Change Management for Digital Nomads

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When we decided to become Digital Nomads, we felt overwhelmed with how much change we would need to make to our lives. Whilst we were so excited about the new chapter, we also felt daunted. Taking the “big leap” is hard! But we found a few different ways to use change management to help us become digital nomads.

Whenever making a big change in your life, it can help to draw on tried and tested change management techniques to help you transition smoothly into pastures new. Here, we’ve set out 5 ways that you can use change management principles to get the nomadic life you dream of.

If you are looking for more ideas for how to plan and prepare to become a digital nomad – you can also find our article on planning tools here.

1. Lewins Model to help you become a digital nomad

Lewins model of change sets out that there are three distinct stages to any successful change:

  • Freeze
  • Unfreeze
  • Re-freeze

At stage one “Freeze” you need to examine what the barriers to change are, understand the reasons for change and work to remove any obstacles that prevent you from changing or moving to the next stage. If you want to become a digital nomad, at this stage you could be thinking about “why” you want to make this life change. You should also consider what obstacles are preventing you from achieving your goals and finding solutions to move forward. For example, if your job is the barrier, consider how you can either find a way to achieve the same job in a location agnostic way, or find new work to fulfil you and achieve your nomadic goals.

At stage two, “Unfreeze”, you will be making the change. This might mean transitioning into a new job or moving location, or you may choose to tackle both changes at the same time.

At stage three, “Re-Freeze” you will have made your changes and now be trying to ensure that they remain in place i.e., they are “re-frozen.” At this point in your journey, you will be considering what needs to happen to prevent you slipping back. Specifically, are there any issues that could arise to stop you living a Nomadic life long-term?

Using this change management technique can be helpful for digital nomads.

2. 30 Day Challenge to help you become a digital nomad

You know the saying every little bit helps? Well, that’s exactly the premise of the 30-day challenge. The idea is that you do something every day that helps you to move towards your goals. This is a tried and tested technique when it comes to improving health or wellness, but you could easily apply it to help you progress towards becoming a Digital Nomad.

For example, each day for 30 days, you could spend one hour per-day researching, or exploring ideas for businesses or jobs that could help you work remotely. The idea is to move incrementally towards your goal.

3. ADKAR to help you become a digital nomad

The ADKAR model proposes that all successful change needs to transition through 5 Stages:

  • Awareness
  • Desire
  • Knowledge
  • Ability
  • Reinforcement

Essentially, a person needs to know that there is going to be change, to want it, to understand how it will impact them and have the ability to make the change. Once the change has happened, the change needs to be “reinforced” to prevent them from returning to the previous status quo.

If you think about any change, you’ve ever made in your life, I expect you will notice that you did move through these 5 stages.

So, to apply this to becoming a Nomad, you might want to consider:

  • Your work situation and whether it will allow you to work remotely;
  • Your ability to cope with change and movement;
  • Living Nomadically and what that might mean for you;
  • Your ability to live a minimalist life;
  • Or perhaps your ability to live on a budget.

For each element, consider where you personally are along the ADKAR stages. If for example, you feel you have the awareness and desire, but lack the knowledge to enable you to move to the next stage, then this is where you need to focus! Build the knowledge!

Applying this change management technique may be helpful for new digital nomads.

4. Make a change plan

Why not keep it simple and make a plan? If you feel overwhelmed by how much you need to do, then this could be the best way for you to manage it.

Firstly, set out what you hope to achieve and when. Keep this high level but realistic. Next, make a list of what you need to do to get to the point at which you will have achieved your goals. For example, you may need to save some money. It can also be helpful to list all of the obstacles or challenges that might prevent you from getting where you want to be. Then for each of these obstacles, identify solutions and choose the right one and most realistic for you. Most importantly, keep monitoring your plan. Decide when and how you’ll check your plan to stay on track.

5. Trial it to help you become a digital nomad

If you don’t quite feel ready to make a major transition into becoming a Digital Nomad, what about trialling it for a short period? This is a great technique to adopt as it gives a sense of psychological safety. It will also mean that if the trial is successful and you decide to move forward as a Digital Nomad full time, then you’ll have full confidence that it’s the right decision for you.

There are a few different ways you could trial this lifestyle:

  • Take a sabbatical from work and travel for an extended period;
  • Take a backpacking break and try to meet other nomads;
  • Ask your employer if you could work remotely for a short period, perhaps one month;
  • Try running an online business as a side hustle alongside your work or take a short work week to enable you to do this.


Most of our planning is done using other blogs, but you can’t beat a guide book at the bottom of your case. Find yours on Amazon here and get the travelling started!

Read more digita nomad


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