This is a guest post by former school teacher-turned life and health coach Katelyn Barnes. Here, she shares the story of how she left her full time job to help others create the life they want, as well as some tips as to how you can get started doing that too.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt envious of someone doing something you wish you could be doing. I bet if I could see you right now, perhaps both hands would be raised? Who HASN’T felt envious of someone else at some point?! I remember when I was working as a public school teacher, I was pretty much always envious of someone. That friend who posted amazing pictures from their most recent trip (that they also scored sweet flight prices on because they weren’t limited to school vacation weeks!)? That coworker who always had the most delicious-looking, healthy lunches? That acquaintance with the beautiful home and no commute so she could actually enjoy the house she worked so hard for? Yeah, I can honestly say that I was envious all the time and felt like the only joy I got was during the summer in between planning sessions for the next school year. I was also commuting 5 hours a day round trip to my school, and with the extended learning day (and year), my life was pretty much working, sitting on a bus, eating, or sleeping. Maybe you can relate to feeling overworked with no real end in sight?

I had gained weight, become chronically anxious, felt bloated all the time, constantly had digestive issues and headaches, and generally felt dissatisfied in so many areas of my life. I finally decided to quit my teaching job after beginning therapy for my anxiety. I gave myself 6 months to try something new and see if I could pay my bills while working less, so I could start healing. I was tired of always feeling sick and tired, envious of others, and stretched so thin that I barely had time to breathe. I was also tired of the suggestion that prescriptions were the only way to manage my symptoms. I was ready for an overhaul of how I was doing life up until that point and that I deserved more, similarly to what Kimberley shares here. That was two years ago.

Flash forward to today, and I have officially left the classroom for good, making money, with the time & location freedom that I used to feel so envious of. I’ve learned to manage my weight, anxiety, bloating, and digestive issues with food, rather than medication. Looking back, I’m honestly surprised I was able to do it in just over two years. It started with focusing on my health. Since I had ignored it for so long, my body was screaming at me for attention. I didn’t really have a choice but to start there, since I was in desperate need of a reboot. Once I started prioritizing my health, I realized that I wanted to create work that would allow me to continue doing that! I eventually became a certified health & life coach because of just how much my life was changed by nutrition and my new habits. I still have bad days, like everyone does, but I have better ways to cope with them now rather than sacrificing my health. Between coaching and teaching English online, I work when I want to, where I want to, and I’m completely in charge of my days and my health, which is a huge jump from where I was two years ago in the classroom.

I want to share with you a few of my biggest takeaways that I have learned on my journey so far. I had felt like a victim of my circumstances for so long that I didn’t feel like I had any control over my time at all! Here are three things that completely catapulted my progress when I actually started doing them.

3 Tips for Creating the Life you Want NOW

Carve out a moment everyday to do something that brings you joy. 

Whether it’s putting on your favorite song for your morning commute, planning out that next trip you want to take, getting yourself some fresh cut flowers or a potted plant, or savoring that outfit that you usually save for a special occasion, having something fun to break up the routine of the weekdays is so important! It’s really easy to save all the pleasure for the weekends, or for vacation, or for some rainy day, but taking consistent time to recharge and do something daily that will make yourself happy will really help to combat burnout. What are three things you absolutely love that would brighten your day this week?

Have water and snacks with you, always.

This will really help to make the choices you want to make, rather than acting (or reacting) out of hunger. The effects of having control over what and when you nourish your body will absolutely ripple out in all sorts of fun ways! I notice on the days I don’t have a snack or water with me, my day gets thrown off and before I know it I’m hangry and searching for Doritos despite all the things I would rather be doing. What are your favorite on-the-go snacks?

Figure out what your top 5 priorities are in your world, and practice saying no to the things that are outside those 5 things. 

This is a challenge for so many people, so if you read this and thought that it’s an outrageous suggestion, you’re not alone. Many of my clients, (including myself!), had a really hard time saying no to others and would stretch themselves so thin that they’d be burnt out, drained, and feeling resentful. There wouldn’t be time to relax, take an actual day off, travel, etc. because there was always a commitment to someone or something else. Flexing your power to say “no” to really little things can help open up your time for the things that really matter. What is one thing you can say no to this week in order to prioritize the things that really matter in your world?

To Summarize:

Even if leaving your full time job isn’t an option right now, there are some ways you can build fun and self-care into your weekday routine. Three things you can do include carving out a moment every day to do something that brings you joy, carrying water and snacks with you always, and identifying your top 5 priorities in the world and practicing saying “no” to things that aren’t in line with your top 5. Taking little steps each day to create the life you want NOW can help you break through the envy, doubt, and burnout. I might even argue that envy is our body’s way of telling us what we want, if we are willing to listen. 🙂

Katelyn Barnes is a classroom teacher-turned-health & life coach who serves people struggling with low energy and digestive issues and don’t know where to turn to. She helps them double their energy and tame their gut so they can live the life they truly want. She also teaches English online, and between the two work opportunities, has broken through the fear of leaving the 9-5 in pursuit of something greater. She can help you to create the life, health, and travel experiences you want too! Katelyn is offering Go Places Now readers a Free 60-minute session in which she will help you start creating the life and health you truly want – sign up for it here! 

Connect with Katelyn by visiting her website, Facebook Page, and Instagram. You can also join her Facebook group: Navigating Dietary Needs Support Group


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