A New Direction

I started ‘writing A Simple Life’ two years ago

I have been writing on ‘A Simple Life’ for just over two years. Up until now it has been a blog about saving money, with some ideas about personal development thrown in. I started ‘A Simple Life’ when I discovered FI/RE – financial independence, retire early – as this is what everyone does. Like all other FI/RE seekers I wanted to share ideas about saving money, making money and to monitor my own journey.

As time has gone on my interests have developed into a love of personal development. This culminated in me joining Natalie Bacon’s life coaching programme ‘Grow You’ in February 2020, from which I continue to learn every single day.  

Over the next year there will be some changes on ‘ A Simple Life’
The Way Forward

In 2021 I will be changing the focus of ‘A Simple Life’ and starting to explore more personal development topics. By doing this I want to help you to make positive changes in all areas of your life. I believe that feeling happy and fulfilled is all about examining your life and making positive changes, no matter what life throws at you. Many people blame their circumstances for their unhappiness. I want to share with you how by making simple changes, including having a more positive mindset, it is possible to create happiness without changing anything about your circumstances.

Life should be considered and planned
Living Life in the Precontemplation Stage

I have been a social worker for almost twenty years. I work with people who are trying to make changes in their lives, or those who need to make changes, otherwise their futures look bleak. Unfortunately the majority of the people that I meet don’t think that they need to make any changes in their lives. I would regard these people as being in the ‘precontemplation stage’ of the ‘Cycle of Change’. This is a concept developed by Prochaska and DiClementi (1983). People in the precontemplation stage are unaware of or have a vague recognition of concerns, but at this stage they have not considered that their behaviour needs to change.  

In order to look at a wider definition of precontemplation let’s look at one of the dictionary definitions of ‘contemplation’:

the state of being considered or planned

So precontemplation is a time before you actually consider or plan. Now the reason that I say that the majority of the population live their lives in the precontemplation stage is that they don’t live considered or planned lives. Life is lived on autopilot. Most of us are brought up to think that our lives will follow a certain path and that’s just the way it is. For the majority of people that means school, university/employment, marriage, children, grandchildren, retirement, death.

Do you struggle to get up as you dread the day ahead of you?
Living a Considered Life

Whilst each and every one of those can be amazing (except perhaps the death part!), I want you to make choices about the life that you’re living. Do you wake up in the morning and bounce out of bed, looking forward to the opportunities that the day ahead brings? Are you able to look on the bright side when life doesn’t always go as you expected and accept that there will be good times and bad times along the way?

You may be thinking that the answer to a happy life lies in winning the lottery or making a killing on the stock market and retiring to a beach somewhere. If that’s what you really desire that’s fine, but the answer to happiness lies within you, in the choices that you make, in your attitude to life and in your thoughts. As we all know, particularly from 2020, life is unpredictable and there are many things over which we don’t have any control. What we do have a choice about though is our thoughts. This is the basis of life coaching, or at least the life coaching taught by those who have trained with The Life Coach School .

Many life coaches practise what Natalie Bacon calls action coaching. If you want to lose weight they will suggest diets to follow or if you want to get fitter they’ll recommend exercise programmes. I’m sure that like many people you’ve tried to get thinner at some point and found that the problem is not finding an eating regimen to follow, but actually sticking to it. This is where thought work comes in. Life coaching helps you examine your thoughts about your body, about eating and about weight loss. Once you have the motivation, action is easy. We’ve all heard of people who have tried quitting smoking for years without success, but a scary diagnosis leads them to give up overnight. None of the tips and tricks for quitting have changed, it’s just their motivation that’s different.

Want to manage your time better? Life coaching can help you.
Reasons why you might want to have a life coach
  1. Help you reach/achieve your goals
  2. Control your emotions
  3. Understand your motivation
  4. Improve your relationships
  5. Manage your time
  6. Help you change career
  7. Lose weight

We’ve all heard of therapy, which takes you from dysfunctional to functional. Life coaching takes you from functional to exceptional.

I don’t pretend that I am a life coach and I don’t propose to start a coaching programme here on ‘A Simple Life’. What I do plan to do though is to give you some of that action coaching, i.e. ideas for how to improve your life and also a different perspective to help you perhaps change your thinking about situations. Natalie also has lots of free training on her website and so I’ll make sure I let you know about those, particularly if they’re relevant to the topic of the post that you’re reading.

As a member of ‘Grow You’, Natalie Bacon’s life coaching programme, I have had the chance to become an affiliate and so will be including my link in my posts to encourage you to check it out. Obviously you can just stick around here and read my posts. Hopefully you’ll still get lots of ideas to help you live your best life.

Until next time, take care and best wishes, Sam.





January 10, 2021 at 4:35 pm

Congrats on two years of blogging, Sam! I look forward to this new approach on your blog. Happy New Year—may 2021 be healthy and prosperous for you and Mr. Simple!

    January 11, 2021 at 7:46 pm

    Chrissy, lovely to hear from you as always. Can’t believe that it’s two years since we both started blogging! Enjoying the ExploreFI Canada podcast as always.

January 11, 2021 at 7:27 am

Hi Sam

This is brilliant timing.

I am in fact considering engaging a Coach this year – Either a Life Coach or a Career Coach, I’m not sure.
Perhaps a blend of both (or one is subset of the other as your post suggests.

Then again, maybe all I need is a good therapist 🙂

I actually started my blog as a side hustle, and I wanted to focus on the three things that were making me unhappy at the time
1. Reduce Stress (at work)
2. Replace Income (increase income and/or get new passive income streams)
3. Live A life You love.

I think that it is Point 3 that is the hardest to nail down, and it sounds like this is what you are now focusing on within your own work with your coach as well as the focus of your blog going forward.

I am really looking forward to seeing what you write about going forward.


    January 11, 2021 at 7:49 pm

    Shaun, I absolutely love life coaching. In particular the approach by those who trained with the Life Coach School. It is all about changing your thoughts, which in turn affect your feelings. I think that it is a life long practice. Natalie Bacon says that life coaching is like a gym for the mind. In order to remain fit you need to make it a regular practice. Good luck with finding a coach!

January 11, 2021 at 10:05 am

Congrats on the milestone Sam! I’m excited to read about personal development and learn more from your experience. All the best for 2021!

January 11, 2021 at 3:30 pm

I’ve enjoyed reading about the ‘simple life’ and look forward to the new direction!

    January 11, 2021 at 7:51 pm

    Jeremy, many thanks for stopping by. I’m glad that you’ve enjoyed the blog so far. It often feels that I am just writing for myself and I’m never sure how useful or enjoyable it is for others. It’s great to have some feedback.

January 14, 2021 at 7:53 am

What an exciting time for you, Sam! Congratulations on your new focus, I love it! How did I not know that you career has been in social work? Same here. What you’ve written about personal development, happiness, managing thoughts, and getting feedback really speaks to me. I love this “Life coaching takes you from functional to exceptional.” It is important to keep learning and growing to be the best we can be. Kudos to you!

    January 23, 2021 at 8:32 pm

    Kathy, thanks for stopping by. Glad my ideas’speak to you’. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on future posts.

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Developing Relationships

December 28, 2020

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