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“I wish I’d worked more,” said no one—ever—on their deathbed. 

While I was being interviewed for a podcast recently, I was asked: “What do you want to do in 2014?” My response: “LESS.”

2013 was amazing. I turned thirty. I got engaged. I had my first book come out. I launched my first digital program. Business tripled. I moved into the first home I’ve EVER felt like I have enough space. A banner year for sure!

But you know what? I worked a shit ton. And YES, that’s a measurement.

At any given moment, I felt like I had three or four projects I was in the middle of and at least one deadline looming over my head.

I was recently having a chat with my Uncle Phil who also happens to be one of my business mentors and a very wise guy and he said this:

“You need to learn how to stop validating your existence through action.”

Woah Nelly!

HERE’S SOMETHING THAT IS NOT NEWS: WE TEACH WHAT WE NEED TO LEARN.

Financial freedom is a spectacular goal. It’s something I’m proud to teach about and stand for. But it’s the other kind of freedom that’s a bit more of a sticky wicket. The kind of freedom where we don’t feel guilty after sleeping ten hours and where, if we produce nothing in a day, we don’t feel any less worthy of a human.

This year, I’m after freedom, just like in years past.

But this year the kind of freedom I’m after looks like white space in the calendar, more unplanned days, and letting myself off the hook for taking a break. There are times when your nose needs to be right on that grindstone. And there are times when you need to lean back.

THIS YEAR I’M GONNA SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I LEAN BACK INSTEAD OF LEAN IN.

Here’s what I’m pretty darn sure of:

Production is not the meaning of life. @KateNorthrup (Click to Tweet!)

Working more hours does not increase our inherent worth.

The best ideas often come while we’re taking a break.

We can have a lasting impact on the world while steering our course according to ease and feeling good.

Working less can net more.

We are more able to be of service when we’ve slept enough and allowed ourselves to relax recently.

Every time I ask myself what I want in 2014, I get the same answers.

Blank space

Unplanned time

Less is more

Ease

We don’t have many models of people consciously organizing their time around enjoyment, doing less, and choosing ease. But we have a few. And that’s enough.

I got a letter in the mail from Leonie Dawson with her 2014 Create Your Amazing Year Life + Biz Edition Workbook. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this one part:

I only work two to three hours a day. I’ve never worked full-time hours in my business—even as it doubles [or even triples] in size each year. My priority is to spend lots of happy, gentle, creative, and adventure time with the loves of my life: my husband Chris and my daughters.

Game. Changing.

When I read that, my not so small still voice screamed out: I WANT THAT!

What if we practiced doing less, saying no to more of the external so we can say yes to more of the internal, and taking time to simply be?

I think it would create a revolution in the gentlest, most relaxed, organic way possible. It would be a revolution where we focus on living instead of doing, where striving gives way to feeling good, and where being is valued as much (or more than) doing.

I’ll be a part of that revolution. Will you?

Leave a comment and let me know how you’re leaning back this year.


Kate Northrup created financial freedom for herself at the age of twenty-eight through building a team of more than 1,000 wellness entrepreneurs in the network marketing industry. Her philosophy is that if you free yourself financially, you can be fully present to your purpose on the planet. She is also the author of Money: A Love Story, Untangle Your Financial Woes and Create the Life You Really Want (Hay House, 2013). Kate and her work have been featured on The Today Show, Yahoo! Finance, The Huffington Post, Refinery29.com, and in Glamour, Red, Prima Magazine, Soul & Spirit, and more. She continues to mentor entrepreneurs in creating financial freedom. Find out more and take her free quiz to find out what your relationship with money says about you at katenorthrup.com and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

*Image courtesy of Blixt A.