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There are several major milestones most people are eager to achieve at some point in their lives. The more celebrated ones are: graduating from college, getting married, having children, buying your first home and relocating to a different state or country. All of these exciting life stages signal to yourself and others that you’ve successfully reached a marker of maturity, wisdom or adulthood. They can also be among the most stressful times of your life!

To minimise your stress it is important to follow a few basic steps that’ll help you enjoy these milestones without becoming overwhelmed. Once you’ve made the decision to reach for a particular milestone, let’s say, moving to another country; your first step will be to create an action plan of to do items that need to be taken care of.

Sample items could be:
  • Researching the visa and work requirements of your destination country
  • Examining the child care and school options
  • Knowing the currency exchange rate between your current and new country
  • Creating a practical budget

These are just some initial steps you’ll need to take to ease your transition.

For any major milestone, create an action plan and then prioritise it. Decide which items are “do now” and which can be done on a different day. Give yourself a reasonable time frame to accomplish the items on your list. After completing your action plan, create a SMART goal to reach after you’ve accomplished your milestone. A SMART goal is one that’s specific, measurable, attainable, result oriented and time bound. Sticking with our relocation example, your goal may be along the lines of ‘saving 10% of my monthly salary towards paying off my debt in my home country within the next year.’ When you have a clear goal in mind, successful life transitions are easier, more fulfilling and less stressful.

Many people who move abroad, especially teachers, also choose to obtain an additional degree. Your action plan for this should include researching legitimate online schools

in which to study, looking into an online degree that will be accepted towards your future educational plans, and exploring how your new degree can be used to possibly catapult your career in a new and perhaps more rewarding direction.

You may decide you’re interested in changing careers. If so, begin by looking at the fields your current degree can apply to. Make sure to also research what skills and experiences can be transferred to your new field of interest, as well as, what the general pay scale is for the new career. Will you need to get more training? If so, what are the costs associated with that? How much of a time commitment is required for the additional training?

Any life transition should be a time of excitement and anticipation of what comes next. Decrease the normal stress associated with major change by preparing for it and increasing your enjoyment of your well-earned success. Creating a prioritised action plan and a SMART goal or two will allow you to successfully transition to your new home, career or country.

By Aisha Shakti Hakim

Shakti is an educator and author of ‘The Busy Babe’s Guide to Wellness: 8 Steps to a Healthier You Now!’ which is available on www.amazon.com

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