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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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I took an 8 session mindfulness meditation course in the summer of 2021. One of the sessions involved a discussion on things we all did regularly, mine was making a to do list at the beginning of every week. The course leader asked what I did if I didn’t finish the list by Friday, I replied I carried over the tasks to add the list for the following week. It was a habit I’d had when I was a full time employee and also when I became self employed with a small business. I gave up work at 56 when I moved to Switzerland with my husband’s job but kept up with my list habit.

The course leader told me to stop making lists for a while as she felt it was bogging me down, sapping my energy and possibly giving me stress. I took her advice and since then have only ever made a list when I have absolutely needed to. I am glad I did as it has been like freeing myself.

Now I just go with the flow, take each day as it comes and try to get on with it.

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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