Looking back isn’t going to help you. Moving forward is the thing you have to do. ~ McKayla Maroney


Have you met this person yet? The recently downsized-out-of-a-job/divorced/widowed/kids-are-finally-out-at-35-years-old? Any chance this person is you? I’ve met a few in the past several months and one of the things that strikes me about this group is their stated urgency to move to a “smaller and more manageable” home. Now. They want to go now. Right now. As in ‘what are you still reading for, start packing’ now. What’s the problem here? Oh so many! Let me count the ways this is going to be an issue down the road!

In the land of perfect this would be great; move into fewer square feet, less to maintain, less to worry about. Except. Except that just about any decision we make in haste has a high probability of not going well. Quick decisions in an emergency is fine thinking ~ this is not that. But waking up one day or thinking as you sign those divorce papers/donate your loved one’s clothing/stare at the (finally) empty bedroom that you’ll move as soon as you’re done with this task fails to take into account all the emotional pieces we need for a good decision.

Major changes in our lives will happen as this is a known quality of life; it is always evolving. How we approach these course corrections or unexpected bumps in the world is just as important as the need to course correct.

As you begin to think about changes you’d like to make here are a few suggestions to guide your way.

* Wait at least a year after a major life change. This will give you time to settle into the new reality.

* If possible take your idea out for a test run. Thinking of downsizing? Try renting a vacation home of about the same size as where you want to move to and then imagine what it would be like to host holiday dinners there or have overnight company. Where would you work on your favorite hobby?

* Begin to actively imagine the change you’re seeking. If you are thinking about a move to new part of the country have you really thought it through? Do you know what it is like in Idaho in January, on an ordinary Tuesday, when you’re not heading out to ski?

* There is no harm in paring down your stuff now. If you’ve not looked at your high school yearbook do you really need to move it anywhere other than to the trash?

I want to applaud you for seizing the day, beginning to take control of your future but could I simply request you follow a few traffic signs as you do so? You, your family and friends will appreciate it!