Living a Simple Life with a Back Porch View

Making the Shift to a Simple Life

May 15, 2022 Julie @ The Farm Wife Season 1 Episode 7
Living a Simple Life with a Back Porch View
Making the Shift to a Simple Life
Show Notes Transcript

Choosing a lifestyle that fits best with who you are, your dreams, and passions can be well worth the effort.

But shifting lifestyles isn’t an overnight thing and can be a lot of work. It isn’t something you want to try to accomplish in a short time span. Instead, it’s learning to take it slow, focus on your priorities, and saving time to do the things you love to do. 

If you are ready to make the shift to a Simple Life, this episode will help you get started. 

To learn more, just pull up a rocker, grab a glass of lemonade, and get comfortable. It’s time to 

Relax and Enjoy!

Find out more about living a Simple Life at The Farm Wife

If you are ready to get started, the Simple Life Workbook is the place to begin! This comprehensive Workbook can help you start mapping out your journey through discovering your true priorities, embracing passions long forgotten, and finding ways to slow down, celebrate life and learn to deeply love the new life you have created. Find out how to get started HERE!

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Welcome to Living a Simple Life with a Back Porch View. Thanks for stopping by! Grab a glass of Lemonade, pull up a rocker and join me for conversations about living the Simple Life. Go ahead. Get comfortable and settle in for a good visit. It’s time to relax and enjoy!

Episode 7 – Making the Shift to a Simple Life

Welcome back to Living a Simple Life with a Back Porch View! Go ahead, pull up a rocker and settle in for a visit.  Today we are going to talk about how you can get started making the Shift to living a Simple Life. 

As we have already learned, living a Simple Life means different things to different people. To some, it may mean getting out of debt, growing a few herbs on a windowsill, or just slowing down the pace of their life. 

To others, it may mean 'getting back to their roots'. The idea of living off grid, growing their own food, raising animals for meat, eggs, or crafting (like raising sheep for the wool), and going back to the old ways of doing things is more than an ideal, it is a passion. 

No matter how you define living a Simple Life, there are ways you can accomplish your goals.  And to help you formulate the idea of shifting to a Simple Life, think of this as a new journey, filled with fun, adventure, and wonder.

Before you start on any journey, it helps to have a well-planned map. On a travel map, your journey starts at your own front door. In the case of shifting to a Simple Life, your definition is going to be your starting point. 

If you haven’t already defined what a Simple Life means to you, take some time to do that. Your definition is what you will use to pinpoint where you want or need to go next. 

The next consideration is packing for your journey. In this case, knowing where you stand is similar to your suitcase. This is basically an inventory of who you are, what you know, and how your education and life experiences will help you on the journey. 

And just to clarify, 'Education' doesn't just mean academically. Education also comes in the form of daily living. Going to school may mean we learn how to read, write, and do math problems, but daily life teaches us more. 

It is through living that we learn how to be compassionate. We learn how to love. We learn the nuances of personalities. But we also learn skills that are not taught in most schools - how to cook, clean, grow our own food, and so much more. 

You can call these daily life skills 'On the Job Training’ because every day you engage in living, you learn something new. 

If you need some help to know where you stand, it is beneficial to create a personal checklist. This list will include things you want to learn how to do all the way to things you have accomplished. For instance, my personal checklist included things such as: Cooking and Baking from Scratch, growing a Garden, Handmade items and gifts, Community Involvement, Finding Quiet Time, and a category I call ‘Make Your Own’, which includes things like cleaning products and baking and spice mixes. This isn’t an exhaustive list – mine had other things on it, and yours may, too.

Besides each of these items, I also added a ‘grading’ system. For each one, I had to write down the percentage of my knowledge in each area.  For instance, my grading scale was a 0% – 25%, 26% to 50%, 51% to 75%, and 76% to 100%. The 0% to 25% meant I was just getting started. A score of 26% to 50% meant I was making progress. If I scored 51% to 75%, it meant I was essentially considered in an Advanced Beginner or Intermediate category, and although I understood the process, I might still need a bit of support and encouragement from a mentor.  And if I scored 76% to 100%, it meant I had reached a comfort level in that category. 

Knowing where you stand isn’t all about skill levels. It also involves doing a bit of inventory. Your inventory lists will include material items that you may already have, or items you will need. Take for instance a goal of learning how to preserve your harvest. You are going to need water bath and pressure canners, dehydrators, and freezer containers. If you don’t have the money for the more expensive items, then start your lessons with freezer containers. As time progresses, you can save for the more costly things. 

And don’t turn your nose up at hand-me-downs. My first Kitchen Aid mixer was a hand-me-down. When my dad upgraded, he gave me his old one. Folks who don’t can their food often give us their old jars. And there is nothing sweeter than inheriting Grandma’s well-seasoned cast iron. Oh, yeah. Hand-me-downs can be a real good thing. 

Now that you know what your skills are and have your inventory list done, it is time to get out the notes you made on the dreams you have for your life. The combination of your skills, inventory list, and the dreams you are making work together when it comes to packing for your journey.

At this point in the process, there are a couple of things you will need to consider. First - I know you have a list of all the things you want to see happen in your Simple Life. But I also encourage you to consider the aspects of living a Simple Life that either may not appeal to you at the moment, or things you think you cannot accomplish. Don’t just toss these things aside. The further along the journey you go, you may find that some of those items may begin to grow on you or will work 'hand in glove' with other things you truly want to try!

