We’re almost through the first week of the New Year, but have you had time to yourself yet? Well now is as good a time as any to reflect back on 2016 and set your sights on 2017. How did the year progress, and what did you accomplish? Maybe your goals included: A new promotion, a new car, a bigger house, better health or more meaningful relationships. Did they happen?
Has that time come to raise the bar and make a fundamental change?
At first glance it may seem impossible, but nothing changes unless you take control. Maybe 2017 is the year you start living life more on your own terms – and start today by employing these five simple tips:
* Live a life that is true to you. Wrestle with this one. Dig deep. Is it work? Then make passion for that work front and center. Is it skill building? Then tackle an online class in a skill you need, or just want to explore. Is it where you live, or who you are sharing life with or want to share it with? Stare it down and chart one bold step toward change. The biggest regret at the end of life’s journey is abandoning your dreams. And for most people it’s just pure fear that they weren’t good enough, so they “turtle shell” up. Stop. No retakes. One mantra: Live Life Now. Repeat: This is Your Life. Find what is true to you and take one tangible step.
* Measure your time, money and where it is spent. Time is like the sand in the hourglass of life. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Manage it like money. Every person walking this planet has the same exact number of hours in a day. Think of it as currency. How are you spending it? Seriously, take out the pen, paper and write down for one week how that most precious commodity was spent. Then change the allocation and budget time toward accomplishing that change you want, and maybe even desperately need. Own your hour glass of life and take control.
As for the money, if you look back on your bank account over the past year, what did you spend your money on most? This can give you a great start to see what actually matters most to you. For instance, when I look at mine, I have spent a majority of my money on family travel, dinners, entertainment such as board games and movies, as well as technology. This shows me that what matters most to me is FAMILY. Everything I have spent money on, aside from the necessities of food and utilities, include family time. We don’t have a huge house, a flashy smart car, and we only have one credit card. We don’t need material items to show our status in life because we measure our time and money through family instead.
* Focus on your people. Ask yourself a tough question: Who are the people you care about most? Who do you impact, and who impacts you? These are the people that matter most in your life. Don’t be afraid to shift the balance of your time in their favor. You’ll be a better friend, and you’ll inherently feel stronger and more impactful. Your support network grows stronger, as do you.
* Feel good with what you wear. I am still working on this one because since reaching mid life, my mid section isn’t as graceful at growing older as my mood is. I’ve been trying several different trends as of late and I have yet to find one that I really find comfortable, but I’ll get there. This may seem contrite, but what you toss on that skin of yours not only speaks volumes about you, but also puts you into a certain mindset. I know at this part of your life you may be tempted to change so much about yourself, but don’t! You need to first learn to accept yourself the way you are. Instead, feel free to change some items in your wardrobe and feel good about what you wear. For men, the Madda Fella menswear clothing line projects the chill vibe of Key West, yet works well in the boardroom or out on the boat. For women, American Eagle has been one of my favorites as it’s trendy, yet works for both business and pleasure. But you know yourself best, so instead of trying to fix your body, just try changing your style and be happy with yourself.
* Find your inspiration point. What place inspires you? Where is that one spot in the world that motivates you above all others? You owe it to yourself to do something meaningful with your life, to make a difference. Find your place. You’ll find it is just what you need to recharge your batteries, revive your spirit and strengthen you.
MidLife is a wonderful time to bring into focus the year ahead. Don’t be afraid to think big and to start now. Whether you’re just turning 40 this year or 60, set the ground work for change today and you’ll make 2017 your most legendary year yet.
Are you looking forward to the new year? What is the most important goal for you this year?
A great read to keep you motivated and happy this year is Awakening at Midlife: A Guide to Reviving Your Spirit, Recreating Your Life, and Returning to Your Truest Self