Today I got on the elliptical and plugged in 4-1 for the last time as my age. Tomorrow marks the start of a new year on this planet for me. Another trip around the sun. I’m now approaching the “in my 40s” language, not the “I’m just 40 or 41.” Semantics… maybe. Even so, a TOTALLY different vibe nonetheless.
Despite this, I can’t help but reflect back on the last two years. The years some would term my midlife crisis, as it can be for so many when hitting milestone birthdays. It should be noted, I didn’t buy a red corvette, get a bunch of plastic surgery, and leave my husband for a 20-something surfer in California I met online.
Nevertheless, I made some BIG life changes. Arguably some of the boldest decisions I’ve ever made in my life. I quit my job of almost two decades. Not only was it my ONLY career, but also had become so much a part of me, my identity was absolutely lost within it. In addition, I left this job without a plan.
While clearly some people do things like this, for the record… I do not. Conversely, I have a plan for the plan with at least one back-up plan.
I don’t jump out of airplanes without a parachute. In fact, I don’t jump out of planes PERIOD.
So, what are goals after 40, really?
THE PLAN- GOALS AFTER 40, REALLY?
First, I started writing. I honestly have no idea why, but it just felt right. Second, I put myself out there with a blog. Absolutely one of the top 5 scariest moments of my 41 years and 364 days on this Earth.
Full disclosure, I had NO IDEA what I was doing. Arguably, I still don’t. On the other hand, I find myself in this weird place of being comfortable with the uncomfortable. With age apparently comes some lack of GAFs about vulnerability.
I, without a doubt, recommend you try it!
Even so, I enjoyed the writing and thought it might just be the platform a career-driven mom needed because Lord knows I did. So, I jumped. I even contacted Linking Indy Women about writing their blog in a liquid-courage moment one evening. Now I’m their monthly re-cap blogger. WTH?
Next, after some additional self-reflection, I took another leap and enrolled in a program to become a certified coach. Undoubtedly, an interesting sidestep from Sports Marketing and PR, but what the heck? Why not?!?
About 5 months into the program, it became apparent to me I really wanted to do this on my own. Have a business. Be an entrepreneur.
Yes, this realization really threw me for a while.
40- One could argue it was the age suddenly giving me different perspective on what I wanted out of life. On the other hand, one could say I finally came to my senses and said, “enough is enough, I’m going out on my own!” Whatever the case, I did it.
Furthermore, I’m telling you this for one main reason. I have not a single regret. None. Zero. Zilch. Conversely, ask me this two years ago when I was less than a month away from my leap out of the airplane and I likely would have faltered.
“I think this is the right decision, but I’m sure there will be things I will regret or wonder why I did them.”
YOUR GOALS- 40 OR NOT
Let’s turn the microphone over to you at this time. We’re approaching the end of the year. Historically a time people all over the world look at life and hit a much-deserved reset button. Subsequently, even set New Year’s resolutions or fresh, new goals.
Company goals unquestionably get discussed, but also personal metrics are analyzed. Maybe you decide if you are on the “right” path or need an audible.
What is the big decision you are mulling over? Is there an unsettling feeling you just can’t get rid of, but at the same time you aren’t making any moves or adjustments?
Maybe you’re scared. Maybe it’s easier to talk about what you WANT to do. But if you START, in fact, take even one step… it becomes way too real.
Well my friend, take the leap. Jump out of the airplane. Parachute or not, go.
It’s totally cliché but I don’t care, it’s a great quote. As the hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
If you want accountability, support coming up with your plan, tips on overcoming blocks to achieving your goals, and more, I’ve got your covered! Not from a place of, “this is what you should do” or “this is how I did it.”
We’re all unique individuals, have our own lens through which we view life, and need to take steps in our own time and in our own way.
THE RIGHT TIME
Even so, what I do want to share with you is this. There will never be a right time.
Think about when you were contemplating having kids. I remember Jeremy and I mulling over what was the right time for kids. When would we be ready? Finally one day (in a very Yoda fashion), he said, “I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to say I’m ready. Are we ever really ready for something like this?”
Wise 29-year-old Jeremy quote right there. LOL.
Actually, if we’re doing this like Yoda, it was probably more like, “Ready, one finds themselves never.” (you did the Yoda voice didn’t you?!?! LOL.)
But for real. Right time + Ready = Never.
Full disclosure, it took a miscarriage for us to realize how excited we were about the possibility of having kids. But that’s a story for another day.
Regardless, you don’t have to do this alone nor do you have to feel ready. But at the same time, don’t miss the shot simply because you didn’t take it.
I’M “READY,” BUT HOW?
For now, I’ll leave you with this. Spend some time over the next four weeks brainstorming. Write down all the things you think you want to do or achieve, no matter how outlandish they may seem to you in the moment.
Easy my friend. SLOW DOWN THE NERVES. You aren’t signing on to do them, it’s just a brainstorm. Get your mind open to possibilities, even the crazy ones. Think about these eight areas of your life:
- Personal Development
- Fun & Enjoyment- SO OFTEN WE DISCOUNT HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS!
Next, think about your satisfaction in each of these areas on a scale of 1-10, 10 being highest. Finally, what would need to happen to move it up one notch on your satisfaction scale?
See what I’m doing? Small steps. Repeatable changes. But the whole thing first starts with figuring out WHERE you want to go.
If you don’t know exactly where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?
– Steve Maraboli
GOALS AFTER 40, REALLY?
Happy brainstorming my amazing friend. Until next time, let your mind roam in the infinite possibilities out there for you. But promise me one thing. You will allow yourself to dream!
One question I often ask clients, “what would you tell your daughter or your son if they were in your situation?”
Stay unfulfilled but safe.
Don’t chase your dream, it’s too big.
At 40, you are too old to be thinking of making this kind of change.
Obviously, you see how ridiculous this sounds. Nonetheless I ask you this, why are you doing it to yourself? If you come back at me with excuses like time, money, obligations, spouse, kids, lack of clarity, etc., etc., I’m going to challenge you.
That’s right. Excuses are like… well, you know the stinky reference I’m making here.
The point is, our minds have been trained to protect us. Keep us safe. That’s great for things like a bear attacking a cavewoman. Not so great when we feel unfulfilled but find ourselves too scared to make changes. We also get caught up in thinking about the end result and how it seems SO FAR. Guess what? It probably is REALLY far. But if you stay stagnant. Furthermore, not changing even one little detail in your life by the next year. I can promise you this. You are going to find yourself exactly where you are at this time next year.
Yoda: Unfulfilled find yourself you will. (I couldn’t help myself!)
Dream. Brainstorm. Take some time to contemplate what it is your subconscious has been trying to tell you for a while now.
Who knows, by the end of this, we may all be convinced to jump out of that airplane… with a parachute of course.
Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.”
– Nido Qubein
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