Can you be really sure a sea change is right for you?
So, you’ve decided to make a sea or tree change and it’s time to get the move underway. You’re probably feeling part excited and part anxious!
If so, that’s OK – both are common and normal.
Given this is one of the biggest life changes you’ll ever make, you want to feel confident you’ve made the right decision.
Unlike deciding what’s for dinner or where you’ll go for your next holiday, this decision will have far-reaching consequences for you and your loved ones.
Once you’ve decided and told everyone, there’s no going back. If it doesn’t work out, you can only learn from it and move forward.
And, like all big life decisions (getting married, having children, changing careers etc.), there are no ironclad guarantees of success.
Over 10 years of helping singles, couples, families and retirees make sea and tree changes, I’ve discovered that success comes from being crystal clear about the following:
1. Why do I want to make a sea or tree change?
If the catalyst for your sea or tree change comes from being ‘fed up’ with your job, the long commute, not enough time to do what you love, that’s a good start. Negative motivators are powerful catalysts for change.
However, they aren’t enough to create and sustain a healthy, happy sea changed life.
Identify what you hope to gain (versus lose) when you make the move and how that will make your life infinitely better.
2. What would a successful sea change look, sound and feel like?
Consciously identify your priorities and success criteria. This creates a list of what you’ll need to make the dream a reality.
Picture a week in your sea changed life and how it could be. What will you be doing? Who’ll be there with you? What will that give you that isn’t currently possible ?
How will you know it’s been worthwhile and you’re glad you had the courage to make your sea change happen?
3. What am I prepared to compromise on?
No matter how well you research and plan, nowhere will be perfect. Knowing what you’re prepared to forego or change your mind about will help you go into your sea changed life with ‘eyes wide open.’
Discover and work through all the possible downsides and decide how important they really are to you.
Create sensible expectations; clarify what matters most and be accepting of what’s not going to be possible, once you make the move.
4. How will my loved ones be impacted and how will we manage that?
Whether they are making the sea change with you or not, your loved ones lives will change too. They’ll each have their own wishes, expectations and fears.
Strive for open and honest communication! Take time to listen patiently and understand without judgement. Constructive and age appropriate conversations will help everyone discuss how they’re feeling.
Once it’s all out in the open, plan together how to maximise the positives and overcome the negatives.
5. Have I considered and carefully planned for…?
- Financial change – can I afford it?
- Health change – how would we manage if my health declined?
- Relationship change – how can I ensure my important relationships are strengthened?
- Lifestyle change – where and how I live; a different, slower pace; how I spend my time?
- Unavoidable upheaval – weathering the short-term sense of uncertainty and reduced familiarity?
Work through each of these these factors. Having answers to these will give you the confidence to know you’re making the right decision.
6. How do I stay calm, positive and optimistic?
When I think about my clients whose sea and tree changes have been the most successful, they don’t sweat the small stuff and know how to stay positive. How well your sea change works out will depend on your ability to be:
- Flexible and Adaptable – able to respond constructively and positively when things don’t go exactly as you planned or visualised
- Curious and Open – actively searching for different ways to make it work even better
- Persistent and Resilient – recognising that sea changes rarely result in ‘instant’ success. It takes time to settle in; adapt your lifestyle and build trusted relationships.
Able to live in the moment whilst focusing on the future – successful sea changes have key stages and a series of actions. Celebrate each milestones achieved and recognise how far you’ve come, whilst knowing your next step and why you’ll take it.
7. Do I have a ‘Plan B’ if it doesn’t work out?
Knowing what you would do if things go wrong doesn’t make you overly cautious. It’s smart to be prepared for the unexpected, if it were to happen.
If you live in a fire or flood prone area, it’s likely you have a plan for the hot or wet season.
Likewise, your ‘Sea Change Plan B’ is like an insurance policy or the air bags in your car. It won’t make disaster happen but it will give you peace of mind.
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Regardless of where you are in your sea or tree change journey, stop, reflect and remind yourself why you’re making the change.
This is the simplest way to ensure it turns out to be the best life change you’ve made.
Still not sure?
Download your FREE DECISION MAKER & PROBLEM SOLVER GUIDE and TEMPLATE below. Consider all the facts and feelings and sleep well knowing you’ve done everything you can to ensure your sea change is the success you hope it will be.
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Caroline Cameron is a master certified executive career and lifestyle coach, sea change coach, speaker and author.
Having successfully reinvented herself through 10 career and 4 major lifestyle changes, Caroline helps mid-career professionals harness the power of change to achieve success in business, work and life.