January is usually the month where many of us tend to review our habits. Full of hope we set New Year’s resolutions and we hope to become a better version of ourselves. Unfortunately most of us will have forgotten about our good intentions by the end of the month.
Lately I have seen a new trend where people object to setting New Year’s resolutions. Instead they decide to set intentions and hope they have more chance of getting a successful outcome.
Believe it or not but intentions don’t seem to work either. None of these things are effective unless you back them up with measurable goals and a solid plan of process.
I also have set New Year’s resolutions in the past and forgot about them soon after. Looking at my goal setting history, I realise I may have to make a few changes to my approach if I want to be effective.
Therefore, I have decided on the following. Instead of setting goals and focus on the end result, I will concentrate on the process that I will need to go through. In addition, I am going to assess my beliefs and habits and see if they are congruent with the outcome I am aiming for. I am pretty sure my beliefs and habits are not as helpful as they could be. Consequently they may need a bit of ‘reframing’.
The plan is to do this with the help of the famous book ‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear. I have been wanting to buy this book for a long time and for some reason it did not come my way. Until recently when I found it at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam.
I started following James Clear almost a decade ago. At the time he was a photographer, a blogger and a body builder. Looking at his track record, he is walking the talk when it comes to creating new habits or getting rid of unhelpful ones.
Habits and identity
What appeals to me most is what he writes about the role of identity. This is not the first time I hear this but it comes down to the following. If you want to achieve certain things, you will have to become the type of person that is capable of achieving such things.
An example close to my heart is alcohol. If you are interested, you can read my blogpost ‘What is the best decision you made in 2022’ right here.
For instance, if you want to stop drinking alcohol, you will have to become a person who does not drink alcohol. It is not enough to remain someone who tries to stop. Another example that interest me is creating a successful online business. In order to do that effectively I have to become the type of person who knows how to create and market an online business. I obviously won’t be successful if I have have a go at it without having the necessary skills, strategies and timeline.
I have a few ideas for an online business. My intention is to explore how to become the type of person who is capable of setting up an online business by the end of 2023. I intend to reflect on that process once per month in a blog post. Writing about it will hopefully help me to keep on track and may give you a few ideas to act upon for yourself.
I hope you’ll find it inspiring to read and follow my experiences.
Have you ever dreamt about relocating within your country or abroad? Chances are many of you may be perfectly happy with where you are. On the other hand there will be some of you who can’t help having an image of seeing yourself living in a different state or country.
Longing for a different and better life is often an inspiration for a move to a different location. Maybe you like a cultural or climate change or want to immerse yourself in another language or just crave for an adventure.
Relocating from a romantic perspective
Many people from the ‘New World’ countries have a romantic expectation about moving to older cultures. Australians tend to see spending a period in France or Italy as one of the ultimate achievements in life. Many retired Americans move interstate, to Mexico or to Europe for a longer period to find out whether such a move could be off permanent nature. British people have a reputation of seeking out a new beginning in many South European countries.
Such moves are usually driven by positive motives. Yet on countless occasions more critical reasons come into play – war, recession and wanting to escape a political regime can all be reasons to move elsewhere.
The practical reality
Aside from the romantic notion, the practical consequences of ‘relocating’ can be daunting. As a matter of fact settling in another state may separate you from loved ones. Moving countries could strip you from your professional credibility and your qualifications may not have the same status as they have at home.
If your new country has a different language, it is likely to cause you severe stress. It will frustrate you that you don’t know how to do things. Your new local community might not immediately accept you or with great hesitation. Obviously, these are just some of the ‘issues’ that may arise after settling in a new country.
Whatever your motives are for relocating it is wise to spend time reflecting on a couple of essential things. Moving requires a lot of preparation, organisation and the willingness to start from scratch. In other words, take your time to prepare yourself mentally and physically.
Challenge yourself before relocating:
Firstly, take time to assess your big ‘WHY. Brainstorm your motives, emotionally and rationally. Assess the things you will lose or gain and how you and your family will handle that.
Secondly, plan a temporary move. Rent a house in the location of your choice. Live the local life for 6 months and see how you fit in.
Thirdly, consider the practical and emotional consequences for you, your partner, your kids, your jobs and other essential things in life.
Having gone through a handful of moves myself, I urge you to take the above tips seriously. In conclusion, explore your motives, consider the consequences and try it out without committing or burning bridges.
My interest in moving abroad may have been part of my genes. After all what other child would decide to learn German with eight years of age??