Second, there is a serious question you need to ask yourself: Are you Settling? 

Settling is something we do when we can't get what we want or need. We 'settle' for second best. Although it isn’t readily acknowledged, when we ‘settle’ for something less than we want, we are accepting defeat. We are telling ourselves it is too difficult, too far reaching, or we don’t have the time or energy needed to reach that goal. We end up ‘settling’. These are just a few of the ways we can ‘settle’:

  • We buy a 'quick fix' instead of saving for a long-term repair. A good example of this is having a desperate desire to move out of an apartment. Instead of staying where we are and actively saving for our dream house, we use our tiny savings to put down money on a house that is affordable but ends up costing more in the long run. 
  • Stay in a dead-end job instead of finding a better one out of financial fear.  This is a tough one. We need to have a job to pay the bills, but the one we have makes us miserable. However, the job we really want means taking a pay cut – and can we really afford to do that? 
  • We go along what others think we need instead of listening & following our heart. It’s like walking through freshly poured cement that is quickly drying. We can see what we want on the horizon, and dread being stuck, but know if we step out of the cement, we will face the frowns and disapproval or disappointments of our parents, spouses, or friends. 

At some point in time, you will reach your Settling threshold. You no longer want to settle but aren’t sure how to move forward.  To do this, you first need to have a shift in mind set and attitude and begin to take the first steps. It may be difficult to do at first, but in the long run, it can be well worth the effort.

Keep in mind – Settling isn’t all about material things. We can settle in different areas of our lives. If you are trying to figure out how you settle, it may even help to break it down into separate categories:  personally, professionally, spiritually, and creatively. By doing this, you may be able to gain a better perspective on where you can begin to move forward. Start small and gain the confidence and courage you need to tackle the big things. 

The next stop on your journey will be family. Family comes in all sizes, shapes, and people. You have blood relatives, such as parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. And then there are 'family' members who are friends, neighbors, and mentors. 

With each person in your family, it helps to know the benefits of the relationship and things you can learn from each one. 

Think for a moment about the people in your life. Is there one that is understanding and encouraging? This needs to be the one you share your plan with and go to when things get tough. Is there one that does something you would like to learn how to do? Earmark this one as your mentor. 

And as much as we don’t want to hear criticism, we still need that one person we can go to who will play Devil’s Advocate with us. This is the person that will help you see the pit falls along your journey. And by knowing them in advance, you can find ways to overcome them or get around them, long before they show up. 

It may help to consider these people as your pit crew. Each one brings a talent or benefit to your journey. Keep a list of who they are, how they can help, and their contact information handy for those times you really need a little extra help. 

Now that you have made the decision to take this Simple Life journey, have an idea of where you are going, and how you are planning on getting there, it is time to talk a bit more about your passions. After all, these are some of the most important stops along the way.  To do this you need to ask yourself two questions: 1) What is your strongest passion? And 2) What is it about this passion that calls to your heart?

Once you have your answers, then you need to brainstorm ways you can use your Passions along your journey. Here is how I formulated my response to those two questions: 

My passions for writing, gardening, animals and living a simple life have encouraged me to start a homestead, create a website and podcast, writing books and a newspaper column, speaking, and teaching on all things related to living a simple life.

Now that you know who you want to be, it is time to take a look at those passions and see how they can work for you. What do you want to do with them? How do they fit with 'the new you'? 

Now for my favorite part of the Simple Life Journey - Break Time! With every journey, we need to take time to refuel. We may have to stop long enough from trying to reach a goal to save money to complete it. We may need to learn more by taking a class or doing additional research. Or we may need to stop long enough to regroup by doing something different to prevent burnout. This break time can also be as simple as sitting on the swing and not thinking about much of anything at all or taking time to reflect on your progress.

And just remember. Even a journey towards a lifestyle that helps you slow down can get wearisome. We also need to refuel our minds and bodies by doing something for ourselves. Learn to take a break every now and then to do something fun and different. This will help clear your mind in order to better focus on a ‘glitch’ in your plans or make a decision on what the next step should be. 

At this point, you may feel too overwhelmed to even try to shift to a Simple Life. Living the one you have now just seems too easy in comparison. But don’t worry. All that you are learning can be done in baby steps. Just take one thing at a time. Give each step a chance to soak in before trying to move to the next thing. Remember, this journey is designed to help make your future brighter and better, which means you have an entire lifetime to work on it!

Now that we are ready to make the shift to a Simple Life, be sure to stick around. In the next Episode, we are going to take everything you have learned so far and break it down into how to set goals and plan for living a Simple Life. However, if you are still at a crossroads andneed a little extra help with all the information you learned today, just stop by for a visit at

And if you want to learn more about the topic at hand, get a transcript of this Episode, or download the freebies that will help you navigate this episode, just visit my website at That is the Resource page for this podcast and I have it set up by episodes to make things easier to find. For this one, just look for Episode 7. And be sure to hit that Subscribe button, so you don’t miss a single visit!

Join me each Monday for more episodes on Living a Simple Life with a Back Porch View. And while you are waiting on the next one, grab that glass of refreshment, pull up a rocker, and sit back for a while. It’s time to relax and enjoy.