It’s that nagging feeling you have when you know there has to be more to life than what you’ve experienced so far.
It’s that pesky little voice somewhere deep in the back of your mind that won’t quit screaming, “would you just change already”.
You try and block it out, or get rid of it altogether. Then you turn a corner and there it is once again:
Eventually you start listening to that pesky little voice because, lets face it, she might not have such a bad idea after all.
In today’s world, 50 isn’t “old” like it once was. If the average life expectancy is 80 and beyond, there’s a lot of time and energy left to commit to something new.
-One in three people in pre-retirement phase are planning on changing careers in the next five years.
-70 percent of pre-retirees expect to do some work during their retirement years for stimulation and satisfaction.
-Individuals 55 to 64 accounted for one in five new businesses started last year.
With all that change going on, there must be some keys to successfully reinventing your life and moving forward in a brand new way, right?
Actually, there is.
A Look Into The Past
When people hit midlife, it’s a time for reflection on where you’ve been, where you’re going, and what’s been missing in between.
Pay attention to what you enjoyed in the past. It can lead to all kinds of opportunity now as an adult.
“I’ve always wanted to be a prima ballerina,” might not be something you can strive for if you’re in your mid-50s. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be a part of your future plans.
In this case, by reviewing why dancing has remained in the back of your mind, you might discover that you enjoyed the creativity of learning different moves, or the idea of being active rather than sitting behind a desk. That realization could lead in all kinds of directions now as an adult. Explore different opportunities – how about helping local dance studios with choreography? Or even starting up your own dance studio for adults rather than kids?
No matter what you loved in the past, what you feel you’ve missed out on up until this point, there is always a way to incorporate it into your life today.
As you have your a-ha moments, continue to explore. If cooking has always been inspirational to you, for instance, now is the time to push harder and see what it can mean for you today.
While it’s fairly easy to find a cooking school in your community, stretch even further to instill it into your world in a bigger way. A two hour cooking class after work is your starting point. From there, look for more opportunities. How about a weekend cooking class in a resort community a few hours from home? Or how about splurging and signing up for a two week cooking program in Paris?
The key here is to get out of your comfort zone and get inspired, two things that rarely happen when you stay close to home. Look for places that will push you deeper into the experience, and provide mentors that can help you not only discover new ways of doing things, but also provide guidance on how to incorporate your newfound skills into your life.
While having fun in a class, or even traveling with a group of likeminded people can be fun, none of it will impact your life for the long term if you don’t take action to make it a permanent part of your new life.
To make a new resource or skill set an active part of your life, you have to do something to bring it into your world on a regular basis. It’s easy to fall back to your old patterns, so it’s important that you actively take charge of bringing your new skills into your life.
If you need time, schedule it on your calendar to actively pursue your new goals. If you need new tools or resources, throw out the old and replace them with new. If you need motivation, find a group of cheerleaders going down a similar path to hang out with and hold you accountable.
Change is never easy. But if you really want it, and you know that pesky little voice deep down inside has the right idea, do something to bring it to the surface. If you make the change, the voice will go away.
Well, maybe. Until she decides its time for you to make another change.