NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Q: I hope this new year brings me better prospects. I'm a personal chef and I work seasonally in resort towns. My friends and family call me "The Floater," which makes me feel embarrassed. This last year was too difficult and I had to take a loan from my buddy, which I haven't paid back yet. I get that things need to change drastically, I just can't seem to make those changes. Please give me some of your tips. Thank you.
A: From what I gather, this transient lifestyle has run its course. Aspects of it worked for a while, but the inconsistency of not knowing what each new season will bring has taken its toll.
However, careful not to overhype your need for "drastic" changes. Often the most beneficial approach to improving one's life is by making simple, pragmatic, strength-based choices.
1. Float no more: Sacrifice the independence that comes with your present lifestyle. You already have a strong skill set. The key is to proactively reach out for full-time positions, fearlessly. Do not be afraid to establish roots in a community.
2. Separate finances from friendship: Make it a top priority to pay your buddy back. Create a workable agreement where you are regularly making payments to him. Part of adopting a more adult lifestyle is accepting financial realities.
3. Move forward: Life is about choices. Like everyone else, some of yours have worked and some haven't. You can make significant changes in your life without feeling that past experiences have been a waste of time. They have been a preparation for this moment! There's now a real understanding of what you want.
Embrace permanence and establish consistency. You're no longer the traveling man.
As always, send questions and comments to Ask Noah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a profitable and peaceful week,