I’m one of those people who regularly sets goals and writes to-do lists. There are many goals I achieve simply by having patience and taking enough steps. Last week, when I attended a business retreat given by Michelle Pippin, I was reminded that some goals sometimes require faith you can achieve it, and by following the process.
Like weight. Years ago, I remember after having my third baby and being challenged with losing that baby weight (I was never like all those famous people who lose all the weight within minutes of giving birth.) I had been following the Weight Watcher diet (again), but this time, nothing seemed to work. Everything I read kept saying, “diet AND exercise, diet AND exercise. This was NOT what I wanted to hear.
I was used to dieting, but was not “into” exercising. After reading an article that said if you can’t do 30 minutes, then start with 15–I reluctantly admitted I could do 15. My plan was less than noble. My thought process was that I would add exercise to my dieting for 6 weeks (I figured that was a respectable amount of time) and when “it” didn’t work, I had the ammunition to march down to my doctor’s office and say that something is wrong–give me a pill or do something to magically make my weight disappear (this was before liposuction).
I set out to walk around the neighborhood. I timed myself, then tried to beat my last record time. Soon I began to walk a driveway and then run to the next driveway. I kept it up and eventually, I saw the results I wanted. (I wish I could say that was the last time I had that losing weight challenge–but that’s another story, I mean–blog!) I
Now that I have started my own business, I am trying to discover the the right process to achieve the results I want. The challenge this time is to figure out what the right process is. There are many people who swear they have the answer and eager person that I am to “succeed,” have tried many of them. Maybe someday, I’ll be able to tell you what the right formula is. Or, perhaps, like weight loss, there is no easy or magical “fix.”
It probably started when I lived those 30 years in Rochester, New York–my dream to move south. I can remember back in the 70’s, one of my good friends had been talking about her former neighbors who had moved to North Carolina. It immediately captured my imagination and interest. For many years after that, when someone talked about that area of the country, I was all ears. But I didn’t have the opportunity to visit there until 2000.
I would often talk about moving to a warmer climate–but never bothered to narrow it down. I figured I would probably get a job that would take me there–maybe North Carolina, South Carolina or even Georgia. That job never materialized. I enjoyed looking through Where to Retire magazines and trying to imagine myself in one of the featured communities. But there was still time–I had to save more before I could ever think of retiring.
Well, as the saying goes, “We plan; God laughs.” Because in 2006, I was laid off.
One of my first decisions was to attend a Coaching certification program to become a Life Coach. My plan (see the above paragraph) was that while I was building my business, I would get another human resources position–surely that was the most responsible alternative. I couldn’t continue to live in my current home without my corporate salary so within a few months, I put my house up for sale. Once it sold, I would either move to where my new job was located or move into a temporary apartment.
Despite an active job search, I never came close to being hired in human resources. Once I received my certification, I started thinking, “Now what?” I had a passing thought about moving south–but I quickly dismissed it. The thought of identifying exactly where I wanted to live seemed so over-whelming.
But that thought kept reoccurring and finally I allowed myself to consider, “Well, what would it take to make that decision?” At first I half-heartedly started going through those Where to Retire magazines that I saved for the past 7 years. I cut out any article or photos of communities that looked possible. I did further research on the internet and on the phone. Eventually, I decided to take a trip to visit a few of the areas I had narrowed down.
When I drove up and saw the Blue Ridge mountains, I knew I was home. Three months and several leaps of faith later–I was there.
The reactions of my friends to my decisions shook me up quite a bit. I didn’t know anyone who had been in a similar situation. And without exception, everyone’s eyes would roll back and they would comment how they could never move to an area where they didn’t know anyone. After hearing it so often, I started wondering what was wrong with me that I was able to make such a “drastic” move. Eventually, I learned that people were sharing their own limitations. Many of them defending why they couldn’t move–but wished they could. It was about them, not me.
After I settled into my new home in Asheville, NC, I knew I wanted to help other singles relocate to the home of their dreams. I created a coaching business called Relocating Single. This continues to be one of my passions and I want to help others evaluate whether a move might be the right decision for them.
Does my story resonate with you? Have you been thinking of moving to a town by the ocean? In the mountains? Or maybe you’re looking for any place where you can start a whole new life. Perhaps you are ready to speak with someone who can help you:
You do not have to be alone at this exciting time in your life. I can bring my own challenging and rewarding relocation experiences to our sessions and gently guide you through the process. Call for a free consultation to explore whether coaching is for you. Or send for your complementary copy of the 7 Keys to Relocating in Mid-Life by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org