Monthly Archives: August 2013

Staying Above the Fray

If you’re like us, you are trying to limit the rat race. We can’t leave it yet because of kids and in the meantime we are doing our best not to get run over. So how do we make it over to the slow lane and do our best to enjoy the scenery until we find an appropriate exit?

We are doing what we can but some days it doesn’t seem like enough. We are clearing out our house, limiting activities and making our plans for when we leave. We are saving some money so we don’t have the stress of worrying we will run across some expense we can’t afford.

How are you trying to limit the stress of the rat race?

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Defining the Rat Race

Are you so busy and wonder where all the time in the day went, but don’t feel you got much done?  Or doing a lot of things that just don’t help you enjoy life?  How about working for a lot of money and never seem to have any left over?  Welcome to the Rat Race.

It’s not always the same thing for people but the common denominator is stress.  We spend a lot of time on activities that need to be done but only offer stress in return.  Working in the yard is enjoyable for some people, but others absolutely hate it.  Working at a full time job is comforting to some but disgusting to entrepreneurs.  So the Rat Race is different for each person.

How do you retire from the Rat Race?  In a word, simplify.  It may take some extra work at first but once you have some breathing room you can start to relax.  Here are some tips:

  • Identify what is stressful for you – or that you just don’t like — and why.  This is a chance to learn more about yourself and why you feel the way you do.  Be ruthless.
  • Research.  Read blogs, books and magazines.  Look up things on YouTube.  Look for solutions.  Chances are you’re not the only one who feels like this.
  • Discuss with your spouse and make a plan.
  • Don’t be afraid to cut back on activities or subscriptions.  Maybe you started something that you don’t really enjoy now.
  • Don’t forget to include time in your plan for your marriage and yourself.  Spend some quality time with your spouse and spend a little time on something that just relaxes you.
  • Organize your time.  Start an online calendar for the family, bill payments, school schedules, etc.
  • Check your habits.  Work on breaking out of bad ones or those you no longer need, and work on adding new ones.
  • Using the plan you came up with earlier and your new priorities, create a plan for spending your money for the next year.  It’s not a budget; it’s a strategy.  It’s going to get you to your goals.
  • Clear out your house and your garage. You’re probably holding onto things that you’ll never use again.  The garage sale money will help you towards your financial goals and the extra space will help relieve some stress.  It’s magical.

We do so many things that cause us stress, and don’t even realize it.  While drifting along in life, we don’t even stop to think that there may be better ways.  We don’t stop to think that what everyone else is doing is just plain stupid.