If you were to tell me that I was about to pack up my whole life and move to Miami, I wouldn’t have believed you.
I mean, we were in the middle of a pandemic. I had four kids under 6 years old, plus a 7-month-old English mastiff puppy that weighed 115 pounds. It was an election year. It was hurricane season. I didn’t have any family in Miami. And… I had spent less than 10 collective days there.
On the surface, it sounded like a crazy idea. Arguably, insane.
But when my husband and I touched down in Miami, deep down I knew that it would be the setting for the next chapter of my life.
When people asked me why I was moving from San Diego to Miami, my response was… “Why not?”
Turns out, I wasn’t alone. The CEO of a fast-growing startup told me he was planning on working remotely all fall in Maine to enjoy the autumn leaves. Another friend told me she was taking her 3 kids to Hawaii for the next 6 months to make new memories. And another colleague was moving to Oregon for 9 months, to explore the Pacific Northwest.
So many people were making changes to embrace the new normal because they’d rather look back and say “Whoops” than “What if?”
I know that change is scary. But regret is way, way scarier.
I’d rather face an ocean of change than a mountain of regret.
Here’s how I knew it was the right decision for me to make a life change… and a few tips so you know whether now’s the time for you, too.
1. You’re feeling comfortable, yet restless
If you find yourself doing the same thing day in and day out, it might be time to shake things up. There’s nothing wrong with implementing some healthy routines throughout your day – but too much monotony can totally kill creativity. There’s no growth in the comfort zone, and there’s no comfort in the growth zone. If your life lacks excitement and your energy is low, it might be time to make a life change. When was the last time you did something out of your comfort zone?
This happens to all of us at some point or another. You’re not alone – and more importantly, it’s a totally normal and natural part of life. Being in the same environment, doing the same thing over and over again, and spending time with the same people can make us stagnant. Make it a priority to spend less time with negative people who drain your energy and more time with people that energize and inspire you.
A big change in one area of your life can spark more changes in other areas, both professionally and personally. Change makes you more flexible, exposes you to new experiences and new people, and opens up the doors to more opportunities. It’s kind of addicting.
But even if you’re not ready to make a giant life change quite yet, start with simple things, like trying a new restaurant, learning a new hobby, or visiting a new town. Better yet, begin from within – what mental, emotional, or spiritual changes do you need to make so you can keep moving forward?
2. You want to feel a greater sense of purpose
Do you jump out of bed each morning excited or keep pressing snooze on your alarm? Are you spending too much time watching Netflix, scrolling the social media abyss, or other unhealthy activities? These are a few signs that you may need to rediscover your life’s purpose.
Work can also be a great source of energy in our lives. If you have lost your job or had to close your business, expect your physical and/or emotional energy to be low. Grief takes energy. Be kind to yourself. One great way I’ve found to drive meaning and purpose in my life is to help others. It’s why I dedicate so much of my time to helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. If you are struggling, reach out to ask for help. It will help you and the person who has the honor of helping you. Your request gives them purpose!
Pro tip: To reignite your sense of purpose, take one hour each day and commit to doing something new. And I mean really new. Donate your time to a cause you care about, do something kind for someone else, learn how to master a new skill. One of my friends donates to Meals on Wheels every Saturday morning and when he calls me after he feels happier and more fulfilled. Commit to trying something new you’ve always wanted to learn. Take an online class in poetry, a creative writing class, or an art class. Learn a new language, grow a garden, or start a side hustle. The world is your oyster.
3. Something else in your life just reached its natural end
Whether a long-term relationship just ended or you just got laid off, that can be a sign that one chapter in your life is closing. And when something has just ended, it means it’s time for something else to begin. This is positive. Choose to fill that space with something new, something that makes you feel energized and excited about the future.
After I stepped down as the CEO of a global marketing technology company, I enjoyed spending my time focusing on helping fellow entrepreneurs achieve business success. That career shift also made it possible for me to uproot and relocate. And it’s not the first time a job change led me to move somewhere else – shortly after I was laid off from my job in my early 20s in Los Angeles, I decided to move to Hawaii to begin my next chapter. I ended up starting my first company from my kitchen table, which totally changed my life. Later I moved to San Diego, where I sold my first company, not once, but twice, and had two sets of twins.
Is it time for you to turn the page? The next chapter can be the best one yet.
4. You feel like you’re living in the past
It can be difficult to look forward to the future when your surroundings and habits haven’t changed in a long time. You’re not the same person you used to be anymore… So why are you still living the same life, day after day? Take a step forward and refuse to look back (unless it’s to see how far you’ve come).
My family and I made so many memories in our San Diego house, but something inside me told me it was time to move forward. I want to teach my kids to embrace change, new places, new people, and new opportunities. And I know that no matter how far away I am, the friendships I made in San Diego (and around the world) will last a lifetime.
If the word “change” paralyzes you, change the word not your action. What do you want to ADD to your life? When a house gets too small people often build on a small addition. Think of how you can “add” to your life to make room for more.
5. It’s been a long time since you’ve made a move
Sometimes, we forget we have choices. Remind yourself of your power by making one. When you make a decision, you take control of your life and your destiny. So, change careers, break up with your significant other if you’re in a toxic relationship, start a new business, or move to Miami to be my neighbor – whatever it takes to shake things up in your life and remind yourself that you’re in control.
I’m excited to get to know myself and my family even better as we navigate this big change together. Life is short and the world is huge – it’s time for us to broaden our horizons and step out into the unknown.
I’ll admit it – my move to Miami was a really major life change. But if you know me, you know there’s nothing I love more than a big adventure. I’m not suggesting everyone should move across the country – but I do believe making changes, big or small, is the key to improving your life. Change helps you learn, grow, and stay energized (maybe even a little scared). Change is also beautiful. If there were no change, there’d be no butterflies!
You have the power to change any aspect of your life. What’s a big or small change you’d like to make? No matter what might be holding you back, feel the fear and do it anyway!
Kim Perell is widely recognized entrepreneur, investor and national best selling author. A great believer in paying it forward, Kim loves to help aspiring entrepreneurs achieve success and is an early stage investor in over 80 start-ups, 16 of which have successfully been acquired by some of the largest Fortune 500 companies.
Originally published in Entrepreneur