There comes a time when we may decide to think more about the future, what is right for us.
I write around retirement, so this could be a time when you begin to think about how you want your life to be, moving forward.
It could be this is the time for a promotion or a change of career direction. Retirement is still ‘out there’ and you have plenty more that you want to do work wise.
It’s also a time to weigh things up … what will you need to give up by focusing on career, and how much are you prepared to give. You may want to have your career on your terms. Still focused on making a difference and doing a good job but to have some balance for other aspects of your life.
Health and well-being
In the new year, the media was all about new year, new you: losing weight and eating healthy. But less is placed on mental well-being. What can you do to ‘nurture your soul?’ For me it is spending time in nature, I’m typing this early morning, and heading out to the wood after a late breakfast. For me the wood is a place for my mental well-being. A time and a place to unplug from technology and recharge in nature. How we focus on fitness can change as we get older too. If running leads to aches and knee problems, perhaps time to start swinning or pilates?
More than work
It can be worth taking a look at your wider life and seeing what you do that is not work related. For many years I worked the equivalent of double shifts working from wake up till bed time. Yes, I had great financial success and travelled extensively, but there was no time to be me. Now, working less, I have a much higher quality of life. Thinking about this before retirement can help the transition.
This may be the time you decide to learn something new, not everything has to be connected with your career, although it can widen your experiences and influence you in the workplace. Maybe you have a yearning to learn an instrument or take up a hobby. Yes, you will have more time when you retire but why not try it out whilst still working. I knew one person who was all set to take up golf on retirement, had no other plans and then retired and found it wasn’t for them.
For many of the people I work with their job is their life, and the only people that they know are colleagues from work. All good when you are working, but when people retire, they can lose much of their social network. This may be a good time to look at the breadth of your relationships. Have you friends connected to interests and hobbies, and do you have friendships across the generations?
3, 6 and 12-month goals
We know that SMART goals help us to achieve more. So, what is it that you want to do? I’d like to share some ideas beyond the typical ones and I’d love to know if you are inspired by any.
1. Let’s get rid of what we don’t want any more
Write down all the things that you no longer want in your life … and that can include the thoughts that you have that say that you can’t do this, or that. Why not let them go using fire.
Have somewhere safe that you can set fire to them. Perhaps on the concrete floor outside with a bucket of water next to you.
Read each one, then set them alight.
Do this with intention and take time to reflect both before and after.
2. Let’s create a vision for our lives
Some people say the best way to create a vision for your future is to write it from the future and to look back at the things you have done. So, if you think about where you want to be – in all aspects of your life, write it down as if you have achieved it. You can then review it in 3, 6 and 12-months to see how you got on, and the shorter time frames can help steer you longer term when you get distracted.
3. Time to un-become everything that isn’t really you.
I wrote an article on this back in July 2019.
Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about un-becoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place. Paulo Coelho.
Time to reflect on who you are now and what you want to become. For me it is to step up to the role of wise elder and to look for ways to share my wisdom with the world. Gaining my Doctorate is just the first step.
If you are inspired by any of this, I’d love to here from you.