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8 Steps for Creating Your Own Road Map for Your 60s and Beyond

By Debbie Hensleigh April 16, 2024 Mindset

For the first 60 years or so of our lives, we are on a well-marked super highway with plenty of directional signs. Graduate from High School. Go to College. Choose a career. Earn money. Buy a house, have a car, create a life. Maybe find a spouse and/or build a family. Go here. Do this.

Then, we retire. Or we reach an age where our first career is no longer the focus of our life. We’re off the highway with its abundance of road signs, and off to side roads and meandering country lanes.

The drive can be more pleasant – if we know where we want to end up. Otherwise, it can seem like we are wandering aimlessly.

To design your BEST ThirdThird, I firmly believe the first step is creating a vision board. This can be a dynamic process for determining the destination of your ThirdThird – your life past the age of 60. Here are 8 steps for creating a vision board that can help you live with intention by knowing where you are headed.

Be Intentional About Creating Your Vision Board

Collect a supply of magazines and begin to leaf through them – or pull images off the internet. I find that friends were willing to share, so it is easy to gather a variety of magazines. Having more than the usual ones that come to your house gets your creative juices flowing in new ways.

Also, pick up a piece of poster board (28”x20”) in whichever color you want, and some good glue – glue sticks are easy to use, but rubber cement will last longer and is easy to clean up after it dries.

Cut Out Words and Pictures That Connect with You

Your vision board is about how you want to feel in your ThirdThird. Pull pictures out that connect with that inner desire. It is not about owning a bunch of things. It is more about how the things you have make you feel.

My pictures of a light/warm home are because I want to feel relaxed and secure. I want my/our home to be welcoming and warm, a place where I enjoy being hospitable. I want simple, not too large and easy to care for because I want to feel like I can enjoy our home with little stress.

I want to feel that I am contributing, so I have my writing and speaking represented on my board. And I want to feel fit and healthy, so I have exercise and activity there as well.

Sort Through Your Pictures and Words

After you have a nice enough pile of images and words, consider which ones make sense to you. Organize them into similar, meaningful groups: home, travel, exercise, hobbies or interests, new business, and you will see patterns or groups begin to emerge.

Eliminate anything that isn’t a good representation of where you want to be in your ThirdThird. I traded running shoes for a yoga pose. I selected the best picture of a home in the woods.

I put pictures of fresh veggies in and took pictures of gardens out, admitting my reality of preferring to purchase rather than grow.

Arrange Your Poster Board

Intuition will be your guide. I found that I had more words than pictures. And I have a lot of white space on my board. That fits with me. Some people fill their boards to the edges with mostly pictures. It is personal and it is not prescribed. Make it your own.

A flow will develop. Some people start in the center and work from there. Others are more segmented. A few will meander with no obvious pattern except to the creator. You can trim and shape as you place.

Paste Your Choices in Their Places

Make a commitment and create your vision board. As you paste, you’ll begin to see what you are missing. A fun part of doing this with a group is that people start to help each other.

“I need a book.” “Can someone find a larger cup of coffee?” “Here is a great picture that relates to what you were sharing about…” “Here. The word GURU fits your search for a word showing you as an expert.”

At this point in creating mine, I realized I wanted to add adventure, but that I really don’t have any “must see” destinations. I had to search to find an airplane that wasn’t an advertisement for a specific airline. Now, adventure and travel is adequately represented to remind me I love to go.

Enhance with More Detail

Begin to think about what is needed to fill in the gaps. A butterfly I had cut out made me think about my desire to slow down enough to see the beauty around me. I added another butterfly in a different part of my vision board to remind me that I want to see beauty wherever I am, not just in nature.

I found a picture of two people kayaking on a river. I added a few more pictures of yummy dishes because I like to cook and share. And I couldn’t find a picture of water to drink daily, so I wrote it in.

Personalize to Make It Your Own

I use an array of colored markers and pens, stencils, stick-on letters, and a few themed stickers. I added a few words on my board, using stencils… faith, inspire, laugh.

I glued my business card too to remind me that I am designing my BEST ThirdThird, a life on purpose.

Display to Keep It Top of Mind

The whole point of this type of vision board is to remind you of where you want to go and how you want to feel in your ThirdThird.

Find a place to keep your vision board where you can see it regularly. Out in the open, or on the back of your closet door, it doesn’t matter. It’s for you to see as a road map for those less marked roads that you will travel in your ThirdThird.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What are you doing to be intentional in your ThirdThird? Do you have photos or words to keep you focused? If you have tips for making a Vision Board, comment here!

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This is the second time a vision board has been mentioned to me. I guess I need to do one.


When my husband and I prepared to retire we asked ourselves did we want to live life by default? Just taking what happened? We didn’t. We always loved camping and traveling, so we became full time RVers. We’ve been enjoying it for 23 years now and wouldn’t change a thing. It’s a retirement of our choosing.


Five years ago I took a two hour class in creating a vision board. When I finished gluing the images in place I looked at it and said aloud”oh, I’m supposed to move to Florida (from Chicago). And so I did and I love it! I was stunned by how obvious the direction was.

The Author

Debbie Hensleigh is a serial entrepreneur and business coach who is intent on living life on purpose. She is a speaker, writer and leads workshops on intentionally designing your best ThirdThird, from ages 60 to 90. Building on the FirstThird (learning years) and the SecondThird (earning years), the ThirdThird can be the best Third. Please visit Debbie’s website here

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