Last Updated on September 23, 2020 by Ellen Christian
Several years ago, when I left my full time government job, Marty and I had the goal of being more self sufficient and relying on others less for what we needed. We started thinking about where our money was going and how many things we could make or grow instead of buy. That time in my life was a huge learning process. We discovered a lot of things that would not work for us and through trial and error found things that would. I also learned what I do and don’t enjoy doing and what I’m capable of doing without hurting myself.
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Clarifying Your Goals to Find Focus
The first thing I did was figure out our goals. Clarifying your goals helps ensure that you are working for what you really want. In our case, it was self sufficiency and not having to leave home to go to work each day. The next important step in clarifying your goals is to determine what steps you CAN take to get there and what steps you WANT to take to get there.
To not work outside the home, you either need to work at home or you need to spend less money. I explored a lot of different work at home jobs. I had a crafts website and did craft fairs for about a year. I did resume typing and clerical support at home. I ran a pet sitting business (and still do). We put a table with fresh fruits and vegetables near the road to sell and started raising ducks and chickens to sell extra eggs. I tried eBay, surveys and a variety of other ways to make money at home.
During this process I discovered a lot about myself. I discovered I don’t do well with repetition when I got an order for 40 sets of coasters one day. I discovered that I hated being a secretary from home just as much as I hated being a secretary in an office. I learned that I absolutely LOVE animals – all sorts of animals. I realized that as much as I love taking care of my little garden, I have no desire (and no stamina) to take care of several huge gardens to provide extra produce for us to sell. I began a blog to start writing about the different things we were trying.
Only part of being self sufficient is earning more money. I started exploring ways to save money as well. I became an avid couponer and freebie hunter. I learned the best stores to find the brand names that I wanted. I learned that we really only need one car. I learned how to change a faucet on the sink, change the windshield wiper blades on my car and install a new light switch.
My money saving experiments taught me quite a bit as well. I learned that no one needs 52 tubes of toothpaste and that they will expire before you or your friends and family can ever use them. I learned that 57 sample size bottles of products use up a lot more resources and energy than one larger bottle does. I learned that I’m not willing to sacrifice the name brands and quality of certain things and that I’d rather do without than buy something less expensive. Best of all, I discovered that I am a pretty darn competent woman and that there is no reason that I can’t do DIY projects around the house.
Clarifying your goals will help you understand what’s important to you and what’s enjoyable to you. Then you will be able to choose the best way to accomplish your goals. Marty and I decided that a combination of earning at home and spending less would bring us to our goals. I’m very blessed that my blogging has moved us closer to our goals. With each new skill that I learn, there is one less thing that I need to spend money on. Even the small new skills I learn like making yogurt and kefir or pruning our fruit trees helps with our progress.
Take time to clarify your goals so that they are easier to reach. Your goals should be tailored to your life and your interests much the way UNITY digital lenses tailor your prescription not only to your eyes’ corrective needs but also to your frame and how your glasses fit your face. UNITY has an array of lens and coating options for your lifestyle.
What are your goals and how are you working towards them?
Ellen is a busy mom of a 24-year-old son and 29-year-old daughter. She owns six blogs and is addicted to social media. She believes that it doesn’t have to be difficult to lead a healthy life. She shares simple healthy living tips to show busy women how to lead fulfilling lives. If you’d like to work together, email firstname.lastname@example.org to chat.
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