My journey to living a lifestyle of freedom has been a long one, and I have learned many lessons along the way. I want to share one of the lessons that helped me early on in my journey.

I had to break up with “The Joneses.” They are amazing people, but I decided to no longer be stuck in a life of competition and always feeling like what we had was inadequate.

 It is so easy to feel like a total failure.

Go to Pinterest, Instagram or Fakebook, sorry Facebook, and scroll through all the photos of perfect lives.

We start to the comparison game . . . “Didn’t they just get back from one vacation? Must be nice.” Or, “Wow they look so happy; I wish I always looked like that.” Then the self-pity really spirals out of control.

Here’s what you can do.

Break up with the Joneses.
Who cares what other people have? And, truth be told, we are only seeing the best of everyone. What you failed to see before that perfect happy picture was the child who refused to smile and the mother wanting to pull out her hair. All you saw was the perfect end shot.

Then, be happy for the Joneses.
Instead of comparing and thinking about what you don’t have, start saying how awesome it is that they got to go on that vacation. Really feel happy for them.

You will be amazed how this will start to change your life.

Be grateful for where you are in life.
Get real with yourself. What will it take for you to start feeling like life is amazing?

Make a list.
Here’s the key: if you have super big dreams that are not something you can achieve in the next year, put all those big dreams on another list.

This list is for small things you can do now that will start allowing you to feel good on a daily basis.

Take action.
Maybe you have a friend who built a brand new amazing house and although you would love that, it’s not in the cards right now. What can you do at home right now to make your house feel a little nicer?

Give a room a fresh paint job; do a DIY room makeover. If you have the budget then do more, and if you don’t then get creative.

Doesn’t that seem like a better idea than making yourself feel like you don’t measure up or taking on a bigger mortgage just to get a bigger house like Mrs. Jones?

Trust me, it’s a work in progress and there are still times when some of those thoughts creep back into my head, but I am getting much quicker at squashing them.

I have made a choice to live life on my own terms and decided a while ago I did not want to be a prisoner to money. I will be the first to admit I use to have a dysfunctional relationship with money. Now we are on pretty great terms.

How I fixed my money relationship is another story, which I will share in the future.

Start doing little things to make you feel good and soon you will realize that material things don’t bring happiness.
My husband and I could go get a $500,000 mortgage to purchase a massive house. Instead, we choose freedom over high mortgage payments. We choose to live life on our terms and if one day we have enough cash in the bank and want to build a house, cool, and if not, I already love my house and my life.

When we purchased this house, it was like the 70s threw up all over it. It was bad! Red velvet carpet, pink and purple tile bathrooms and green floors in the kitchen!!! But it was an amazing price and I knew it had potential.

How we got to this house from our 7,000-square-foot home is also another amazing story that I promise to share soon.

We have renovated this house from top to bottom and there are still some things I would love to do. The bottom line is, I wake up every morning, come down stairs, and smile with a heart full of gratitude.

As we saved for one renovation at a time, I would walk into my ugly kitchen, close my eyes, and see my dream kitchen. I could see it so clearly that my whole face would light up!

Eventually, I got it. And that happened room-by-room for me in this house. I checked the items off my list one-by-one until my relationship with the Joneses was no longer relevant.

What is it for you? What’s on your list?

Close your eyes, turn on some great tunes, and get to work!
If you are brave enough, share some of the things on your list in the comments below.

I will leave you with this. Since a picture is worth 1,000 words, here are before and after pictures of my kitchen.

My husband gets the credit for the remodel. (I know I am blessed to have a husband with mad reno skills.)

Credit to me for keeping this reno under $13K.

Side note: The person standing outside the old kitchen is my mother-in-law. 

Kitchen Before

 

Kitchen After

 

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