3 Challenges That You Should Expect and Be Prepared for When Moving
Out of all the significant moments that someone may face during their life, moving homes is always going to rank somewhat highly – and all the more so if the move is further afield, such as to a new country.
When someone is moving from one side of the city to the other side, there is bound to be a fair degree of upheaval going on. But when someone is moving from Australia to America, for example, all kinds of other dimensions of the experience come to the fore. Suddenly, the move is not just slightly jarring, but has the potential to be completely earthshaking.
Of course, there are all kinds of potential benefits to moving – and that’s a major part of the reason why people move in the first place. A move – particularly to a new country – means an opening of the doors of opportunity, a chance at a fresh start, a chance at a better fit (culturally), and all the rest. By moving homes you may advance your career to the next level, and may successfully embark on a great new adventure and chapter of your life.
All the same, a move is also highly likely to bring with it an array of challenges that can completely throw you off centre and confuse you, and that may bring your life into a state of significant upheaval.
Here are some challenges that you should expect to accompany your move, along with a few suggestions for how you can deal with and circumvent those challenges.
The complete upheaval and apparent redundancy of your goals and plans
Generally speaking, it’s a very good idea for everyone to have some sort of goals, or plans, to guide their actions and give a sense of structure and direction to their course through life.
Highly self-driven entrepreneurial types will tend to do this somewhat automatically, while the rest of us will generally need to dedicate a good amount of focus and attention to the task of constructing a fruitful roadmap, vision, and action plan for the future.
One of the first challenges that you’re likely to encounter when you undergo a serious move, is to be confronted with the sense that your long-term goals and plans have been rendered redundant somehow, or have otherwise been shaken up and re-contextualised to the point where it’s difficult to keep them in view, or consider them to be particularly relevant.
The thing about setting life goals – or even just annual, or biannual goals – is that they need to be frequently revised if they are to remain relevant. This isn’t just because the specific practicalities of your goal may change over time, but also because the emotional weight and context of your goals may change. This is significant because, to a large degree, the purpose of your goals is to provide you with a sense of emotional drive and fulfilment, which then serve to move you forward in a productive and reliable manner.
A major life upheaval, such as a move, certainly has the potential to put you in a different “headspace” to the one you are in when you originally set your goals. Rather than taking this as a sign that you should just abandon your goals altogether, or hypothetically still “hold onto them” but not actually pay them any mind, take it as a sign that you need to sit down and re-examine and reformulate your goals.
As soon as you can after arriving at your new home and getting relatively settled, sit down with a notepad, pen, and your imagination, and go over your goals again. Ask yourself whether your pre-existing goals are still relevant, or if they need to be updated. It may be that you only have to reimagine your goals in your new setting in order to revive that “spark” of emotional engagement, or it may be that you need to seriously and significantly reformulate your goals in general.
Whatever the case, you should finish your brainstorming session with a set of goals and plans that motivate you, and that give you a sense of overarching structure and purpose in your new environment.
The breakdown of everyday order and structure (and great excuses to let things slide)
In order to remain productive on a day-to-day basis, we all need to be able to maintain a certain order and structure to our routines, that keep us moving forward when we might otherwise like to take a long break, and that give us a sense of direction when we might otherwise be distracted or demotivated.
A move naturally throws your everyday routine and schedule into a state of disarray, at least for a time. It simply impossible – or at least very difficult – to keep your usual structure in place when you’re moving a bunch of boxes around, in an unfamiliar environment, and are trying to re-establish a sense of normalcy.
What’s even worse, is the fact that a move presents a great series of excuses for letting things slide – and as human beings, we all tend to seize upon such opportunities with great enthusiasm.
A key thing to do here, is to impose some sort of structure on each day at a time, no matter how chaotic or unusual it may be. Use a planner app, tool, or system, and make to-do lists. Try and structure and schedule your time as effectively as you can.
Your attempts at structuring during this time won’t be perfect, but anything is better than nothing.
A sense of isolation and uncertainty
If you’re moving to a new place, where you haven’t got any connections, and may not even have a decent understanding of the local culture, or an ability to speak the local language, feelings of isolation, alienation, and uncertainty are likely to raise their ugly heads.
There are a few ways of dealing with these unwelcome phenomena fairly effectively.
Firstly, take the time to communicate regularly with your loved ones, wherever they may be in the world. Simply engaging in some human communication can go a long way.
Secondly, force yourself to get out of your home, explore your new environment, and do things that get you engaging with other people on a regular basis. Initially, things like language classes can work wonders for you.
Thirdly, work on developing your own interests, and identify activities that you enjoy doing for their own sake, by yourself. It has been said that loneliness is often a consequence of not getting along with yourself very well. Learning to enjoy your own company can help you to adapt more easily and effectively.
How are you preparing to move somewhere new? Comment below!
[a contributed post]
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