(Is This The Year To Begin Your ReLaunched Life?)
We have begun another New Year and with it the opportunity to revisit the past. How did things go for you in '21? What turned out well? In what ways did you grow and help others to grow as well? What would you like to do again? What would you like to leave behind? I am confident, we would all like to leave behind the pandemic of the past 2 years! There is little that we can control about that outside of taking steps to protect ourselves as well as our loved ones. I am wondering, though what else can we leave behind that we do control?
For me, I decided this winter to be the perfect time to clean out my closets. This is certainly a task I have put off for a number of years (yes, years!). I started going through one closet and before you know it I ended up going through 3. Inside, I found old pictures, clothes, appliances, sheets, towels, holiday decorations, and books that all needed new homes; just not mine. Clearly, I was not using them. After all, why else were they stashed away in a closet? I learned that while discarding that which was unwanted afforded me space to reimagine a way to make what I do want more accessible.
I believe that this is what happens when we choose to discard old habits and ways of thinking to begin something new. In order to make room for healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, we can discard processed foods and unhealthy snacks. We can also allow a walk around the neighborhood to replace time in front of the television. These are some daily changes we can take to improve our physical health and wellbeing.
Now, let's do some deeper introspection. Do you find yourself working in a job where you are less appreciated than you had been in the past? Or have you been unexpectedly downsized? Is there a relationship that needs your attention? Are you disenchanted with your post-career lifestyle? Do you feel spiritually connected with a greater power? Do you wonder what else you can do to create greater meaning and satisfaction in your life?
Perhaps this is a perfect time for you to Rethink, Redefine and Redesign what comes next. What frightens you about the future and how might you overcome those fears? One way that would help, is to begin to Rethink your present and future beginning with a gratitude practice. This might involve writing what you are thankful for in a journal. Or perhaps you can begin and end each day with thoughts of thanksgiving. Contemplating what you are grateful for will automatically shift your thinking into a positive realm; one that makes room for possibilities. This is similar to how you may feel when you discard what you do not need to make more space for what you do.
Now that you have made space for possibilities, you are better able to Redefine what you want to do and who you want to be. What would you like to learn about yourself and the world around you? What are your current priorities and do they still make sense? Is it time to emphasize a different part of your life? What might you discard in order to incorporate these into your life? Are you nearing the end of your career? If so, do you want or need to continue working and what might that look like?
Once you Rethink and Redefine your future, you can Redesign it. What shifts can you make, even small ones, that will make a difference for you? What new hobbies would you like to learn. What old ones would you like to rediscover? What actions can you take to make your community a better place? In what ways can you strengthen your family relationships and friendships? How might you invest in your physical and mental health? What can you do that will help you to continue to grow?
As you consider these questions, remember to be kind to yourself. No one says that all this needs to be completed at one time. The important thing is to start and it is never too late to start.
Some of you might feel energized while contemplating these questions. Others of you may feel overwhelmed and even frightened. Whether you want to fine tune your game plan moving forward or you do not know where to start, know that there are qualified individuals and coaches who can help. Many of us belong to The Retirement Coaches Association and I encourage you to check it out. I also encourage you to explore the resources and offers found at my Successful Shifts website.
Finally, one last question:
"What will you do in '22? Is this the year for you to begin your reLaunched Life?"
If you would like more information on retirement coaching, consider contacting Successful Shifts to explore how we can help.
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For more articles like this and free guides designed to jump start your ReLaunch into this chapter of your life, go to www.successfulshifts.com