How do you create a new lifestyle when the old one doesn’t fit anymore?

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My life is changing. I embrace change. It’s cool.

My family, my location, my status… just about every part of my life seems to be in flux. This is a time when many people might bemoan uncertainty or question the Universe. For me, this is a time of opportunity.

My lifestyle no longer fits. Did it really ever fit? So it’s time to create a new one.

With change and uncertainty, there is the opportunity to discover new Truths. Even to create new Truths. I decide what will be True for me day by day, decision by decision.

Which means I have the opportunity to create a new lifestyle from the ground up. That got me thinking, “What exactly is lifestyle?

For me,

Lifestyle is matching my values and philosophies with the look, sound, smell, and tastes around me & those I love.

Lifestyle is making the choices that reflect what you value and why you value it. Click to tweet that!

If I value freedom, how can I make choices that support that? I could live with less stuff in an easier-to-maintain home. I could make my business less time intensive. I could read books that continually inspire me to seek freedom.

If I value family, how can I make choices that support that? I could form relationships that lead to “family” all over the world. I could create the most loving home life for my daughter that I possibly can. I could invest in the products, services, and solutions that will make my own family stronger.

And if I value iced lattes, well, I might choose to invest in a great coffee machine and expert barista training. No, seriously.

So what about the indie lifestyle?

We’re women (and dudes!) who connect to an “indie” lifestyle. We think, act, make, and buy independently. It’s easy to think that lifestyle is defined by a set of Brooklyn/Portland/Austin ideals, vintage store clothes, knee high boots, and handmade mugs. It’s not. The indie lifestyle is being created day by day, by you & I.

Indie lifestyle is about knowing that you alone are responsible for the choices you make about your values.
Indie lifestyle is about feeling confident that acting out of personal Truth will get you closer to the lifestyle you desire. It’s about not worrying about what others say you should do, think, or buy.

Today, I want to challenge you to truly create an independent look on lifestyle. Identify your “supposed tos” and look for desires that merely reflect cliches. Analyze where you are trying to recreate a magazine picture and discover your own unique Truth. Investigate whether your pursuits are triggered by your favorite blogs or whether they’re triggered by your internal motivations.

I’m taking on this challenge too. I have to. It’s time for me to create a lifestyle that works for me, my values, and my philosophies.

Does your notion of “lifestyle” match up with your internal desire, values, and philosophy? Tell me in the comments.

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Mark your calendars! I’m hosting a #scoutiegirl Twitter chat on Wednesday, January 18 at 12:30pm Eastern. Chat with me about lifestyle in the You-Centered Economy Let’s talk about the values & philosophies influencing your every day decisions.

18 thoughts on “How do you create a new lifestyle when the old one doesn’t fit anymore?

  1. Thank you so much for this thought provoking article, Tara. I never really thought about my life like this, but it makes complete sense to me. My lifestyle doesn’t match up with my desires. If I could figure out a way to live them then my dream would come true! I can’t wait to hear more about your journey :)

  2. I love this Tara!

    My whole life is in flux right now. When I realised living in a regular house didn’t fit in with who I was becoming as a creative entrepreneur, I sold that house to buy an amazing sustainable work-of-art kind of loft space.

    In the process I got rid of 1/2 of all of my things. It felt like most of these things were relics from past mes and who I am now has no need for them. It feels amazing to only have what truly reflects me and where I am now. It puts the past firmly in the past and gives me the space to live in integrity with who I am now.

    It lets me fill my life with freedom, spaciousness, innovation, creativity and luxury much more easily because these qualities actually surround me.

  3. I can’t keep up with you. Just this morning, I wrote down “You write your own script” which I was going to flesh out later today. Then, I read your lifestyle post. I’m just going to pretend you’re my (much younger) little sis.

  4. I would say, no my lifestyle does not match up with my internal desires, but it does address my values of safety and a good education for my kids. If I had it my way I would be a city dweller but I live in suburbatory. Last summer my husband was working in downtown Chicago and we had the opportunity to live in a high rise along side Millennium Park for about 10 days and I was in heaven. What an amazing experience and city but we were mostly on business expenses and could never afford to live in that ideal central location in the city looking down on the “bean”. But I loved listening to music and having deep dish pizza on the lawn in the amphitheater, taking the kids to the Art Institute for a free class, and walking absolutely everywhere!

  5. I’ll comment here because I don’t twitter. I guess I have been on this kind of journey since last July when I lost my full time job, and no, it wasn’t a career. It was devastating at the time but instead of rushing right out to find another job to “make the money” I paused and went thru all the stages of grief over the job loss. I realized after about a month that I couldn’t go back to the life I had been living. I realized the work I had been doing was only to support the things I thought I needed to live. I realized I neither needed or really cared about the “stuff” I had accumulated living this lifestyle and began to mercilessly sort thru it and either send it to the recycling center or donated it to charity. I joined a fledgling timebank in my community, rediscovered friends I had lost touch with, and began to make a plan for living a life I can be proud of that relies less on the outside world and more on what I can create or already have. Not saying it’s for everyone but it’s brought me so a kind of happiness I cannot remember feeling since I was a child and I am 49.

