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  • Writer's pictureLiz Parsons | Comfort Challenge Coaching

Celebrating Small Wins After a Relocation

When you move internationally, it’s a good idea to have long-term goals – what do you want to have accomplished, 1 year after your move?

Even when you are focused on big goals, it’s also important to recognize the small successes along the way. As an accompanying spouse client I work with put it this way: celebrating small wins is a ‘bridge to confidence’ that allows us to feel good about ourselves and accomplish even more. Focusing on small wins gives us a sense of daily progress and can improve our mood by recognizing and celebrating even the smallest of positive outcomes.

I’ve asked some accompanying spouse friends and clients to help me with this list of small wins they celebrated in their first year after an international relocation.

What small wins are you celebrating?

  1. Finding somewhere to live.

  2. The moment when the place you’re living in starts feeling like ‘home’.

  3. Figuring out recycling, what items go in what containers, and where to drop them off.

  4. Unpacking all the boxes in your new home.

  5. Unpacking *most of the boxes in your new home and hiding the rest somewhere where you don't see them every day.

  6. Getting to know your neighbourhood.

  7. Finding a new walking path, taking it, exploring it, and recognizing your surroundings – you know where you are at the end!

  8. Meeting someone from a new culture.

  9. Meeting someone from your home culture.

  10. Signing up for language classes.

  11. Greeting your neighbours in their local language.

  12. Using your courage to put yourself out there to do something that is important to you.

  13. Allowing yourself time to take a break.

  14. Discovering your new favourite grocery store.

  15. Discovering a new favourite flavour or product common in your new home country.

  16. Figuring out where to buy that super-important ingredient for a favourite recipe.

  17. Successfully navigating public transit.

  18. When a stranger asks you for directions, and you can give them accurate directions!

  19. No longer needing your SATNAV or Google Maps when you drive.

  20. Understanding your area’s rush hour traffic flow and knowing when to avoid driving (if you can).

  21. Making a new friend.

  22. Inviting that new friend for coffee.

  23. Inviting someone you just met for coffee, hoping they will become a friend.

  24. Helping your family feel settled.

  25. Reinventing yourself.

  26. Building your personal brand.

  27. Deciding on your career next steps.

  28. Starting to explore your career next steps.

  29. Finding a local group for your profession or hobby.

  30. Doing something that scares you.

  31. Doing something that comforts you.

  32. Finding a project to work on.

  33. Joining a community with a similar interest.

  34. Attending a new-to-you cultural event.

  35. Having a conversation in a new-to-you language – even if it’s just ‘Hello’, ‘Goodbye’, ‘Yes’, and ‘No’

  36. Finding a local restaurant or coffee shop where you become a regular.

  37. Going on an adventure and exploring a new location within 1 hour of your home.

  38. Finding a doctor and/or dentist that meets your needs.

  39. Figuring out how to successfully submit for reimbursement the cost of your medical appointment.

  40. Letting go of pressure and expectation you are putting on yourself.

  41. Successfully calling a company and booking an appointment for someone to fix something in your house.

  42. Trying something new.

  43. Trying something new, and failing, and then having acceptance that navigating life in a new country is hard. Continuing to try is the win.

  44. Participating in new-to-you local holidays and celebrations.

  45. Remembering the dates of the new-to-you local holidays and celebrations.

  46. Inviting new friends to share your holidays and celebrations with you.

  47. When someone asks you ‘Where do I go for this…?’ and you know the answer!

What small wins are you celebrating today which makes you feel good ?


Liz Parsons has been an accompanying spouse since 2017, through 2 international relocations. She is a certified coach with 10+ years experience, a Master of Education degree, and the Founder of Comfort Challenge Coaching. Liz helps accompanying spouses and partners feel like themselves again after an international move.


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