The exercise in the previous post (eco-friendly coaching) is perfect for people considering moving. However, if you are at the stage of just considering whether relocation is for you, you might find the following exercise a little more manageable. The idea is to take notice of what is important to you in your daily life (some things get into such a routine that we can take them for granted until they are no longer available to us) so that you have clear criteria for what you need in your new location. Every day for a week, note down what you did, what you thought about it and what, if anything, you would like to change about it. Here are some examples:
Sunday: To church. I love being part of a real community. I wish there were more opportunities to mix with such a wide variety of people in other contexts.
Wednesday: At the gym. A fab step aerobics class! Think I’d go mad if I didn’t have this facility so close.
Thursday: Took the dog for a walk. Trudging round the block. It would be great if there were somewhere close I could take him off the lead and let him run.
Write down all your thoughts as they occur to you – don’t edit them. Highlight anything that comes up that you consider to be key to your identity.
Your next task is this: using your notes you have already made and adding anything else that occurs to you, make a list of what is really important to you (as an individual, couple or family group) about where you live now. When you have done that, highlight, underline or asterisk those things on the list that are absolutely necessary for you to keep your identity. Here is an example:
- garden or private outdoor space
- opportunities for work
- broadband internet access
- place of worship
- good schools
- open spaces, etc., etc.
If you know where you want to relocate to, check what’s important to you against what is there and consider what you will do in the event of any gaps. If you are still contemplating a move, keep this checklist to hand whenever you are considering a potential location.