Get Clear on Your Objectives
Yesterday, we discussed what F.I.R.E is, and today, it’s time to focus on you and your journey. Why did you decide to take this course? Getting clear on why you’re working toward early retirement is key to sticking with the how to of early retirement because if the application were easy, we’d all be working toward it. Every one of my courses starts with why because it’s the foundation for change. Here are common reasons to pursue early retirement.
Being able to wake up each day at any time you want can be reason enough. Many of us find our alarm clock painful because we’re getting up before we’ve had enough sleep or during a sleep cycle instead of waking up naturally. If this isn’t you, perhaps you have loved ones who you want to spend more time with, but you’re working hard at your job and feel too exhausted at the end of the day to do anything besides the essentials, like cook dinner and go to sleep. Being F.I.R.E. frees up your time.
When we’re rushing from one thing to the next at our high-pressure job, our health can deteriorate slowly over time. We also may be stressed about the costs of living and feel trapped by our high-pressure but well-paying jobs. When we’re F.I.R.E., we can spend more time getting enough sleep, exercising, eating well, and socializing. Striking a balance between these four activities can have a big impact on our physical and mental well-being, as that isn’t always easy to achieve when you have to work full time. When you’re F.I.R.E., you get to choose health over the high-paying job. Instead of just slotting in moments of healthy behavior, you can spend a whole day on your mental and physical well-being without worrying about money.
There’s a reason digital nomads have started popping up across the globe. Being location-specific for a job can limit your ability to explore other cultures, languages, and ways of living. There’s a freedom that comes with being able to travel, but it’s often hindered by limits on paid time off, which also has to be approved by our boss. Without those constraints, you have the ability to travel more spontaneously and more slowly, soaking up the culture at your pace and avoiding the stress of cramming in too much. You have the freedom to live more like a local instead of a busy tourist.
The Most Compelling Reason
What’s the theme that unites all these reasons? Autonomy. We exchange our time and energy for money, so when money is no longer a factor, the options for how we spend our time and energy are endless.
You’ve learned the reasons that others have pursued F.I.R.E., so now it’s your turn to articulate why you’re pursuing it. Knowing why you’re doing something makes it easier to stick with lifestyle changes in the long term. Showing you how to retire early is only part of the equation; you should know why you’re retiring early before starting F.I.R.E.
Tomorrow, we’ll explore the impact of mindset on your journey. It can be hard to envision a lifestyle different from the one you have today, which is why learning to expand your mind and challenging the status quo can help.
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