You can’t get the first without the second, of course, and we’ve seen it come full circle time and time again in our lives.
like creating a schedule that allows plenty of time for socializing despite our work projects.
like the ability to commit to a 509-km trek in Turkey due to the fitness we’ve gained from daily exercise.
like the decision to travel the world together since 2010.
But I don’t think we’d get the biggies without the practice and space the little ones make.
So today we’re giving you 10 easy ways to add more freedom to your life.
Because no matter what your big theme is, you’ll need a certain degree of freedom to get there.
1. Live a cash-only life
Oh sure, make it a debit card if you like, but stop with the spending on credit if you’re not paying it off every month. When you purchase something you cannot pay for, you are obligating yourself to future work to pay for it.
2. Move your body every day
It’s like a bad relationship. You take your body for granted long enough, and it’s going to revolt. You don’t want to see that first inkling of your dream and then not have enough energy or strength to enjoy it. Take the stairs, walk for 30 minutes after dinner, or take a class.
You don’t have to be gym rat, but you do have to work your heart and body if you want them to continue to work for you.
3. Get rid of the stuff you don’t need
If you’re surrounded by items you don’t use, going to events you don’t like, and maintaining relationships you’ve outgrown, you’ll never have the space in your life for the items that you will use, the events that fire you up, and relationships that feed your soul. Hanging on to what you’ve outgrown is like having a growth spurt and continuing to wear the same clothes just because you always have. Life changes, and so do your needs. Get rid of the crap that doesn’t fit anymore.
(And if you’re worried that you might need it someday, try sharing. It’s the ultimate freedom.)
4. Limit your time with toxic people
You are like the 5 people you spend the most time with. Does that make you feel good or bad? Well, only you can do something about it. You don’t have to talk to the office gossip except to get your work done. You don’t have to attend events with people you don’t like. When you choose to spend your time with toxic people, you will never meet great people. And you run the very real risk of turning into a toxic person yourself (and there is no freedom down that road).
5. Get over yourself
To enjoy freedom, you have to manage the voices in your head, the ones that invite obsessive critique and worry over every little thing. Those voices have you so focused on yourself and what could go wrong that you never get a chance to do anything right. No one else is thinking about you as much as you think they are. And even if you have an epic fall from grace in the most public of ways, we live in a 24-hour news cycle and you won’t be infamous for long. Get over yourself, and you’ll get over your limitations. And that’s where you’ll find your freedom.
6. Stay in touch
You know what freedom feels like? Hanging out with people you like. Having fun and making memories with really great people. That can’t happen if you don’t stay in touch or make time to see them. If it takes 3 months to set up a date with friends you like because of a calendar packed full of things you don’t like nearly so much, you are not on the verge of freedom. If you don’t have time to support your friends’ projects or be there when they need you, you are very far from free. And probably a little lonely, too.
7. Say what you want (and do something about it)
The secret to happiness, without a doubt, is asking for it. If you don’t feel free enough to say what you want, when you want it, and how you would like to have it, then you are going to have a much harder time making it come true. If you are waiting for someone else to make it happen, read your mind, or give you permission, you are denying yourself the freedom that comes from simply opening your mouth. If you never hear no in your life, you just aren’t asking for enough.
8. Stop managing everyone else
Is everyone else depending on you? Probably not, but it’s easy to fool yourself into thinking that’s true. People who are free expect those around them to exercise freedom as well. They don’t nag, guilt-trip, or boss people around. Their unsolicited advice remains in their heads because they have other things to do and imagine that you do, too. Stop feeding your ego and start feeding your freedom.
9. Share your talents
Want to feel free, immensely grateful for your life experience, and do the world a solid? Give some of your talents back. Mentor someone a few rungs down the ladder from you at work. Share your experience with a friend or acquaintance going through something tough you’ve already finished, like childbirth, divorce, bankruptcy, the flu, or a home renovation project. You don’t have to tell them what to do (see #8), but just letting them know you have experience and can answer questions will help. And when you make life better for other people, you make the whole world just a little bit more free. Call it selfish selflessness if you want, but it works.
10. Try something new every week
New is exhilarating, whether it’s a different haircut, taking the scenic route home from work, or cooking a new recipe. Maybe it’s inviting a new acquaintance out for coffee or lunch, or reading a book about a subject you know nothing about (or think you disagree with entirely). New is a workout for your brain, your heart, and your soul. New experiences are the waters in the fountain of youth, and you’ll feel the exhilaration of freedom every time you take a dip. So do it…frequently.
So there you have it, 10 ways to add more freedom into your life TODAY. You don’t need a new job, a passport, or a winning lottery ticket. All you have to do is decide you want more freedom in your life and then take the action to make it happen.
Hey! Have you checked out the podcast yet? Every Tuesday is an episode of life-changing goodness in 20 minutes or less (well, except that one time…and that’s when we talked about Justin Beiber and quitting your job with Pam Slim, so it’s okay). Click here to listen or subscribe.