the availability of homeowners insurance for tiny homes. If you own a tiny home please take a few moments to fill out this survey. Thanks for your time! https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DXXW3X3

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  3. I love this post. We had talked for years about moving to NC from NY. We had decided on NC since we owned a vacation rental in the Outer Banks and liked the way the state was run, but wanted to be out of the hurricane zone and love mountains. We spent some time in Asheville and it confirmed our research as a great place to be. We nought land 2 years ago but are stalled on selling the rental property, our only debt being that mortgage. We are also at odds over house plans. I want small off grid, my husband wants 2000 sqft and on grid, though he is fine with well and septic as we have lived in the country for 20 years. We have both seen our fathers fall ill and die relatively young,my father at 48 his diagnosed with brain cancer age 50, his mother also died of cancer so we don't want to put off retirement, you never know how long you have. We have started a driveway rough in and well drilling. Now we need to work out the house and hope the OBX house sells.

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