Scott H Young

Self-Improvement Tip: Ride the Wave of Moving Day


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Have you tried to surf without any waves before? It probably isn’t much fun. Catching the right waves can make a big difference. I’ve been thinking about how self-improvement often works the same way. With the right wave, you can make huge improvements with relative ease.

One of those waves is moving day. That is, whenever you change environments, it becomes much easier to make otherwise difficult habit changes. You can use the big change of a move to spur on a bunch of smaller changes.

This wave-riding principle works whenever there is a major change in your life. Moving to a new place is certainly a big one. But shifting to a new group of friends, getting a new job or starting a new business could all apply. Whenever there is an outside wave of change, you might as well ride it.

The Wave of Moving Day

When you change environments, most of your habits are broken. You can’t drive the same route to work, because the streets are different. You can’t make breakfast the same way, because the kitchen is different. You need to rewire many of those fundamental routine, because the wave of change breaks them all.

In a sense, a big move can put you in a position of starting from scratch. Normally, in order to make a change, you need to break down your old behaviors then rebuild new ones. After a move, the first step has already been finished, so you have less work to make a change.

I experienced the wave when I moved to University two years ago. I was used to many habits running in the background of my life. Suddenly, the environment is different and everything needs to be rebuilt from scratch. As an advantage, this helped be rebuild some of my socializing habits to meet a large group of people early on. As a side-effect, many of my productivity habits fell apart on impact.

At that time, I hadn’t been aware of the big impact a moving-day wave would have. Now as I prepare to move to a different apartment for the summer, I’m planning on using the wave to my advantage. A few of the things I’m planning to set up quickly as I arrive:

  • Meals & Cooking. Currently I’m on a half-cafeteria, half-microwavable/toaster diet. So I’m looking forward to cooking better food for myself over the next four months. I want to establish a cooking routine early on so I don’t settle into just pasta and microwave dinners.
  • Morning Running & Exercise. With the weather hitting spring now, I’d like to start jogging again each morning. This winter I mostly did weights indoors, but I want to add morning runs to that routine.
  • Work & Productivity. With school and most my extracurricular activities gone, I’ll be facing a lot more free time. I want to quickly take advantage of this by setting up a work routine that doesn’t squander my newfound time.

How You Can Take Advantage of Moving Day

If you’re planning a change of scenery soon, use this as a great opportunity for personal development. The moving period will be busy, but try to squeeze in any habit/lifestyle changes you want to make. I recommend writing a list of 2-3 habits you’d like to switch after the move.

For those of you already using the 30 Day Trial method, try to focus on changes that don’t work as well inside that system. If your social circle is changing, you can use it as an opportunity to become more outgoing and friendly. Those changes are harder to make when you spend most your time with people you already know.

Should You Move?

Moving to a new city or place is a fairly extreme self-improvement tip. I prefer to ride the natural transitions in my life, than manually generating the waves. But if you’re facing a few tricky habits that are attached to your environment, moving yourself might be a good idea.

A move won’t automatically change everything. But it lowers some of the barriers to making a change.

I’ve mentioned moving day as a “self-improvement wave”. What are a few other waves you can think of?


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5 Responses to “Self-Improvement Tip: Ride the Wave of Moving Day”

  1. Mickey says:

    This certainly bucks the common wisdom of “Moving doesn’t solve your problems”. Although I agree that moving can help breaking some unwanted habits, many still hold the common wisdom I just mentioned. Its sad because people feel guilty and weak if they want to move,sometimes. This is very unfortunate because the goal is not trying to swim against the waves, but to find the right waves and ride them into shore in order to maximize our impact on people and the world.

    Good Job Scott … its awesome that you started this blog when you were 17, bucking another trend that young people cannot attain “wisdom”. These blogs speak to what most people think of as wisdom.

  2. Scott Young says:

    Mickey,

    I wouldn’t suggest moving as a solution to your problems. But, if you’re already moving–it can be a way to change a few habits at the same time. I think it all depends on your intentions.

    -Scott

  3. Diego says:

    A psychologist told me this is called ‘field dependence’. Good post…again!

  4. Senthil says:

    Good post.

  5. Nichole Perry says:

    I have thought of moving for the last two years. Not to get away from my problems, but to break old habits and force myself to be more focused. I have a child, a wonderful support system of friends, and a dysfunctional family. I am a full time student full time single parent. I keep going back and forth on the move. Your blog is reassuring for me. I know changing scenery is the best thing for me to do especially if I want to get my PHD.
    Thanks!

Debate is fine, flaming is not. Pretend that this comment form is a discussion taking place in my house. That means I enjoy constructive criticism and polite suggestions. Personal attacks, insults and all-purpose nastiness will be removed especially if it is directed at other readers.

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