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3 Initial Steps to Take as We Figure Out What’s Next for Us After 50

By Leslie Moon June 02, 2023 Mindset

So many women email me and tell me that they are ready to take some time each day to do the thing that brings them joy and purpose. Something that they love to do and that is just for them.

And, more often than not, they have ZERO idea what that thing is!

It can be quite difficult to dig ourselves out of the overwhelm and just start doing something! So, I’ve put together 3 steps and things to consider as you embark on this journey.

Carve Out Time for Yourself Each Day to Reflect and Journal

Find a quiet spot where you can be undisturbed for a minimum of 30 minutes – 30-45 is ideal. Pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea and grab your pen and paper and start writing.

There is a myriad of things to journal on, depending on your circumstances. However, if your purpose is to try to figure out what your passion or purpose is at this stage of the game, start with picturing your ideal day and week. Really brainstorm and write it all down.

  • Where are you?
  • Who are you with?
  • What do you look like?
  • Makeup on? No makeup on?
  • Family around?
  • What are you doing?
  • What are you wearing?
  • How are you carrying yourself?

Spare no details. When done correctly, this prompt can take you a couple of journaling sessions to get it all out.

Most importantly, do not censor yourself. Write down everything that comes into your mind. Don’t shed a thought because it seems “silly” or because “that would never happen, so I’m not going to write it down.”

All of your thoughts will provide you with information that will help you to figure out your “thing” at this stage of the game!

The other thing to brain dump is your bucket list. Write down every single thing you can think of. Big. Small. In between.

Anything from going a day without your cell phone to taking a trip around the world.

Take Action

And I mean, real action.

Real action doesn’t mean doing something huge or major. Even a small action step is a step forward. It’s still action.

When I made the decision to start to fade out of my career and start my blog, I did my research. I realized I had no idea where to start or what to do. So, my initial action steps were:

  1. Telling my husband and sons about my plan and my dream moving forward. Now, at first glance, you might say, “That’s not an action step!” But, making yourself vulnerable by sharing your dream and plan is a huge step. It makes your dream real and possible. Most importantly, it holds you somewhat accountable. Now, your loved ones know!
  2. Signing up for a blogging course. I learned step by step how to set up my website. I met others who were doing what I was doing. This propelled me forward.

Often, we can confuse doing research, creating to-do lists, and scheduling, with taking action. And these can be action steps, certainly. But pay attention to whether or not these things are actually becoming a form of procrastination.  

Taking real action brings clarity. And trying something and making a mistake which you can learn from is better than never trying it at all.

Be Aware of Your Internal Barriers

These are sneaky and can prevent you from really being present and doing the things that truly will give you passion and purpose after 50. They often come from negative core beliefs that we have carried with us since childhood. Some common ones in our community of women are:

  • Not ever feeling as if anything you do is quite good enough.
  • Not wanting to do something unless you’re positive that it will turn out absolutely perfectly (which means it won’t ever happen because this is impossible).
  • The world is unsafe.
  • People can’t be trusted.

Really looking at what your core beliefs are and how they are standing in your way can be instrumental in helping you to push through and do the hard things in spite of them. We’ve had these beliefs for our whole lives – they aren’t going away at this point. But being aware of them can help you talk yourself through it and do the things that you really want to do.

Many of us are at a point in our lives where we can carve out a chunk of time to devote to ourselves only. To do that thing that gives us joy and purpose as we move forward. Don’t be afraid to start taking those first steps.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Are you unsure of what your “thing” is as you move forward in this next phase of life? What might be holding you back from pursuing it? What small, initial action steps can you take to make it happen?

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Jane

Leslie- This article was just perfect for me!! Thank you. I ended up going to your SixtyandMe.com author page and selecting 2 more to read. “Analysis Paralysis” is not a new concept for me. I have even written about at SixtyandMe.com. When you wrote “Analysis Paralysis can disguise itself in the form of “research and planning,” it slapped me upside the head, and gave me a fresh view common problem from a different angle. Kudos and thanks, Leslie!!

Leslie

Jane, I’m so glad it resonated! Yeah, I love planning and scheduling and feeling like that’s an action step. And sometimes it is! But, often, it’s not.

Beth

i had my hip issue make hiking my local hills difficult all of a sudden. i don’t want surgery, and i can still ambulate with a walking stick. but all of a sudden, my paddleboard wasn’t working, so i knew i had to fill that time, or Life would probably fill it for me — and chances are, i wouldn’t like some of what filled my newly opened time. so i chose.

i got a second-hand guitar. i took a watercolor workshop, then a few classes. i expanded my art interests and daily address some aspect i’ve lined out from my last session. my art is that of a 4th grader, but i like the colors, and i see where the practice is bringing nuances i didn’t have before. i will never go pro. but i have grandsons who like Gramma Beth’s crazy crafts. :)

i’ve also started learning about editing on a well-known, reputable website. THAT is tweaking my brain! but i am making inroads there, too.

of course, my exercises are priority; i can’t do anything if i don’t maintain myself.

i encourage you all to set up one or two things and see what grows from your attention.
best of luck!

Last edited 8 months ago by Beth
Leslie

Beth, I love that you’ve done all of that! Action steps, galore!!

Darlene

This is really helpful advice that I am taking to heart. It will be three years next month since my husband died and I have been struggling with figuring out what my purpose/ideal life looks like now. Thanks for clarifying some steps I need to take to a more fulfilling life!

Leslie

Hi Darlene. Yes, coming out of something like that is hard and you never really come out of it. But, give yourself permission to start doing the things that bring you joy and purpose. And taking the time to figure out what those might be.

Maureen

The 4 beliefs you’ve listed are spot on.

Leslie

And they never really go away, Maureen, because we’ve grown up with them. But, being aware of them and pushing through them is huge for us in this community.

Kim

At age 50 I made a bucket list of things I always wanted to do. Now divorced, I could do things my husband would have frowned upon. I went sky diving, sang karaoke in public, took a motorcycle course (and passed), purchased a motorcycle and started riding, flew to Vegas to see the Beatles Love show at the Mirage, etc. I had always been interested in holistic health and nutrition so started taking online courses and master classes. Now 8 years later, I have benefited and have been able to help family and friends get healthier and feel better. At 67, I know this has always been my purpose; I just didn’t know it. Go for it ladies!

Leslie

Oh my gosh Kim that is AMAZING! This made me so happy to read!

The Author

Leslie is the founder of Life Balance After 50 where she uses her background in counseling and behavior analysis to help women navigate their goals and dreams after 50. She created a free mini workbook along with a guide and a full-length workbook for women who are looking to redefine and find joy and purpose in their second half of life. Contact Leslie at Leslie@lifebalanceafter50.com.

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