I think it is natural on any journey to have very positive phases, followed by the not so positive phases in order to grow and reach your goals. If things are too easy, then the danger of complacency settling is in high; if there is no challenge in the end goal then there is nothing to motivate you along the way.
But, what happens if you become disillusioned by the journey?
I have written extensively about our early retirement goals, the number required, the Ultimate Dream Fund updates and how I organise our finances to ensure that I know exactly where our money is going. But, in all honesty, I am having a bit of a wobble at the moment about our journey. It is so hard to stay positive about it all when doubt sets in, that you begin to doubt whether it’s possible. Sure, other people have managed, but can we? I have become a bit disillusioned with our efforts, as I feel constantly that they’re not good enough.
I get these ups and downs quite regularly when it comes to our finances; on some occasions I look at where we stand and think “Okay, so it’s not ideal but we’re doing okay. More than okay!” and then other times I think “Urgh, we’ve got so far to go. We’re so far behind our goals. Can we even do this?” and I think that’s natural to do so. There are always people out there who are doing better than us, who earn more than us, who save more than us.
So, as I need to stay motivated for the long haul, I remind myself of these things when I’m disillusioned by the journey.
Why we’re doing this.
It sounds simple, but when I’m feeling down about how far we’ve still got to go, I remind myself of why we’re doing this in the first place. The driving force behind our early retirement dream is so that we can spend time with those we love, our families. Nothing is more important to us.
What it means.
Early retirement means that all of our time is ours. We are free to do what we want, when we please. There are many places we want to travel to, to visit and explore. I would like to do some volunteering, perhaps with the Dogs Trust. I want to have more time to learn how to do things, including gardening and growing our own veg. There is a price on freedom, so it seems.
We made a commitment.
It sounds daft, but we made a commitment to this journey. We made a commitment to the end result, and the journey to get there. Most people struggle to continue along the same path for a long time, never mind the next twenty years. It’s almost like I have something to prove, to say that we did it!
We want a more simple life.
In order to save so much for our early retirement, it means that we don’t buy as much stuff as other people perhaps do. We don’t go shopping on a weekend nor do we buy a lot of things. We are happy to buy second hand when we do, plus we shop in the sales often. But, by not chasing material possessions and the latest trends, it means our life is more simple. We get joy out of the little things, like homemade cake and a cup of tea. Hearing our boy laugh when he’s having fun playing. Seeing him explore the world around him and be fascinated with things (his current favourite is a cardboard box!) that are new and exciting.
There are so many positives to the journey we are on, but because it is such a long journey, it is easy to become disillusioned along the way. When the going gets tough, I need to remind myself of these things to get me through.
What do you find tough? What are your tips on getting through the tough times?
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