I grew up in the Netherlands with more German tv stations than Dutch. Germany synchronises all content on tv and this means that you get to see everything in German. To give you an idea, I grew up thinking John Wayne was a native German speaker as I always saw him speaking German.
In The Netherlands on the other hand, we had subtitles and everything we see on TV is in the original language. As a result many Dutch people pick up some English. Some generations learned to speak English purely because of the subtitles. Often, they have an American accent as we had more programs from the USA.
So as a result of hearing a lot of German on tv and living only 20 km from the German border I developed this interest in learning German when I was eight. On top of that my father took me on shopping trips to Germany to stock up on photography supplies. They were substantially cheaper in Germany.
My father was a keen amateur photographer and he had a dark room in our attic. He taught me to print my own black and white pictures so I could create little albums. How nice would it be to still have these albums!
An early interest in anything abroad
To sum it up, I learned to speak German as a kid and I had summer jobs in Switzerland for 5 years while I was studying. One of my best friends lived in Milan so guess where I hang out regularly? My first real job after graduation was for an American company in Switzerland.
It seems that from a young age I was standing with one foot abroad. So, it is not surprising to see that I ended up living in five different countries.
Another interesting thing is that I never showed much interest in Dutch boyfriends. I had a teenage fling for about 3 years but after that I tended to have boy friends abroad. The result was that I never really had ‘real’ relationships as I hardly ever saw these guys. But it stopped me creating any ties to the Netherlands.
My sister once said to me that I seemed only interested in finding a reason for going abroad. Looking back at my life, I realise she had a point. When I met my future husband in Australia, I certainly did not hold back then. In fact I thought he was an Australian, and secretly I hoped for an easy entry in the land down under.
Moving abroad multiple times
Since my twenties I have lived in Switzerland, UK, Australia, and France with short stints in Greece and Norway.
My first move was when I was single and the second and third while I was in a relationship. I moved with a four-year-old child, then with a seven-year-old plus a baby and in 2017 as an empty nester. I have experienced moving within the whole range of age categories and have surely accrued some wisdom over the decades
My last move abroad was after the kids left home and this move was my favourite. It was purely a lifestyle choice, and it feels like I am now perfecting the circumstances of the last chapter of my life.
Let me ask you something!
If a move abroad or relocation has been on your mind, but you think it is only a silly dream. Or if you reckon you would love to have such an adventure but you have no idea where to start…….
In that case, I like to invite you to tap in to my experience. I would love to help you unlock your dream and explore if a move abroad could be within your reach.
Are you dreaming of moving to a different country? Chances are you are perfectly happy where you are, but sometimes you can’t help craving the idea of a life abroad.
Longing for a different and better life for yourself and your family is often the initial inspiration for a move abroad. Maybe you like a cultural or climate change, want to immerse yourself in another language or just crave an adventure.
Reasons for moving to a different country
Many people from the ‘New World’ countries have a romantic presupposition about moving to older cultures. For instance Australians tend to see spending a period in France or Italy as the ultimate dream come true. While many retired Americans move to France for a longer period to find out whether such a move could be off permanent nature. British people have a reputation of seeking out a new beginning in many South European countries.
Such moves are all driven by positive motives. However nowadays more critical reasons come into play on a regular base. War, recession and wanting to escape a political regime are amongst those reasons why people consider moving abroad.
The hidden dangers of moving abroad
Aside from the romantic notion, the practical consequences of ‘moving abroad‘ can be daunting. Settling in another country could strip you from all your professional credibility and your qualifications may not have the same status as they have at home.
If your new country has a different language, it is likely to cause you severe stress. It will frustrate you that you don’t know how to do things. Your new local community might not immediately accept you or with great hesitation. These are just some of the ‘issues’ that may arise after settling elsewhere.
Whatever your motives are for moving abroad it is wise to spend time reflecting on a few essential things. Firstly moving to a different country requires a lot of preparation, organisation and the willingness to start from scratch. Secondly take your time to prepare yourself mentally and physically. Above all be willing and prepared to adapt to habits and customs in your new country.
Consider this before moving to a different country
Take time to assess your big ‘WHY. Brainstorm your motives, emotionally and rationally. Assess the things you will lose or gain and how you and your family will handle that.
Plan a temporary move. Rent a house in the country of your choice and live the local life for 6 months and see how you fit in.
Consider the practical and emotional consequences for you, your partner, your kids, your jobs and other essential things in life.
If the idea of a lifestyle change appeals to you, but you are unsure how to start, reach out and chat with me.