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5 Mindful Tips Before Your Big Move to California

So if you’re reading this, I’m assuming you are ready to move to California or maybe you’re moving somewhere else. The point is you want to get up out of your current home state and move somewhere new! That is a big deal and you should be pretty pumped for even making the plan to do so. It may seem daunting at first but I know for me I realized the decision was pretty easy to make once I cut out all the overthinking…

I grew up in good ol’ New Jersey (shoutout to my East coast folks), but I envisioned when I would be able to live somewhere else. At first, I thought I would end up in Atlanta or maybe Arizona, but there was something about California that really moved me. I had been to California when I was younger, like maybe five years old so this was mostly a fantasy.

But during my senior year in college, I decided I would take the risk. I started applying into leadership and/ or management programs and landed an interview spot with Apple in Los Angeles in 2014. That gave me the glimpse I needed to know that I eventually wanted to live there. Well maybe not Los Angeles, but California for SURE. However I winded up not getting the job which sucked in the moment but looking back on it, I don’t think it was my time, if that makes sense? Welp. 

So fast forward to 2019 when I visit my best friend in San Diego for her engagement party. I had been there before but something about that trip in April really clinched what I already knew. That I needed to go. 

I came back to Jersey and decided to make a plan. So, I stayed up most nights doing research on how I would make this move and make it a successful one. Some things to consider were where I was going to work, where I would live, if I would be homeless. You know, all that stuff. But what I had a difficult time doing was actually making the leap. The trip to San Diego provided a level of excitement that I hadn’t seen in myself in a while and the research gave me the confidence to go. But something in me couldn’t commit to it. It’s like I had this dream that I could see playing out, but I was frozen and just couldn’t reach it. 

I would spend a lot of my time kicking myself for just not ripping the band-aid off and committing to the move to California. After a while I got annoyed with my own antics and decided that I would try to change the way I was thinking about it and how I was allowing this moment to bring all of my fears to the forefront. I did some hard reflection, which if you’re like me, can be difficult. What I found was there were things I could do to not only change my mood but help me envision a more positive and exciting life. 

Here are 5 tips that helped me as I prepared to move to California!

1. “Your time is limited. So don’t waste it living someone else’s life”- Steve Jobs commencement speech which you can find here.

From his Stanford commencement speech, Steve Jobs talks about choosing not to follow the opinions of others while mapping out your life’s journey. More often than not, we think of how others will perceive our actions. Will they agree? Would they do the same if they were in the position? The point is it doesn’t matter. If you want to move to California because you feel it is the right decision, make sure that you don’t allow other people to bulldoze over it. Getting advice from family and friends is appreciated and sometimes needed but it shouldn’t drive all the decisions you make for you. Your life is yours so you can make it whatever you want it to be. 

2. Don’t Speak to Yourself Negatively 

You know exactly what I’m talking about. “What if I fail?” or “I’m not smart enough” pr “This won’t work, it’s a stupid idea”. The point is to stop speaking to yourself in a way that is really just negative and doesn’t help you get anywhere. Something I remind my friends is if you wouldn’t say it to one of us, don’t say it to yourself! We don’t realize how harsh we are on ourselves but I’m here to tell you, you don’t need to be! If it’s hard to do, try doing self-affirmations. Say positive things about you and what you’re trying to do and focus on that versus the negative. 

3. Flip “What If” On Its Head

This tip is tied to the one above but it’s more about flipping the what if questions we pose ourselves on its head. Instead of asking yourself “what if I can’t?” Try asking yourself “what if I succeed?” What if you move to California and things are better than expected? What if you take the leap and you hit a few bumps, but things still work in your favor? Sometimes what I try to do is imagine worst case scenario and best-case scenario. But I don’t dwell on the worst-case scenario. I accept that it’s a possibility but so is my best case, and that’s equally as important. 

4. Be Reasonable With Yourself

Keep yourself in check about what kind of leap you can take, and the risks associated with it. When I moved to California the plan was for me to stay with my best friend and her fiancé until I got on my feet. These are my people, but I still didn’t want to be that guest who overstayed my welcome. So I had to be reasonable with my budget, timeline, and how likely it was that I would get on my feet within let’s say 60-90 days of landing in California. Make sure that you consider different factors that may impact you succeeding on your move. It’s not to say that if you come across a possible wrench in everything, you don’t have to abandon it altogether. Just be mindful!

5. Be Grateful You Are Doing Something For You 

You have decided that you want to move to California, and you are awesome for doing so! Not because I love California and think everyone should move here (just kidding), but because it’s a big step and takes a lot of courage to do. It doesn’t matter where in California you’re going but leaving home to go somewhere new can bring up a range of thoughts and emotions. For me, through all of my fears, I had to remember that no matter what happened, I was glad I was going for it. And I’m sure this sounds crazy, but I was okay with failing, to an extent, because I realized I wanted a life where I wasn’t afraid to try new things and that means there may be times, I don’t succeed the way I thought I would. No matter what happens, be proud of yourself for making the move!

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