I don’t know what your exposure to goal-setting and strategic planning was growing up but, I had the good fortune of a daddy (we never outgrow it…..EVER, right?) that thought I should know how to read the Wall Street Journal and plan for ultimate world takeover. So, we spent a lot of time chatting about those things.
Whatever your start, you can choose to make this a part of your life NOW. No past exposure necessary. Isn’t that great?! We can do anything at this point in life AND do it darn well! We are SUPER AGERS. PERIOD.
HOW DO WE FIND SUCCESS & HAPPINESS?
Most of us learn while growing up the importance of networking, negotiating (remember when you wanted the candy your friend bought instead of the one you had??? How hard and fast did you talk to get her to switch???) and setting deadlines. When I chat with other boomers, a trend emerges when referring to goal setting. This is the “why” of our blog today.
What makes this relevant for those of us over 60? Why even talk about it? Easy, most of us have completely the wrong idea about what our lives are going to be in the next 20-30 years (or longer!) We have been brain-washed into the concept of retirement and, as a result, we have flipped our switches when it comes to planning for our future.
The truth is that retirement is no longer the “end zone”. With decades ahead of us, it’s not realistic! I am personally committing to living to 120…….We need a fresh way of looking at retirement (aka this phase of our lives) – one that starts with a real understanding of what our futures may hold. As well as some of the wonderful things it could hold…..we all have endless possibilities.
That being said, here are a few categories of goal-setting that will help you to get the most from life after 60 (or 70, or 80 or 93!).
WHAT IS YOUR MISSION / LONG-TERM?
My humble thought when it comes to being 60 is that we all have a yet another opportunity to explore our passions and define our places in the world. When most people think about goal setting, they tend to focus more on “strategy as opposed to tactics.”
I’m kind of a “mission” type of gal. Whether you have recently left the 9 to 5, or are in the final stretch of your career, now is the time to get clear on your core values and beliefs. And, how they apply to your plans moving forward.
Personally, I find it useful to set a specific time each year to review my long-term, mission-oriented goals. I love to throw some stuff in my bag and go someplace restful and warm…..ok, who am I kidding…..I’m in my office doing this and wishing I was going somewhere warm or restful:) I don’t want this exercise to get “stuffy and serious” so I generally dictate my thoughts about new goals or objectives (or, they end up scribbled on cocktail napkins…). Lots of my pals take Journals and list them out. Whatever works for YOU is the best way to do it! Just be sure you get it done……life is so hectic these days……leaving it to chance is just plain dicey.
The Good Doctor and I use 5 year Planners…..they are a HUGE help in getting things down on paper. AND, once something is placed in them…..it’s pretty much “set in stone” whether it’s workout time or travel or work. In the interest of honesty….we do move them if necessary…
What kind of impact do you want to make on the World? What specific changes do you want to make in your own life? Who or what do you need to know or locate in order to make these changes? Do you already know someone who excels at the very thing you need to learn? Stalk them on Instagram until they agree to help (just kidding…..I usually just make a quick call). I find most people are thrilled to be asked for help. They too had to learn from someone.
NOT TOO LONG….NOT TOO SHORT.
Strategy is hard…..setting strategic goals harder. It’s easy to dream about the future or focus on daily activities. Tying your actions together in a way that moves you toward your long-term objectives is, at best, tricky!
For me, a period of 3 month blocks is best for strategic goal-setting but, you could work in 1 month blocks as well. Again, it’s whatever works best for YOU. I also try to limit myself to no more than 3-5 strategic goals at a time. If I attempt to squeeze more in……jello-brain results. A glass of wine or martini ensues and all is lost. Just saying.
Commit to a block of time every 3 months to write down your strategic goals. Then, write down a list of all of the things you need to do to meet said goals. Soooooo much easier this way. I find it’s not quite as overwhelming when organized in this fashion.
“High Performing” people take time every day to evaluate and plan what they need to get done. They do not guess. They organize their potential “to do” items and start by prioritizing each item as to it’s importance. Once done, they move on to the items that are important but, not a big priority. I like to keep this list to SIX items I’d like to accomplish that day. Do not move on to the next item until you’ve completed the one you are working on.
Just 5 or 10 minutes every morning organizing your daily activities will have a massive impact on both happiness and productivity.
Being organized isn’t just about being more productive or making more money. Committing to being proactive about setting goals for your life can make you feel more in control and raise levels of self-esteem. When you feel like you are in control of your planning, you feel more relaxed.
Most importantly, you know that every action that you take is a reflection of your goals of helping to make the world a better place.
I find that a great many Super Agers want the absolute freedom to just create as they go…..they’ve spent a lot of years in a very structured work environment and don’t want to plan….plan….plan. Perfectly fine! Everyone has their own way of enjoying this phase. If it works for you super….if not super as well. Just sharing some ideas.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON GOAL SETTING? DID YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO LEARN THIS SKILL EARLY? WAS IT A FOCUS IN YOUR EDUCATION? AS YOU CAN SEE …. ONE OF MY GOALS IS MORE TRAVEL!
I’D LOVE TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS!