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Canceled Your Move? A Three-Step Plan to Moving On

You were all set for your big moving day and then something happened: Your investments took a tumble, your house didn't sell, or that job offer fell through. The bottom line is the move is off, and you're left to pick up the scattered pieces of disappointment.

So, what do you do?

Do you simply accept that it wasn't meant to be, and focus on your life where you are?

Or do you tell yourself this is only a temporary setback and keep your furniture in storage while looking for another opportunity to relocate?

When you gear up for a move, you create a lot of momentum -- mentally, you were already in your new place. You were probably feeling some excitement, anxiety and sense of adventure about your new location.

You were moving forward, moving, moving ... then all of a sudden a big red stop sign came up while you were cruising at 80 m.p.h. It's natural to feel frustrated, angry, or even depressed.

To help you cope, keep these three things in mind.

1. Be aware of what you're feeling and let yourself feel it. Don't minimize it or paste a smiley face on it. If you're ticked off, punch your pillow with your fists, go for a run, scream. If you're sad, let yourself cry. The point is, express what you're feeling without hurting anyone, including yourself. And perhaps you're feeling some relief because there's a part of you that's happy to remain where you are.

2. Re-frame your situation. Most things are not inherently good or bad – it depends on our perspective. You can see your cancelled move as a problem or an opportunity. Questions to ask yourself that can help you re-frame your situation: "What are some advantages to staying put now?" "Is there any unfinished business I've had here that now I can complete?" and "What do I really want now?"

3. Look at your options. Depending on the reasons the move fell through, you can ask yourself the following and make new plans accordingly:

Bad timing? Will the issue that kept you from moving simply resolve itself over time? Perhaps the path will be clear in a year? If so, your plans just may be on hold. This could include a budget freeze, a relative moving to assisted living, etc.
Job offer fell through? If you were excited about the new location, what about applying for similar jobs in the same city? Perhaps you'll find an even better one.

Not enough money? Let's say you planned to retire and now can't afford living on a retirement income in the new location you'd chosen. What about finding part-time work in the same new location, easing into retirement with a semi-retirement, or choosing another location with a lower cost of living that you could easily afford on a retirement income? This could include an overseas move.

Relationship changed? Let's say you were going to move someplace with your partner, and you broke up. This is a good time to reassess what you really want on your own. Would you have moved to that city or town if you didn't know your partner? Do you think you'd be happier where you are or are you ready to move someplace new in general?

House didn't sell? What about renting it out? You could do this yourself or hire a property manager to do it for you. Then put it back on the market when the market recovers. This way you'll have income to purchase a new home.
Another idea is a house swap with a family or couple in your desired location. There are Websites that specialize in this. Just put "house swaps" in a Google search and you'll find some major sites. To learn about more than cookie cutter options for making money with your home(s), check out REIA (Real Estate Investment Association) in your local area.

Also, be open to options that you wouldn't have considered previously. Maybe this the time to take that around-the-world backpacking trip or volunteer for America Corps, Peace Corps or start your own business! If you're between jobs now, you might find it's cheaper to travel overseas than to pay rent in the States.  

Don't give up on your dream! If you still want to move, you can make it happen.

Your Next Move:

Barbara Brady is a Life Transition Coach and author of the book Make the Right Move Now: Your Personal Relocation Guide: http://snipurl.com/1k21n designed to help people discover and move to their ideal location.  Visit her website at: www.mycoachbarbara.com .

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In the Press

A Moving Company's Moving Story
June, 2012

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