In my work with women who are looking to redefine on what I call “The Right Side of 50,” I lead them through a series of journal prompts, reflections, brain dumps, and goal setting exercises to help them as they try to figure out exactly what their “thing” might be as they move forward in their lives.
In my most recent group, the goal of one of my students revolved around not growing old alone and finding love on the right side of 50. However, she is the caretaker for her adult son who has autism and she’s concerned that this is a huge external barrier that she may not be able to overcome. And it is indeed a barrier. But there are still action steps that she can take as she moves towards her goal.
Being isolated and alone is counterproductive if you have an external barrier that you feel is preventing you from being able to live your dream. I recommend finding two communities of people:
So, for my student, I recommended that she find a support group, of sorts, for women who are raising adult children with disabilities. You want it to be a group that is supportive while helping you to grow, rather than a group who enables you to wallow continuously. There are going to be days where you are feeling negatively and that’s to be expected, but growth is important overall.
Women who are looking to find love after 50, women who want to write a book, women who want to run a marathon – whatever the goal is, find a community of women who share your aspirations.
This is a group who will lift you up, encourage you as you move forward towards your goals, and provide resources for you. You will learn from this group and be motivated by them. Surround yourself with likeminded women.
Every. Single. Day. At least once per day.
Many of the women I speak to say that they don’t have enough time in their day to think about taking an action step towards living their dream. They may be caretakers for senior parents, an ill spouse, or grandchildren. They may be continuing to juggle work and family roles.
I challenge them to track exactly how they spend their time for an entire week. Much like when we are looking to lose weight, we track our calories for a week to see where we might cut back.
In 99% of cases, there are pockets of time that these women could utilize to do something productive to move them towards their dream, passion, or ultimate purpose.
How much time a day do you find yourself surfing social media, watching something you don’t care that much about on Netflix, playing Words With Friends or online Solitaire? I find that most women who complain about lack of time are able to carve out at least an hour a day for themselves once they take a look at how they are currently spending their time.
For my student who is looking to find love, her smaller goals might be things like working on her online profile each day, finding local meetup opportunities, or finding her two communities of women. For my students who want to write a book, their daily goal might be to write 1200 words. The important thing is to take some action and reinforce yourself for doing that.
Give yourself grace and adjust your goals along the way as you need to. There is no question that it is harder to picture moving towards living your joy when you are in the middle of dealing with a less than optimal life experience. But it can be done. It will just be on a different timeline.
Do you have a goal that you feel you can’t accomplish because of some external barrier? How can you break your goal down into some smaller daily attainable goals? What is an affirmation that applies to your dream as you move forward on the Right Side of 50?