Ten tips for a smoother move
TEN MOVING TIPS :
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the Big Move: How to transform relocation into a Creative
1. Ask, "Who am I? What do I need to be happy?"
Sometimes you don't realize what you love until it's gone.
Here are two exercises to help.
Weekend Wrap-up: Each day for a week, write down two or three
things you did -- simple things like walking the dog or having
friends over or just driving to work. What did you do? How
did you feel? What do you wish were different? As you look
back over your entries, you will begin to uncover a pattern
of what you need to be happy.
Protected Witness: Imagine that you were in the wrong place
at the wrong time. To save your life, you've been inducted
into the Witness Protection Program. The US Marshal Service
will give you a new name, a new occupation and a new home.
You are supposed to cut all ties to the past.
Despite the danger, many people find they cannot bear to
give up golf, dogs, swimming in the ocean or exhibiting their
artwork. If the Bad Guys wanted to find you, where would they
look? If you're not sure, ask your friends. They'll know.
Now you can ask, "Will I be able to do what I love after
I've moved?" If you can say yes, you will probably be
2. Hire professional packers -- or be your own pro.
When you pack, you open up the hidden places. Packing up the
attic, basement or messy kitchen drawer, will force confrontation
with a part of the self that has not been visited for years.
Often "I have" means saying "I am."
Professional packers do not make judgments. They do not sort
through your closets, sighing over the pants that won't fit
anymore. They pack everything.
People often say, "I wish we had taken that lamp (or
bookcase or chair) with us. I could really use it now."
Unless you are on a really tight budget, err on the side of
taking too much. There will probably be a Goodwill or a Salvation
Army in your new city.
If you pack your own household, follow the example of the
Pack everything. Pack fast. And don't judge.
3. Pack an emotional first aid kit.
Packing your best intentions isn't enough.
When you undertake a voyage into the unknown, you pack sunblock,
Band-Aids, and insect repellent, as well as the basic medications
for unexpected encounters with local food and water.
For your first six months, prepare an emotional first aid
kit to deal with stresses you are likely to encounter. Some
items you might include are:
Coping phrases to repeat when feeling frazzled:
'Let go and relax."
"I can deal with this."
"I face the future with confidence."
Tapes of meditation and visualization to help you calm down
when you have a bout of anxiety.
A book or a tape of yoga exercises or some physical activity
Favorite photos of friends, family, places and pets.
Phone numbers of friends and family who can be called when
you really need to talk to a familiar voice:
someone to laugh with;
someone who will listen;
someone who just moved a year ago and can offer good advice
4. Honor your new home.
As you unpack, play your favorite music and enjoy your favorite
Arrange one room -or one corner of the room-to look familiar.
Some people create a ritual of settling in to make the new
house their own.
5. Create your own tugboat.
Think of a tugboat that guides an ocean liner out of the harbor.
Ocean liners are designed to move smoothly on the high seas
and they need special handling while they're close to shore.
For the first six months in your new home, create your own
tugboat -- a temporary identity that can be released with
gratitude when you reach cruising speed on the high seas.
The top deck is your creativity, your connection with air
Creative activity will unfreeze your mental processes. Write
a journal entry or a novel, paint a picture or a sketch, stitch
a quilt, make a piece of jewelry.
The lower deck is your connection to the physical. Exercise
gives you confidence and energy. Don't be surprised if you
feel less homesick after a long walk, a good run or a challenging
6. Make new friends by doing what you love.
Fill your life with activities that will be creative and fulfilling.
When you nurture yourself, you communicate strength and confidence
to others. If you are seen as vulnerable and needy, you will
attract negative people and negative experiences.
Remember what you promised yourself you'd do "after
we've moved." You may have promised yourself you'd get
a dog or take opera lessons. Don't wait.
By doing this while you're in transition you'll have more
energy and vitality rather than if you wait until you're "settled."
7. Be your own best camp counselor.
Camp counselors, boarding school directors and drill sergeants
know: If you fill the time, newcomers won't have time to be
homesick. Set up time to explore your new city.
Create a demanding schedule and stick to it. Map out your
itinerary for the first few weeks before you move so you'll
begin to set a structure to your days. By staying busy you'll
give yourself a chance to acclimate to your new home more
8. Celebrate everyday life.
A walk around the lake.
A perfect cup of coffee in a nearby coffee shop.
A friendly face at the local hardware store.
Listen for the moments when you say, "I could get used
9. Ask The Big Move Question: Can I still be me?
Moving often interrupts identity. The secret to a successful
move depends on how you answer the question, "Can I still
be me?" To answer this question, write ten "I am"
statements about yourself -- anything from "I am a mother"
to "I am a dog-owner" to "I am friendly and
outgoing." Before you move, ask yourself, "How will
this list change after I move?" After you move, ask,
"How has the list changed? Am I pleasantly surprised?"
10. Embark on an adventure.
Believe it or not, many people love to move and describe their
relocation as a great adventure! I like to compare moving
to time travel. After the moving van has been loaded, you
go to sleep in a bare room. The next morning, you wake up
to a world of exciting possibilities.
No matter what happens, you will find at least one pocket
of joy in your new life. Everyone I've interviewed said, "Even
when I was happy to move, there was always something I hated
to leave behind.
"And even when I dreaded moving, there was always something
wonderful that I had never expected."
|Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. is an author, career coach, and
speaker. She works with mid-career professionals who want to make a fast
move to career freedom. Visit her site http://www.movinglady.com
or call 505-534-4294.