Life seems so much more complicated these days — more stuff, more responsibilities, more expenses, more things to worry about. Are you longing to break free from all the craziness, to live a simpler kind of life? As a Simplicity Coach, I can guide you to a more fulfilling place in the world — one where you are free from all the excess baggage, no longer trapped by your job or debt or the expectations of others. Sound good? Well come on in and check it out…
What Does It Take To Be A Full-Timer?
In many ways, our society programs us to seek out a complicated life. We’re taught to trade free time for a big-screen TV, fresh air for a 6-figure salary, and peace of mind for a McMansion. What we think will make us “successful” only ties us down — to an 80-hour work-week, a huge mortgage, and a credit card bill we can never pay off. We’re not happy, but we just don’t know any other way of doing things. We’re caught on an insane treadmill of achieving and acquiring, consuming and complaining — all the while denying our own true needs in favor of somebody else’s dream. But no one is going to turn off that treadmill for you. You have to be the one to say, “Stop! I’ve had enough!”
Simplicity comes from the inside — the only way to truly “simplify” is to make a change in your state of mind, the set of values you live by, and the choices you make on a daily basis. It’s about choosing your own path in life, regardless of what your family or friends or co-workers think you “should” be doing. You have to be willing to leave behind the habits, beliefs, and behaviors that allowed you to become trapped in the first place. Most importantly, you’ve got to start thinking for yourself — deciding what you want your life to look like, and sticking to your guns when the crowd pressures you to follow them. This is something I know a lot about — I drove right off the beaten path when I became a full-time RVer, and I wouldn’t go back to the “traditional” way of living for anything (please read about my own personal path to simplicity and definition of success if you would like a better idea of where I am coming from in my own life.)
Hitting The Road
There is no one set “formula” for achieving simplicity. It’s a very personal process, and the path is different for each individual. What simplifies your life may not be the same thing that simplifies mine — but what matters most is that YOU are happy with the results (after all, not everyone wants to go live in a hut in the woods like Thoreau!) What areas of your life need a bit of an overhaul? Not happy with your work? Does maintaining your living environment take too much time and effort? Are you in debt, worried that you will never achieve financial freedom? Do you wish you could teach your children that happiness doesn’t come from the mall? Would you like to have the breathing space to just sit back and relax every once in a while? I can help!
Throughout the years of working with clients (and along my own personal path to simplicity) I have discovered one universal fact about trying to simplify your life — it has to be a holistic process. Change in one area of your life are going to encourage shifts in other areas, and you have to be prepared to see the process all the way through. That’s why I help my clients work on simplifying every important area of their lives. It doesn’t matter the magnitude of change — whether you want to reduce your monthly expenses or seriously downsize your living environment, to make mealtimes a bit easier or embark on a whole new career. Any goal is “doable,” as long as you are willing to commit to the life changes necessary for achieving it. And I’ll be there with you the whole way — helping you create a life without debt or worry, where you no longer feel trapped by your job or circumstances, where you have the space and time and energy for all of your pursuits. So ask yourself where you want to start:
what kind of RV (here we create a core definition of simplicity that is specific to your goals, lifestyle, and personal preferences — we discuss some of the basic principles behind simplifying any area of your life, and start to turn these into a value system that will help you make positive choices as we move forward)
choosing a state of domicile (children’s behavior is usually a reflection of the value they are taught by parents and the larger society — it may seem like a challenge to teach your kids simplicity in this complicated world, but it can be done — we start first by looking at the behaviors you are modeling for your family, and how a shift in those can make a huge difference in the household dynamic — we will also look at what your kids are being taught by society, and how to help them think for themselves rather than becoming good little consumer sheep — we will also look at ways you can build in more time for simple activities with your kids and create a simple daily routine that will reduce their stress)
employment on the road (we will look at your living environment and discover exactly what seems “complicated” about it to you — we will explore changes that could be made to simplify maintenance and cleaning, to reduce your clutter and better organize your spaces, and even possibly change your living arrangement altogether in a way that makes life easier for you — this might include a discussion of downsizing, a change of neighborhood, moving closer to work or school or other activities, etc.)
