You’re lucky you are moving. You found the quick way to lose weight, exercise more, and build better relationships. If you want to change your habits, you’re way ahead of the game.
Don’t take my word for it. Check out what Gretchen Rubin, author of Better Than Before and The Happiness Project, has to say about the 36 percent. You’ve already done the hard part of moving. So, take advantage of this opportunity and make some moving resolutions to become the person you want to be.
Make the Most of Your Clean Slate
Starting over has its benefits. This clean slate is one of my favorite parts about moving. Any preconceived notions of you as the uptight person at work or the forgetful friend who is never on time won’t follow you to your new city. Maybe you recently went through a divorce or suffered through a loved one’s death. This does not need to be the event that defines you in a place where you are new. You get to create your own narrative and to start life over again. You can choose to live the life you’ve been meaning to live, but never quite got around to creating for yourself.
Who Do You Want to Be?
Think of things you would like to improve upon in your life. You may want to be someone who exercises regularly, drinks less, sleeps more, spends more time with loved ones, or spends less time in bad relationships. Maybe you want to lose weight, quit smoking or improve your work situation. Maybe you’ve dreamed about learning how to play an instrument, writing the next blockbuster screenplay or learning a new language. Whatever you wish for yourself, write it down. Make a list of your aspirations and remember that no goal is too small or too big. I call this the “New Me” List. If you write down your goals, you’re more likely to keep the promises you make to yourself.
Make Moving Resolutions to Accomplish Your Goals
After you’ve made your “New Me” list, it’s time to create your Moving Resolutions chart. On this chart, you will outline your goals (from your “New Me” list), how you are going to achieve them, and a time when you know you’ve accomplished your goals. For example, after one of my moves I wanted to start exercising three times a week. I knew I needed to join a gym and pick three classes that I would attend in order to achieve my goal. Joining a gym wouldn’t be enough. It was critical that I found classes that I could go to when my husband got home from work and I could leave the kids with him. I could check off “goal accomplished” if I exercised three times per week for six weeks. If I could keep it up for six weeks, then I knew that I would keep it up on a long-term basis. Everyone is different, so use whatever time frame works for you. If shorter and more frequent time frames motivate you, consider a three week time period. Regardless of my time frame, I divide my charts by week and by occurrence so that I can check off as much as possible. I love check marks.
Start Setting Goals Before You Move
You should make your “New Me” list and “Moving Resolutions” chart before you move, if possible. If you’ve already moved, there’s no time like the present to get started on this. The main reason that I recommend creating the list before you move is that you should be the “New You” from day one in your new city. You don’t want to slip back into old habits before you’ve even had a chance to start your new life. Let’s say you previously enjoyed a drink when you got home from work, but you’ve decided you don’t want to do that anymore. Start a different ritual that brings you joy like taking your dog for a walk or reading a story to your kids. You won’t associate your new home with that drink, so don’t let yourself slip back into old habits. You don’t want to cheat yourself out of the clean slate part of moving. Use that 36 percent success rate to your advantage.
I’m Moving. I’m Much Too Busy for This.
I feel your pain. I’ve moved so many times that I understand what you’re going through. Yes, you are busy and stressed and exhausted and hungry. You probably won’t go out for a jog the day after you move. I’m not unrealistic, insane or evil. There’s a difference between not continuing bad habits and starting new good habits. For new good habits, set a time frame to begin. Give yourself a one or two week grace period. Maybe you could give yourself a month, but I wouldn’t go any further out than that. Remember, you’re taking advantage of the 36 percent success rate to help you make the changes you want to make. Set a date to join the gym two weeks after you move. If your goal is to spend more time with your kids, carve that time out starting from day three. If you want to learn how to play guitar, sign up for classes starting next month.
You’ll Never Have More Time Than You Do Now
I know it’s a scary thought considering how busy you are, but life will start to get busier. The immediate aftermath from moving is crazy busy, but then there’s the magical sweet spot. You’ve settled in, but you don’t have any commitments yet. You don’t have friends. Your kids aren’t overly scheduled. You don’t have enough clients to require work dinners all the time. You can either stress out about all the things you don’t have yet or you can use this time to start accomplishing the goals you’ve set out for yourself. I choose B. I haven’t always chosen B but, after so many moves, I’ve learned that this is the way to go. Try it out to see what makes you happiest. Set goals for yourself and see how much you can accomplish within the first three months after your move. I’d love to hear about it.