There are no simple guidelines.
But with these 5 questions, you can coach yourself so you can anticipate how much you will benefit from a major life change.
"Did I choose to make this move or am I being pressured?" When you feel in control, you are most likely to be happy after you make a move.
When you feel you have few or no options, begin to explore strategies to regain your power before you begin your move.
"Am I moving to or moving from?" We've all been tempted to take a big leap and just leave whatever we'd like to escape.
Sometimes the results bring surprising rewards.
When you analyze what you want, rather than what you want to leave, you can make more effective decisions about your next career, city and business.
"Can I still be me?" I used to live in a town where many residents had moved specifically for retirement.
Many chose the most rural areas of the county, assuming they would find nirvana when they've left city life behind.
And many were miserable because they did not take time to analyze what they really wanted.
If you have an urban soul, you won't be happy in a small rural town (even if the cost of living is low).
"Does my happiness depend on another person or organization?" You move to be closer to your grandchildren - and they're all grown up.
You move for a company - and your job disappears due to a policy change.
You can't prevent all surprises, but you can make contingency plans and create safety nets.
"What choices will be open to me three years after I make the move?" Will you have more opportunities than you do now or will you feel trapped? There is no way to predict what will happen, whether you turn left or right at the fork in the road.
But the odds are something will change in three to five years.
You'll be different.
Your professional field will be different.
Your workplace will be different.
And you'll probably be ready to make another move.