  6. I love this! I am so there right now! Trying to get a business up and going, and having just moved to Seattle so that my life could better fit who I am. Absolutely inspiring, Tara!!

  7. Great piece Tara, and I’d say I’m about 3/4 of the way to authentically living my own lifestyle, and this is such a great reminder that i have another wee way to go, and wouldn’t it be great to totally be living what I dream about! Thanks Tara!

  8. great post, tara! i’m working on a post myself on Authenticity and it’s been fun to pull thoughts from my online mentors {like you} and incorporate them into my post.

    i really related to this:
    Indie lifestyle is about knowing that you alone are responsible for the choices you make about your values. Indie lifestyle is about feeling confident that acting out of personal Truth will get you closer to the lifestyle you desire. It’s about not worrying about what others say you should do, think, or buy.

    thanks for sharing! xoxo

  9. This is something that’s been on my mind a lot lately. Since I left my miserable day job to go out on my own, I’ve been simplifying a lot and realizing that I don’t really need STUFF to be happy. But the one thing that has me stymied is our house… the mortgage is huge and we are way too upside down on it to refi or sell (unless I had a year’s worth of my former salary to bring to the table, which I SO do not.). I told my partner the other day that this house feels like slavery! I don’t want to feel bad about

    As for what to do about it… not sure (see above re denied refinance/upside-down-ness). But I guess realizing that something needs to be done is the first step, yes?

  10. “How do you create a new lifestyle when the old one doesn’t fit anymore?”

    The title and the photo together pretty much wrap up my totally being right now. In fact the two together sent me it to fits of hysterical laughter. I am so there!

    I can’t wait to read this tonight!!

  11. A UT-Austin professor advises her phd & masters grads to seek teaching/career opportunities where the weather matces their favorite everyday shoes. In other words, live your lifestyle. Great post.

  12. My family’s been through a tremendous amount of change over the last 6 years. We are constantly restructuring our lives based on what’s important to us and also making sacrifices for my husband to go back to school. Core values remain but shifting goals and ideas often lead to rabbit trails from what’s really important to us, or what WAS important to us. I find that it’s something we have to revisit often to see where are hearts, heads and hands are and if their all working together to support what we’re really about. My husband finally graduates this May, Yay! So we’re looking at this winter and spring as a really important time to dig deep into what we’re about so we know what we’re aiming for. Ultimately those are the raw-materials that give us the confidence to make the best decisions and changes going forward. Great post!

  13. Exactly where I am now – seeing the lack of fit between me and the way I live at every turn. Frustrated and down as a result. And blaming others in my family for it – but I know that i could make more changes if I had the courage.

  14. Hi Tara,

    Thanks for sharing this post. I couldn’t help but read between the lines and hear a lot of pain in your post. There was no mention of your husband but a wish for your daughter’s well-being and future. As a long time reader, this alarms me, but I’ve been there. I lost my job, husband, house, my health, even my dog and had to move far away seeking the security of a “job.” I was sick for a long time, but my life is better now. Having lost it all, I know that I’ll survive.

    I’m still working on how I make a living and what that “job” looks like, but I know what it isn’t. My “new” family is young: my daughter is only 10 mo., and my husband of 4 years now is very supportive. Since I lost my job (again) almost 3 years ago I’ve struggled with identity, purpose, and income. None of this is resolved, but my family and this time are so precious to me.

    I wish you well.

  15. Thank you for this post, Tara. I am working on shifting into an indie lifestyle but I am not quite there yet. I am working hard to make my coaching practice sustainable, we are decluttering and letting go of things that don’t serve us, or that aren’t in line with our values.

    Determining core values and making changes to live more in line with them is a core part of my philosophy, both personally and as a coach. I so appreciate your thoughts around it. This post really is a great way of explaining it and keeping the discussion in the forfront of our minds.

  16. Great post, Tara.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about congruence lately. About everything being in line, fitting together. It’s really difficult to look at certain aspects of my life and say out loud that they’re not right for me/my indie-maeg-lifestyle.

    It’s freeing though–to let go of feeling like I must force gratitude and just call out what doesn’t fit.

    And that uncomfortable, in-between, place of shifting–it has to happen in order to get to another place.

    I love this piece. Thanks for pointing out that we each have our own indie lifestyle.

    xo Maeg

  17. Very thought provoking article… as someone who has re-invented herself (and her lifestyle) several times, I can say this is awesome advice, especially the parts about your choices = your lifestyle. So many people seem to want to ‘buy’ a pre-packaged lifestyle off the shelf rather than put the necessary input and effort in to create something really worthwhile.. but where is the sense of fun and accomplishment in that?! :)

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