"I just want to be – I don't know – more me, I guess."
"What does that mean." I asked.
"I want more freedom in 2015."
2014 was a great year and a weird year for us. It was not only a wildly successful year but also a sobering one. A key takeaway for us is that we want to be even more aware of not taking things for granted. We want to remember that life is precious, and that it's each moment that matters.
So, with that mindset, we ended 2014 (and have started 2015) by getting into some solid conversations with loved ones – and, honestly, some people we barely know – about hopes and dreams for the year ahead.
During those conversations, "freedom" is a word that has come up again and again. It never surprises us, which is why we tackle that theme again and again here on NVR. It's at the very core of our lifestyle.
When we left corporate jobs we traded in the notion of "money rich" for the much more satisfying "freedom rich." It's about a lot more than that, though. It's about embracing a I-won't-settle mindset; it's about questioning the societally approved definitions of success and happiness.
Here are our top three tips for anyone yearning to make 2015 more freedom rich.
1) Distance yourself from people who disempower you.
It's probably the thing we hear more than any other: "I need new friends." "My family doesn't understand me." "My friends drag me down."
You can not take leaps forward in your own life if you are carrying the baggage of energy-zapping personal relationships. Get rid of friends that don't energize you, and minimize your time with toxic family members. Period.
2) Practice change.
If you've been reading this website, you know that, prior to going all NVR, we had quite conventional lives. Things were pretty set.
Only in retrospect – after starting to create an NVR life – did we realize just how significant of a role change played in our successful transition. Leaning into the unknown (something we also get into constantly around here) can open up doors you didn't know existed.
What does that mean if you're just getting started? Take a new route to work. Go to the gym at a different time. Join a club. Reach out to a neighbor. Start a conversation with a stranger at your local coffee shop.
Anything. Just do something to jostle your life. Good stuff will happen because of it.
We're into goals but also know that they can be off-putting to some people, particularly when embarking on a major life change. Committing to something is a solid step in the same direction.
Try this: On a notecard, write this sentence:
In 2015, I commit to ___________.
Then, check in with yourself one day a week, say Sunday. Are you making progress? What did you do in the last week to honor this commitment?
You'll be surprised by how empowering it can be to keep a contract you've made with yourself. In the end, the worst kind of betrayal is not that which is born of others. No, the worst betrayal is that which is born of ourselves. #3 goes a long way in ensuring that you hold sacred what you promise yourself.
Join us in making 2015 a year of progress. Set yourself up to look back in December with glee.