Know Your Why

Know Your Why

What’s your motivating force?

Living on a sailboat is becoming more and more popular these days as people are ditching the status quo for a simpler life with more freedom.

Sailing blogs are everywhere, and popular video channels like Sailing La Vagabonde and Project Atticus inspire more and more people every day.

Right now, I’m going to start by challenging you to ask yourself the biggest question: Why?

Why do you want to make this move? Everyone will have a different reason and you need to know yours.

  • Is it a financial choice? Are you trying to free up cash or pay off debt?
  • Do you want more time with family and less time in the office?
  • Maybe you want to improve your relationship?
  • Or you’re just seeking a simpler or more adventurous life?

Whatever it is, I want you to know your WHY. Write the question: Why do I want a life afloat?

Answer that question in one paragraph or less. One sentence is even better. Distill it down to the tightest phrase. Laser focus. It’s going to be your battle cry.

I want to be debt free.

I want the freedom to chase the sun.

I want to make a life. Not just a living.

Keep a journal of your process and your progress. If you’re like me, I love to write things down. I keep a very small notebook with me all the time. Use your phone, or maybe even start a blog.

Choose what’s easiest for you. Pick the format that you know you’ll use.

Why do I suggest writing it all down? Well, it’s proven that writing things down and making lists positively affects productivity. Say that three times!

For this exercise, writing down your Why serves three purposes.

  • It frees your mind to let go of the thought
  • It gives you a visual reminder of what the goal is
  • Finally, Knowing Your Why will keep you focused and excited

You won’t have to remember anything, because it’s right in front of you. It will help you when you start to feel bogged down. And that will happen. It’s natural, but don’t let it derail you.

PRO TIP: Write your goal on a Post-It note. Stick it on your bathroom mirror or refrigerator, or better yet, both!

  • Financial Freedom!
  • Salt Life!
  • Boss-Free!

When I went through my downsizing process, I taped a photo of my sailboat to my bathroom mirror. It was the last thing I saw at night before going to bed and the first thing in the morning to start my day. It was a subtle way to remind me of what I was working towards.

Keep a few things in mind here. You don’t have to have your boat or RV yet to start downsizing. You just have to set your intentions and change your thinking.

If you already own your boat or RV, that’s great. You know exactly how much space you have to work with. You know the size of your galley and head. You know the amount of storage and closet space that’s available.

Those of you who are renting don’t have to worry about selling a home. Others might be empty nesters who’ve lived in the same house for 25 years. You have decades to sort out. It might take a little longer. What matters is that you keep your eye on the prize and keep moving towards your goal.

Remember that battle cry you wrote down? Your WHY? Well, it doesn’t expire!

Now, here’s an assignment.

Decide where you’re going to put the money you make from selling your items.

Don’t just stick it in the bank. Seeing the money increase as you go through this process gives you positive reinforcement. It’s a tangible indication that what you’re doing is working. It doesn’t take long to make a couple thousand dollars!

I recommend this COLCASE fireproof document bag for two reasons.

  1. It’s cheap
  2. Once you’re done with your downsizing, you can continue to use it on the boat to store:
  • Passports
  • Boat / RV documentation
  • Medical information
  • Other important banking and credit card information

We started with an old jar with a piece of tape on it labeled “BOAT FUND.” Not very original I know, but it’s simple.

Okay, here we go. All the fluffy intellectual stuff is out of the way. You know the psychology behind your addiction to stuff and you know your Why. You have your secret stash for all those dollars you’re about to make, and you’re rubbing your palms together saying, “Let’s go already! Give me the first module, damn it!”

ACTION STEP: Be sure to join the private Facebook community. Statistics show that having a support group will help you go farther faster. See you there!

See you in Module 1!