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When do you know it is the right time for change?
When can you turn a dream change into an action?
How much do you need to plan? Rethink? Save?
Now, simple living can start anytime and can be a quick or slow process. But what about big changes, like moving, changing jobs, starting a new business?
Many people simplify their lives so they can make other big changes like these in their life… but when is the right time to take that jump?
The short answer is there is never going to be a right time. Being comfortable with change, in my experience at least, happens during and after the change and not before it. Real change is scary.
But, just saying there is never a right time and to ‘just jump’ is probably not great advice either. Here are 4 tangible ways to determine if you are ready. If all these areas are ready, and you still haven’t jumped, than you just need to find the guts and go
How will this change affect your money? Usually change we talk about involves less money (quitting a job), or less reliable money (starting a business or moving to a new area). With these changes, especially if you have kids, then you need to make sure your money is ready.
#1 get out of debt. The world feels wide open if you aren’t sitting under debt. The amount you need to make to shelter and feed your family the basics is much lower if you don’t have debt payments to make each month. Not being in debt is what is allowing us to work overseas. We don’t make much over here, but since we don’t have to make payments on loans back in the US it is more than enough to live comfortably.
More than just being out of debt you need a savings cushion. Dave Ramsey sticks in my head on this one with his 3 months living expenses if you have a ‘traditional job’ or 6 months if you are self-employed or want a bit more cushion.
Is money key to making your change possible? If not, don’t let it stop you. If it is and you have it covered – then get going!
Do you have the time for the change you are looking at? Starting a business, going back to school, transitioning and learning a new job. All these are awesome projects for an intentional life but they all take time as well as money.
What would the change require from your time each week? 5 hours? 20 hours? more? Where will this time come from? How will it affect your current schedule and responsibilities?
Got the time figured out? ‘I need 20 hours a week to work on my new business idea. I can work 10 hours on the weekend and 2 hours each evening instead of watching TV‘ — you are ready to go!
What does your spouse think? How will the kids be affected? Is this a change that will affect the family?
If you have family support, or if they are okay with you trying something new — you are good to go!
Is this a fun idea in your head or do you really believe it is the right choice for you? This isn’t the same as not being scared or feeling comfortable/confident with the idea, those feelings may never come. This is talking about the deeper idea. Do you want the change? Do you know why?
What’s the worst case scenario?
What is the worst thing that could happen if you make this change? You deplete your savings? You have to find another job? Typically the ‘worst case’ is not anything life threatening. 5 years from now how much difference is it going to make if the change doesn’t work out the way you want it to? … mostly likely, the chance of a negative consequence affecting you more than a year or two is really low.
Make sure you won’t go bankrupt, or upset your spouse, and most changes don’t have much ‘worst case’ to worry about.
In this post I am talking about big changes, moving houses (location or size), changing jobs, starting a business. These are huge things that do take some thought.
However, if you are looking at little changes, like exercise, other lifestyle changes, or simplifying and are waiting for the right time — the time is now :). Many people put things off like this because they are afraid of failure. The idea that if they start they need to stick to it for life. … but life isn’t like that for most of us. Trying and failing in these areas accomplishes more than putting them off. For example, I would rather start a jogging program every week and fail after the first day, than not start at all… I would be 4 days a month ahead each month.
What can you do today to work toward the change?
What can you do tomorrow?
What can you do the next day?
… and have you made all these areas ready and are still hesitant because of fear?
Fear is powerful, but it doesn’t have the right, or the power, to decide how you will live your life.
Thanks for reading. Good luck!