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5 Factors to Consider When Moving to a New City

5 Factors to Consider When Moving to a New City

The average American moves about eleven times in their lifetime. This begs the question: Do people move until they find a place to settle down where they truly feel happy, or do our wants and needs change over time, prompting us to eventually leave a town we once called home for a new area that will bring us satisfaction?

Or, do we too often move to a new area without knowing exactly what we’re getting into, forcing us to turn tail and run at the first sign of discomfort?

To minimize the chances of this happening, we should always do proper research when planning our next move in life. Consider the following factors when picking a new place to live so you don’t end up wasting your valuable time and money making a move you’ll end up regretting.

Weather and climate

Obviously, if you’re not a winter person, you’re not going to want to move to Minnesota. This goes without saying.

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But no matter where you go, there will be certain quirks in the weather than you might not have anticipated at first glance. For example, though you may have chosen a fairly temperate area, the way in which your new home is situated may make it a prime target for flooding–and you might not recognize this possibility until it’s too late.

Though you likely won’t let the slight possibility of dangerous weather deter you from moving into your new home, you also don’t want to overlook the potential cost to your home if such a catastrophe were to occur.

Safety

Safety should definitely be a top concern when moving to a new area. If you don’t feel safe in your own home, you’re not going to be able to enjoy living there.

Before you make the big move, take a look at the crime statistics for your area and the surrounding areas. Find your potential new city’s municipal website and read about any initiatives that have recently been put into place. This will give you insight into some of the issues that have been plaguing the area, as well as what actions are being taken to curb this behavior.

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Most areas across the country aren’t completely crime-free. Check out Facebook pages and other websites created by the city’s populace to inform yourself about areas to avoid and other precautions to take. As long as you know how to avoid dangerous situations, you’ll most likely keep yourself free from danger.

Quality of schools

Of course you want to provide your children with incredible opportunities when it comes to their education. But even if you don’t have children of your own, the quality of your new city’s schools can tell you a lot about the surrounding area. Cities that focus on education are generally more progressive. These cities demand equality for all citizens, as they understand how important it is to cultivate a community of acceptance and growth in all of its members.

Cities that focus on education want to see their residents succeed in all areas of life. If you’re moving in order to discover a “new you,” these are the types of cities that will benefit you the most.

Job market

When moving to a new city, you absolutely need to make sure your skills are in high demand around the area. Your dream may be to move to a beach town and live comfortably for the rest of your days, but if you can’t find a well-paying job, you won’t last very long.

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In addition to being absolutely sure that you’ll be a great addition to the workforce in your new city, you should also pay attention to the area’s economic trends. Is there a high turnaround when it comes to others in your industry? Are businesses packing up shop and moving to a more affordable area? Will governmental budget cuts affect your chances of getting–and keeping–a well-paying job?

Perhaps an even worse fate to suffer than not being able to find a job in a new area is finding your dream job in your dream locale…only to be laid off once it finally starts to feel like home.

True cost of living

No matter where you go, the cost of living is expensive.

However, your dollar does go further depending on what state you live in. The median salary for all workers varies, as well as the amount you’ll make in a specific position. You might make less money on paper in a specific area, but the cost of living may be much less–meaning you’ll be able to stretch your lower wages much further.

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Research the cost of transportation, insurance, groceries, taxes, and all other aspects of life that might not come to mind right away, but ultimately determine how much money you have left at the end of each month. You want to be sure you can live comfortably without worrying about being able to pay the bills.

As long as you know what you can afford, you’ll be in good shape whenever you make a new move.

Featured photo credit: Matthew W. Jackson via farm3.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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