Airline pilots are trained to use written checklists so that important standards are adhered to – making it possible to have a safe and enjoyable flight. When pilots ignore these checklists, they run the risk of inconvenient or even life-threatening results. For those of you who are about to embark on a new journey (such as moving abroad, changing careers, starting a family – or all of the above), the checklist for moving I offer below is meant to “save” your life. I mean this literally. By working through the checklist below, you will save a written record of the life you want to live at your final destination – thereby helping you get back on course when things don´t go as planned. And things (thankfully?) never go as planned.
As you may recall from my prior blog post Making the Big Move – we all make big life moves for good reasons. Right before any of us take off on such adventures, we likely have a general idea about the type of life we would like to live once we “land.” I am sorry to bring up that gym membership you bought that one January a few years back – or that time you “stopped smoking”, but who is going to be there to keep yourself from falling back into old habits? The answer – you. And here is how you will do it: Work through the questions below in no more than 15 minutes. Save these answers in a place that you will have easy access to periodically in the next few months.
Before Takeoff Checklist – a.k.a. “Save” the Life I Want to Live
Get clear on the following:
- What do I want to happen on a daily basis? (Make sure these ideas are simply SMA, meaning, Specific, Measurable, and Attainable. This might be “I come home from work before 8 pm” or “I learn a two new words in the local language”).
- What do I want to happen on a weekly basis? (Remember to keep it “SMA” such as “I study the local language for two hours” or “I keep up my jogging routine of three times a week”)
- What are a few important, adventurous and/or interesting things I want to do once a month? (Again “SMA” and make sure that you include one thing that feels purely fun and highly motivating)
- Why are each of these activities important?
- What value does each add (for me, my work, my family, etc.)?
- How can you make sure the ideas from 1-3 above are easily attainable (so you don´t fall back into old routines)?
- List out all of the logistics in terms of scheduling, planning, finances, coordination, etc.
- Identify your first small step in making at least one of these things possible?
Now that you have clarity on the important standards you would like to adhere to on your next journey, refer to it regularly to see if you are meeting the standards you have set for yourself. This will help you stay on course – and enjoy the ride.