How many of us, on our last holiday looked in an estate agents window or slowed down and looked in at a house with a 'For Sale' sign and thought 'wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to give it all up and come and live here'.
I am going to give it all up, go and live in the country, buy a little cottage with roses around the door and live a simple and stress free life. I will start again, maybe start my own small business, or I will paint or write. I will grow my own vegetables, keep a few free-range chickens, walk everyday through the woods and fields and spend the evening sipping wine watching the sun go down.
Downshifting to the country - can be all and more than this. One of the most gratifying aspects is that having made these momentous decisions to change, you feel as though you have taken control of your life. There is a sense of real freedom having broken away from the treadmill of urban working life.
By definition downshifting will mean a drop in income. For most people the most scary thing about downshifting is that they will have taken a huge cut in income, either by leaving their jobs behind or retiring. Therefore there needs to be a change in attitude as well as lifestyle. It is surprising how little you need to live on and how much you can do without. It is a matter of reassessing your needs and you will find that living simpler is easy on a small income and you will end up wanting for very little.
If you are downshifting to start your own small business - don't be under any illusions, you will work harder than you ever have before - for less money! Only the rewards will be so much greater and the achievements so much more satisfying. Working for yourself is very different and does not suit everybody. Stepping Off can help you find out about the highs and lows and assess whether you are suited to this sort of lifestyle.
If you are downshifting following retirement - it is useful to spend some time thinking about what sort of person you are. Do you need to keep yourself busy even though you are not working anymore? Many people become dissatisfied with doing nothing, and miss the 'buzz' of working life. Have a look around for something that will keep you stimulated, join clubs or undertake some voluntary work. Keep the mind and body active while you learn to relax into a slower pace of life!
The transition between lifestyles - can be very difficult not just economically but physically and mentally as well. We will help identify some of the 'stages' of resettlement and how to cope with living through some of the harder parts. Forewarned is forearmed. Knowing about them in advance makes it much easier to cope with. When you suddenly feel as though you have hit a brick wall, it is good to be able to identify what is happening and think 'I remember, they told me this would happen' and then be able to work through it.
AT STEPPING OFF - YOU HOLD ON TO THE DREAM WHILE WE HELP YOU LIVE THROUGH THE REALITY.