When we mention relocation, the first image people have involves a moving truck and a myriad of boxes. Thankfully for you, we are here to tell you that before you hire a Uhaul and sign a lease for the first house that you see on Craigslist, there are a few other steps to take which can make your transition easier, less stressful, and far more successful. So grab a notepad and pen, and we’ll begin…
1. Grab a pen and paper
2. Spend 20 minutes thinking about your current life.
- what are the essentials (e.g. school, income, medical care)?
- what gives you greatest fulfillment (family time, friends, work, travel etc)?
- what you can’t wait to leave behind (traffic, high living costs, grouchy boss)?
- what you would like to have in your new life (new interests, professional growth)?
4. Rate your list in order of importance.
What Do You Want?
Ah, the million dollar question.. But before you make any decisions about your future lifestyle, you need to identify what you like and don’t like about your current life, and what your future will contain. And yes, I know we sound all New Age touchy feely, but it is vitally important that you forge a new path, rather than getting stuck in the same old rut. Find a place where you can think, and spend at least 30 minutes brainstorming what parts of your days you enjoy, what in your life gives you the most fulfillment, and what elements you would like to see in the future.
The first time you think about this, it is hard to come up with a list, but as you come back to it, your list will get longer, and your mental picture of how you see yourself going forward will get clearer. Start with your immediate environment – what type of house do you like, how many bedrooms do you need, do you like to cook and so a good kitchen is essential? Work through your own needs, and then work through family needs – do you need good schools for your children, specific sports facilities, specialized medical care? Do you prefer a neighborhood with a wide demographic mix, do you need access to freeways so you can spend your leisure time traveling, or do you prefer to be out in the wilds by yourself? Try and be specific about what you would like to do, so rather than saying “I would like to get more exercise”, define what types of exercise you enjoy, whether indoors or out, and how much time you would like to devote to it. If you’re feeling creative, put together a storyboard; a large piece of paper or card with pictures that inspire you, with lists of things that you need, want or would like to have or do.
This all seems very far away from the practicalities of relocating, and right now, you are probably wanting to ignore all this advice and reach for the phone book to start looking for removal companies. Don’t. I promise you, we know what we are talking about, and soon enough you will be swamped by endless questions and demands that will make you want to run back to bed and pull the covers over your head. This is YOUR time, your chance to place a frame around your future, and if you are going to spend the next months giving answers, you need to make sure that you are giving the right ones.
It also gives you a chance to start adapting emotionally to the idea of moving your life. You will be going through more changes than you ever imagined, and you are to reinvent yourself and your identity more than once. At this point, we are doing this exercise to define your physical environment and activities – later on, you’ll use the same strategy for redefining your own life and identity. So take your time before the chaos hits you, and be creative.
Now, back to practicalities. Once you have a good idea of how you would like your life to look, write it out in list form, in order of priority. This list – what you want for the future – will help you to decide on the next step – “What do I need?”