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Grabbing The Guts To Jump

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When do you know it is the right time for change?

When can you turn a dream change into an action?

How much do you need to plan?  Rethink? Save?

Now, simple living can start anytime and can be a quick or slow process.  But what about big changes, like moving, changing jobs, starting a new business?

Many people simplify their lives so they can make other big changes like these in their life… but when is the right time to take that jump?

The short answer is there is never going to be a right time.  Being comfortable with change, in my experience at least, happens during and after the change and not before it.  Real change is scary.

But, just saying there is never a right time and to ‘just jump’ is probably not great advice either.  Here are 4 tangible ways to determine if you are ready.  If all these areas are ready, and you still haven’t jumped, than you just need to find the guts and go :)

Money

How will this change affect your money?  Usually change we talk about involves less money (quitting a job), or less reliable money (starting a business or moving to a new area).  With these changes, especially if you have kids, then you need to make sure your money is ready.

#1 get out of debt.  The world feels wide open if you aren’t sitting under debt.  The amount you need to make to shelter and feed your family the basics is much lower if you don’t have debt payments to make each month.  Not being in debt is what is allowing us to work overseas.  We don’t make much over here, but since we don’t have to make payments on loans back in the US it is more than enough to live comfortably.

More than just being out of debt you need a savings cushion.  Dave Ramsey sticks in my head on this one with his 3 months living expenses if you have a ‘traditional job’ or 6 months if you are self-employed or want a bit more cushion.

Is money key to making your change possible?  If not, don’t let it stop you.  If it is and you have it covered – then get going!

Time

Do you have the time for the change you are looking at?  Starting a business, going back to school, transitioning and learning a new job.   All these are awesome projects for an intentional life but they all take time as well as money.

What would the change require from your time each week?  5 hours?  20 hours?  more?  Where will this time come from? How will it affect your current schedule and responsibilities?

Got the time figured out?  ‘I need 20 hours a week to work on my new business idea.  I can work 10 hours on the weekend and 2 hours each evening instead of watching TV‘  — you are ready to go!

Family

What does your spouse think?  How will the kids be affected?  Is this a change that will affect the family?

If you have family support, or if they are okay with you trying something new — you are good to go!

Head

Is this a fun idea in your head or do you really believe it is the right choice for you?  This isn’t the same as not being scared or feeling comfortable/confident with the idea, those feelings may never come.  This is talking about the deeper idea.  Do you want the change?  Do you know why?

What’s the worst case scenario?

What is the worst thing that could happen if you make this change?  You deplete your savings?  You have to find another job?  Typically the ‘worst case’ is not anything life threatening.  5 years from now how much difference is it going to make if the change doesn’t work out the way you want it to?  … mostly likely, the chance of a negative consequence affecting you more than a year or two is really low.

Make sure you won’t go bankrupt, or upset your spouse, and most changes don’t have much ‘worst case’ to worry about.

Little Changes

In this post I am talking about big changes, moving houses (location or size), changing jobs, starting a business.  These are huge things that do take some thought.

However, if you are looking at little changes, like exercise, other lifestyle changes, or simplifying and are waiting for the right time — the time is now :).  Many people put things off like this because they are afraid of failure.  The idea that if they start they need to stick to it for life.  … but life isn’t like that for most of us.  Trying and failing in these areas accomplishes more than putting them off.  For example, I would rather start a jogging program every week and fail after the first day, than not start at all… I would be 4 days a month ahead each month.

What can you do today to work toward the change?

What can you do tomorrow?

What can you do the next day?

… and have you made all these areas ready and are still hesitant because of fear?

Fear is powerful, but it doesn’t have the right, or the power, to decide how you will live your life.

Thanks for reading. Good luck! 

7 Comments

  1. This post is one of my favorites! Thanks so much for addressing things that effect real life! So often I feel like I read about the results of minimalists in their lives, but they don’t discuss things like money or family on their journey to get where they are. I feel like money is the biggest factor in dictating the schedule to our minimalist/simple lifestyle.

    I have also found that there are dreams I have had that actually started to come to fruition, only for me to realize the dream in my head and reality aren’t the same just as you mentioned.

    Thanks for discussing reality!

    MarieG lifesimplybalanced.com

  2. This post is very practical! It can save us from potential trouble. Too often “jump” without thinking about how it can our loved ones. In other cases, we may not ready, like having the funds necessary to sustain a move. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Krista

    Hi Lorilee! This is actually perfectly suited for my situation right now. I am in a secure job, but I plan on returning to school next Fall to complete my BSc. This is a hard decision because I worked so hard to get where I am now, and I’m going to let it all go and possibly not be able to find another job after I finish school. But I know that it is the right thing to do for me, because my job doesn’t feel right for me, and getting my BSc. will not only get me that much closer to what I want to be doing but it will also get a better idea of exactly what I would enjoy doing (not to mention it’s one of those things that I’ve been meaning to do for years, and just kept putting off). I can honestly say that the last 3 ways to determine of you’re ready are clearly telling me that yes, I am ready. But the first one (money), is always a scary thought for me. I finished paying off my debt, and I will have savings before Fall of next year, but school is so expensive, plus I may not be working at the same time to sustain myself. Long story short… I will ultimately be going back into debt in order to make this big change (but I have such a good feeling about it). Needless to say, I am conflicted. It feels so good to not have debt, but I am not happy doing what I am doing now. I guess what ‘m trying to say is, how does one move past the fear of not having enough money? Because to be completely honest, I won’t ever be able to “afford” going back to school… But I don’t want that to mean that I shouldn’t. Any thoughts? :)

    Thanks Lorilee!

    • ack, hard question. School is so expensive. It sounds like you are weighing your options and you know what kind of money is involved. Knowing what is involved and what it will take is super important. How long will it take you to pay it off? School loans are limiting but they are much easier to work with and much lower interest rates than credit card debt. Using debt for school loans or something else planned is not the same as being irresponsible with money. You’re on the right track :) Good luck!

      • Krista

        Thanks Lorilee! I have to admit I hate debt. But you’re right, debt from going back to school is different than being irresponsible with money. I never really looked at it that way. As terrifying as it feels to go for it, I do have a good feeling at the same time. It feels exciting and almost freeing in a way. I don’t really know what to expect from it, and it likely won’t turn out the way I see it in my mind, but I will figure it out.

  4. My husband made the jump from a salary job to client work before we paid of our debt. Huge mistake! We went through years of what we call “scorched earth.” We finally started hustling last Fall and paid off a huge amount of debt in 8 months. Now my husband has a day job (working remotely) and we have learned our lesson. We know we can’t leave the dock unless we have built our boat with savings and a more reliable income stream. We also want to slow travel and I don’t even want to think about debt payments while on the road. Or worrying about paying for it later.

  5. What a wonderful post! I’ve jumped into a lot of changes lately, some chosen, some sort of forced upon me, but change can be so good. I recently finally made a jump into a career decision, and truly believe, despite some fears, it will be the best thing for my family and me. I love what you said about starting a jogging program every week. It is so true. There’s a saying I love that goes something like, “If you try, you may or may not succeed, but if you don’t try at all, you’ll fail every time.”

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