What are you leaving behind? – Birds on the Blog

What are you leaving behind?

Of course it’s a time of reflection – it’s the start of a new year and many of us have taken some time out of our normal routine to think what challenges we want to take on over the next 12 months.  The change of ownership of Birds on the Blog got me thinking about the opposite challenge; the things I want to leave behind in 2017.  Have you thought about giving something up? It’s so easy to get into a habit of doing the same thing over and over and not really remembering why you started that habit or whether it continues to serve you, or a habit that doesn’t support you.  All our behaviours (good or bad) are habits.

My friend Annabel Kaye talks about life going into 5 year cycles and maybe your 5 years are over and it’s time to change something.  Or to take a deep breath and let you and your business evolve into something new.  Handing the reins on to Jackie and her team, will invariably evolve Birds on the Blog into something different and exciting (for instance this blog which hopefully will be the start of more International Birds on the Blog posts from Women overseas!)

As founder of costawomen.com (a free community for Women living in, or moving to Spain), I am seeing more and more Women giving up something in 2018.  They are leaving behind their homeland and moving to Spain.  Everything in Spain will be new for them; whether that’s the language, making friends, the culture and even what, or when you eat!  Based on their new challenges here are some ideas for how to move forward and leave “stuff” behind in 2017

Research, research, research

Our arrivals in Spain will have done lots of research, made lots of visit to Spain, asked for advice before they left their home country for these sunny shores.  The thought of trying something new can be quite daunting, however when you know your “why” it helps for things fall into place.  Check out Simon Sinek’s ideas for finding the why for your 2018

Let things go…

Decluttering and letting go needs to start with you.  All our behaviours (good or bad) are habits.  If your behaviours and, therefore, habits don’t serve you any longer, then it’s time to take the brave step at letting it go.

When our Costa Women arrive, they are on a journey of discovery to a new way of life that isn’t necessarily easy (especially at the beginning), straight line thinking and making 100% sense.  The culture (both social and business) is completely different to what they are used to.  They need to change their mindset from its “wrong” how they do it in Spain, to its different.

If you have built something over the years, or it’s become a living, or breathing part of your day-to-day life there is bound to still be an emotional attachment to it; even if you decide to move on.  Family and friends will have differing ideas when our intrepid explorers decide to move overseas.  Some will be positive, some negative, many around the “if you think its right for you then try it”.  There is no harm trying a new way of living, working, doing or being.  It might just work out as the perfect next step for you (and your family)

Break down what you need to do to change your habits into bite sized chunks.  Give yourself lots of time to change and be forgiving when it doesn’t always go 100% to (your) plan (because really you are the only person who has the plan and if it doesn’t work initially – who knows save you?).

Start by taking 100% ownership of everything in your life. For letting things go to be permanent, you need to firmly shut that door.

Accept failure and move on

Allow yourself to accept that what you were doing no longer serves you.  Dyson (the vacuum manufacturer) tried 5271 prototypes before settling on the range we now have (and which they continue to improve).   Test, repeat, test, repeat.
Personally, I like to start the year by analysing and then refreshing what I am doing on a day to day basis.  It’s so easy to get into daily habits and find you quickly (like Alice) get sucked down a rabbit hole on a slide into daily rituals that no longer work.

Ask for help.  Get yourself a Buddy who can support you in your journey.  At Costa Women we have a Buddy’s scheme for new arrivals to pair up with another Costa Woman who has been here a while and know the ropes. The knowledge is power adage is no longer true, collaboration is the key.


Make space for the new by removing or evolving the old!

Ali Meehan is Social Entrepreneur and Founder of award winning Costa Women, the largest social networking community for Women living in, or planning on moving to Spain.  Costa Women won Best of British Social Club by The Telegraph and her twitter account @costawomen was also highlighted as a top Twitter account for expat advice by The Telegraph and has a social media reach of 20,000+.  Ali is a founding member of Typical Non-Spanish, a group which celebrates all that is good about life in Spain.
Spain is where Ali has now settled after travelling the globe over the last 20 years and working in Australia, the Middle East and Asia.

About the Author Ali Meehan

Ali Meehan has lived in Australia, the Middle East and Thailand and has spent many years travelling for work. Home is now Malaga in Spain. Ali describes herself as an expat at heart and believes it’s important to connect, share and build strong networks. Meet Ali and the rest of the Costa Women at http://costawomen.com and don't forget to say The Birds sent you!