7 Ways to Declare Your Independence

7 Ways to Declare Your Independence

Here are the top 7 ways you can make your independence known.

By: Karen Walrond

When you move out of your parents’ home for the first time, the exhilaration can be overwhelming: Finally, some independence! You get to make your own decisions! No one is relying on you to do anything at all!

And then life happens. You take care of people at work, your partner, your kids. And suddenly, you don’t feel as independent as you used to.

Well, never fear, little buckaroo — it’s not too late to declare your own independence, and trust me, you’ll feel the better having done it. So without further ado, here are the top 7 ways you can make your independence known:

1. Open a Bank Account
Remember how amazing it felt the first time you opened a bank account? Do it again: Open another savings account, but this time, do it for something that you want. Always dreamed of going to Paris? Open your Paris account, and add some money every week — $10, say — and watch the money add up. Crave fancy diamonds? Do the same. There’s nothing like working toward a personal financial goal, and rewarding yourself when you’ve achieved it.

2. Start Saying No
Become confident enough to say "no" when you know that saying "yes" will make you feel like you’re compromising your values. By practicing saying “no” in these situations, you will learn that doing so isn't impolite, it's honest.


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3. Own Your Decisions
It’s easy to convince yourself that your circumstances are a result of external stressors, but taking ownership of your decisions is one of the best ways to declare your independence. Practice saying that you “choose to” do something, instead of “have to” do it (i.e., “choose to clean up the dishes,” rather than “have to”). It’s amazing how empowering that simple tweak of mindset can be.

4. Disregard Opinions that Don’t Matter
Listening to what “society” tells you to do or be is the fastest way to unhappiness. Instead, consider whose opinion really matters in your life — your partner, your kids, your best friend — and worry about those. Forget the others (even the opinions of people who have your best interests at heart, but who inadvertently tear you down). And then act accordingly.

5. Figure Out What You Love
Determining what you’re passionate about and making a conscious effort to do it as often as possible is a bullet train to confidence and independence. Take some introspective time to really claim what you love to do — and then make a practice of doing it.

6. Create a Solo Time of Day
Carve out time — even if it’s 15 minutes — when everyone in your household knows to leave you alone. Take those 15 minutes to do something just for you: do some yoga, have a hot bath, read a good book. Make it a habit.

7. Go on a Solo Vacation
Finally (and possibly most daringly), plan a solo vacation. You can make it as long (three weeks in Fiji) or as short (one night in a local bed-and-breakfast) as you want. Take the time to entertain yourself with nothing more than a good book and a camera. And get to know what an awesome person you really are.

When she isn't sharing tips on StyleUnited on how to add more awesome to your life, you can find Karen on Chookooloonks.com. She's on a mission to prove to you that your life is filled with different, unique moments of beauty, starting with her book, The Beauty of Different. Her work can be seen on Babble.com, TEDxHouston and USAToday.

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