Many people who choose the F.I.R.E. (Financial Independence Retire Early) way of life, have a rude awakening once they reach financial independence and quit their jobs: All of your problems don’t magically disappear and it turns out your job and money weren’t what was holding you back.
(This blog post was inspired by the Madfientist, who I think I discovered in 2018 or 2019. His Podcast majorly helped me get my husband and I’s finances on track, and on track to F.I.R.E.)
If you now have the time and the money to pursue all of your goals and dreams, what could possibly be holding you back then? The answer: Self-doubt. You’re scared you won’t succeed or already believe you won’t. The thing is, with enough practice, anyone can do anything, in my opinion. You just need to be dedicated and disciplined. Allow yourself to make mistakes and time.
Another issue that may come up is: what you thought you wanted to do with your time, you actually don’t, now you’re left feeling lost and empty. OR whatever task/hobby/passion you thought would be enough to get you out of bed in the morning, actually isn’t.
An entirely different outcome can also be: You feel content with your life and like you’ve accomplished everything you wanted to, which leaves you feeling bored & needing to want something again. This then causes you to make problems out of thin air, often in your relationships, especially with your partner. Think about it, you have all of your wishes granted, there is nothing left to strive for or work towards, it then becomes difficult to stay motivated enough to keep living your life. You NEED problems to solve and goals to work towards.
Just being aware of these potential problems is immensely helpful, so you can notice if these start happening in your life.
So, how can we avoid all of these not so great outcomes I listed, post-F.I.R.E.?
PLAN and brainstorm.
Write a huge list of potential goals, hobbies, or passions that lie entirely outside of money and your job. Things that you as an individual can work towards when money no longer adds to your happiness. I’ve already somewhat experienced this for myself. I remember when we hit $100,000 net worth feeling really proud and excited for a couple minutes, then I felt exactly the same forever after, so far. Same with when I lost my job, I felt a sense of freedom and excitement for a few minutes, but now I feel pretty much the same as I did before, even though I no longer have a boss telling me what to do. Luckily, I had built up my blog already, so I could really throw myself at it. Even so, my business only takes up about 20 hours a week. Then I clean for roughly 30 min a day, which we are now at a total of only 23.5 hours a week. Then I sleep for 56 hours, which leaves 88.5 hours a week that I am awake and have free time. As a result, I have been bored quite a bit recently. I do want to say though, being bored isn’t always bad, boredom often leads to creativity and connection! Ever since I cut out social media now, I have had SO many different blog post ideas come to me, a lot easier than before. It’s also not as bad in the warmer months, but it being the middle of Winter in Minnesota, during Covid, isn’t great. In the Summer I can go biking, walking, hiking, canoeing, spend time in my yard, garden, sit on my back patio and read, etc. There are just so many more options. This is a big reason why I have decided to go back to school, I just have so much time and energy that is being wasted right now, which I don’t like.
My list of ideas of what I can work on now in my free time and when I am post-F.I.R.E.:
- Pick a martial art and try to become a black belt.
- Go to a weekly, or more than weekly, yoga class.
- Do home & landscape improvement projects.
- Grow the garden.
- Write more workbooks and/or book(s).
- Keep writing and growing the blog.
- Start up the podcast again with Eric.
- Go for a daily walk as long as it is above freezing.
- Go back to school.
- Have a baby/focus on raising a child.
- Annual or monthly reading goals.
- Travel to all the places I want to.
- Prioritize being by friends and family.
- Keep decluttering our house.
- Try to reach the top level of a video game I love. Most likely playing with a friend.
- Meditate every day.
- Volunteer! and donate money regularly.
- In the non-super cold months, go hiking, canoeing, & biking.
- Get back into skiing again. I used to love skiing in middle school -downhill.
- Plan to go to concerts through out the year.
- Go to museums.
- Practice an instrument or instruments. I could even pay for lessons, including singing lessons.
- Learn a new language (or multiple).
Some of these things are for when money is no longer tight. Also, I may discover some of these ideas are not for me, and that’s okay! Trial and error. Hopefully my list helped you get the idea. Notice how they’re not about buying things? They’re mainly about what I can do to challenge myself to learn and grow as a person. Your list may look entirely different from mine, but make sure your goals are meaningful. The goal is to feel motivated, content, and like you’re learning & growing, so you can avoid feeling lost, unmotivated, and a subconscious need to create unnecessary problems.
Like always, thank you for reading and I hope this helped you!
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