A new city.
A new baby.
A new job.
Going to school.
(Or maybe you’re like Andrea, planning a few at the same time.)
What can you do to prepare for a major life change?
1. Write down your plan on paper. Always keep a notebook with you for the to-do lists, phone numbers, and little things that you don’t want to forget. Save your ideas on paper, so you don’t have to try to remember everything.
2. Break big jobs into smaller tasks. Big jobs are daunting, but smaller tasks seem easier.
3. Watch for signs of stress so that you can take a break when you need to. When I feel stressed, I start drinking more soda and not getting enough sleep. I have to remind myself to stop and go out for fresh air, take a needed nap, or drink more water.
4. Decide what not to do. Is there something that you will give up so that you can have more time? It might a good time to unplug the tv.
5. Just start. Set the timer for 10 or 15 minutes, and do one thing on your list. Getting started gives you the momentum to do more.
6. Be willing to not do everything the “right” way. You know how when you move, the first boxes you pack are always carefully and properly done, but by the end you just start throwing things on the truck? That’s ok. Sometimes the end result is more important than how you got there.
7. Set mini-goals. If you have 4 weeks to prepare, what do you want to accomplish each week?
8. Define priorities. Do you need to spend more money to save time? Or is it more important to keep the budget low? Decide how best to use your resources so you can make the right decisions.
9. Ask for help. Most people are willing to help, but they might not know how. Think of ways for other people to help you, and don’t be afraid to ask.
10. Take a moment. Most big changes, no matter how hoped for, are still bittersweet. Memorize a moment or take a photo, to commemorate what you’re leaving behind.
I know many of you are preparing for a big life change right now. How is it going?