What does financial independence look like? Every morning I wake up and I get to write the rules. Starting with what time do I wake up. (Actually, my kids help me out with that one for now.) On this site, I write about how you can create more financial freedom. I also write about how you can intentionally design your life. So hopefully you get to the point where you get to write more of the rules. It’s a wonderful place to be. But. There is always a but. The more options you have available, the more rules you write. As a fun experiment, here are a few of the rules I wrote in the last few weeks.

What should my winter morning routine look like? When should I eat breakfast? Am I going to work out today? Should I spend some time working on projects or writing? How many hours will I work? What kind of work should I do? If I’m tired, do I take a nap or push through? If the weather is nice, do I head out for a hike? Do I watch TV during the day or just at night, maybe I should give it up altogether? What hobbies should I pursue today? How much time do I give those? Do I spend time with friends, going out for lunch or coffee? Do I blow off other plans to make that happen or stick with the plans I made that morning? Should I write or fold laundry this afternoon? What if I’m not in the mood for either, do I soak in a bath? Should I spend an hour reading a book about meal planning, marketing or gardening? We are planning an eight-week trip this Spring, I suppose I need to book some camping spots. I wonder if I should plan to do any work at all while we travel? If I write an hour a night, is that really work being as no one is paying me? Is it work if I never hit publish? Maybe I’ll take 2 days out of the 60 on our trip to do some of the mentoring calls. I was asked to speak at this event, how much should I pay out of pocket to go do that? It falls during our birthday busy season, do I really want to travel then? I would love to get together with some readers this year and do an in-person mentoring, but when could I fit that in? Do I charge for that or make it a large out of pocket expense for me? If I don’t charge, will people be flaky and cancel last minute? Which friends should we travel to see this year? Which family do we need to make sure we visit? When are we going to remodel that rental bathroom? Could we get in done this month? One of my dear friends asked me to do some freelance writing, do I really have time for that? Should we block off a full day each week for soaking in hot springs, skiing and hiking? Or I could use that time to build another course? Or if I opened it up on my calendar, I could mentor two more people. But what if all the kids get sick again; we need to make sure we don’t fill our weeks up too much. I wonder if I should pay someone to clean my house? I would much rather do an extra mentoring call than clean out my fridge each week. I would love to chat with more bloggers on Skype, I wonder if I have an hour for that each week? Should we make time for more one-on-one time with the kids? Should I say no to that big project I was offered? It would be fun, but really time-consuming. There is this other project offer and I could do a professional trade with them. That would be really fun and a great learning experience, but it might eat into our hot springs soaking day. I wonder if I could get some friends together for a mentoring retreat this year?

More freedom=more options=more choices=more rules that you write.

I write a lot about life planning and mentoring questions, and intentional living. And that is because the more financial freedom you create, the more rules you will need to write. There are no clear right or wrong answers. And it’s not always intuitive which rules will give you a life that fills you with passion, purpose, and happiness.

When you work for someone else 40+ hours a week or need to earn a certain amount of income, a lot of the rules are written for you. I’m very thankful we practiced intentional life design when we had 3-5 hours a day to write the rules for. We had a bit of practice as we grew into writing the rules for 16 hours a day.

I love that southern saying of “Oh, bless their heart.” Whenever I hear someone say, “Well, I’m really struggling to manage my free time now, but as soon as I have a lot more of it, it will be easier.” Ah, bless their heart. When is that true of anything in life?