If not now, when?
It’s easy to come up with a thousand and one excuses why it absolutely, positively can’t happen. Why now is not the right time, why it would be disastrous to even try, why waiting is the best, although circuitous, path forward. The kids, the career, the business, the family, the friends all line up on cue to be the convenient scapegoats.
But you and I both know that’s not true. We know that kids can adapt, careers can evolve or be reinvented, businesses can be shifted and refocused, and family and friends will understand (even if it takes them a while to adjust). So what’s the real reason you aren’t living the life you’ve always wanted, the one you talk about as a “Maybe” or a “Someday”?
Fear is the easy answer, but sometimes it’s not even fear, but just a matter of not knowing where to start. For every possible change or direction, there are a million and one questions to be answered, problems to address. Unraveling the tangled web of questions is the key to overcoming your fear of change. That’s why making a big change requires planning.
It’s not easy, but trust me, it’s worth it.
Our big lifestyle change journey started about 5 years ago, maybe more. We had always had a “someday” dream to move to the West Coast, but like many, our careers were tied to a specific location: our current city. Then one day, the someday talk shifted to planning talk and the dream became a goal and the dreaming became plotting the steps. And the next thing we knew our current city was in our rear view mirror.
What changed? How did someday become today? In short: we did the work to get here.
How to Make a Lifestyle Shift to Finally Live Your Dream
Get Clear About What — Define what the dream actually is if you get rid of all the constraints that narrow your choices. When I say, we did the work to get here, I don’t just mean the career and business shifting logistics work, I mean the deep inner clarity work both as individuals and as a couple. Dreaming from a blank canvas is both liberating and scary because anything IS possible.
Examine the Constraints — Take a serious look at your current situation. What is stopping you from making that shift today? Is it financial stability? Career? Business? Family? This is where your clarity will help as you will need to prioritize and modify your dream scenario. If moving to a foreign country is what you truly want, it may mean changing your business or choosing a different career path.
Determine the End Goal — Picture what you want your lifestyle to be. Sometimes you may already know where you want that lifestyle to take place, sometimes you may know what you want it to be in terms of day-to-day living regardless of location. From this picture, you will need to start filling in the gaps and turn that vague image into a concrete plan (answer the 5 W’s: who, what, when, where, why, and how).
Give Yourself Time — Don’t worry if you aren’t able to make the big change right away. Big lifestyle shifts take time because chances are, you have to change a lot of things about your current situation to get there. Remember, time is your friend in these types of endeavours because it means you can get everything in place, answer all those questions beforehand so you don’t have to rebound into your old situation.
Get Started NOW! — Shift out of planning mode and into doing mode. For example, if your goal is to detach from your current location as we did, then stop taking local clients or make it clear to them that you only work on a virtual basis. You know where you want to get there and you hopefully have a good idea of all the things you need to do to get there, start ticking off that to-do list PRONTO!