traveling finances (how we eat is a big part of how simple or complicated our lives are, and the fast-food prepackaged lifestyle is not only complicated but a big drain on your personal energy level — we will not only look at mealtime from a nutritional standpoint, but also examine the preparation process and ways to make that faster and more enjoyable — the goal is to help you reconnect with a healthier way of living, return to a more natural and less processed way of eating, without adding to your workload)
legal and insurance issues (too much of our time and energy is spent dealing with paper and information, and this is one of the major complicating factors in most people’s lives — but again, the solution isn’t a better filing system, it’s a better information filter — we will look at the myriad of paper that comes into your life and what purpose it really serves — we will examine the pressure you feel when confronted with so much information you “should” be reading, and discover ways to let it all go without guilt — I will help you to eliminate the paper that overwhelms you before it ever sets foot on your desk)
cleaning out (overspending, unconscious consumerism, and debt do nothing but complicate life — we will look at your attitudes toward money and consumer goods, identifying self-destructive habits that keep you trapped in a cycle of lack — I will offer some alternative behaviors that can help you when you enter a financial “danger zone” — we will also develop a personalized definition of “financial freedom” that resonates with your lifestyle, and develop a workable plan to help you achieve that goal)
setting up your new home (not having enough time is a big issue these days — but the answer isn’t a better time management system, it’s a better way of determining your priorities and saying “no” to everything else — we will look at those “time wasters” that eat up your day, the dreams and goals you never seem to get to, and your typical daily routine — we will reconcile all of your responsibilities and “want tos” together into a more satisfying, less rushed, and more reasonable schedule)
selling your house (if you asked most people what stresses them out the most, their job would be near the top of the list — we’ve fallen into an entirely false belief that we have to tolerate long hours, stressful deadlines, rude customers, demanding bosses, incompetent co-workers, and tasks we hate just to be able to pay the bills — not true! — we will examine those aspects of your work that you love and loathe, look for ways to increase the former and decrease the latter, and talk about drawing healthy boundaries around your work life — we may also look at more radical solutions for improving your work day, such as a change of employers, a change of careers, self-employment, etc.)
the mechanics of travel (since 9/11, people travel a lot less, partly because it has become a lot more difficult — dealing with airport security, delays, traffic, lost luggage, etc. — but travel doesn’t have to be that way, and you’re cheating yourself out of some amazing experiences if you avoid travel because you think it’s a hassle — travel also doesn’t have to be as expensive as you might think, if you go with the right priorities and mindset — we’ll talk about what kind of travel you would like to do, what has been holding you back, and what very practical steps can be taken to get you on the road)
traveling with pets (you may not be able to control the way people behave, but you can control your reactions to them — if your life has become complicated by toxic people, it’s okay to get rid of them, and I will show you how — we will also talk about any “boundary” issues you have with friends and family members, things that you are tolerating and shouldn’t be, and ways to create more “me” time for yourself — we will also look at steps you can take to simplify all of your relationships and make them more satisfying)
travel planning (many times, we are our own worst enemy, creating complications and frustrations where there really aren’t any — we will take a look at that little voice inside your head, the one that talks about what you “should” do and the ways you’re not good enough and all your other insecurities — I will offer some suggestions for shutting him up and replacing those thoughts with positive ones — we will also take a look at changing some of the core beliefs that bring this voice up, ones related to achievement and success and how you judge your life within the larger society)
life on the road (the holidays do not have to be so stressful, you just have to decide what kind of a celebration you want and be willing to ignore the rest of the commercialism and hectic plans — we will take a look at the holiday traditions you enjoy, the ones you can’t stand, and how to balance the two out — we will create a list of “wants” and “won’ts” for this next holiday, find ways to make the chores a bit easier, and help you reconnect with the real meaning of the season in whatever way that makes sense to you)
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Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and RamonaCreel.com.
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