Have you heard the good news? Life adventures are crucial to happiness and health. Each time you take a holiday, start a new hobby or learn a new language, you strengthen the functioning of your brain and improve its neuroplasticity.
Those rich life experiences encourage the brain to release dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins. In turn, these chemicals generate all those feel-good emotions like pleasure, happiness and joy!
Ever inventive and creative, women over 60 are forging extraordinary life experiences. I love seeing all the hugely varied ways they create gratifying life adventures. They are doing things like starting new businesses, booking retreats to nurture their writing or giving back to the community by volunteering.
New experiences are stimulating and fun. When those new experiences align with our values and life goals, they deliver an altogether more profound level of joy. They allow women to feel fulfilled rather than just busy or occupied!
Did you know that leveraging your intrinsic motivation is far more likely to result in success and contentment? To explain, think of all the activities you want to do versus all those activities you’re told you should do.
Once you have a clear idea about what intrinsically drives or motivates you, choosing experiences that are innately rewarding and pleasurable becomes easier.
Intrinsic motivation is also delightfully diverse and individual. Some women are motivated to maximise their health and feel powerful so pursuing active life adventures is ideal. Other women want to leave a legacy, so writing a book or constructing a community garden is perfect. Gaining awareness around motivation unlocks enormous value for us.
Mindful planning courtesy of a life stocktake is the best way to kick start your next big adventure. It helps to uncover our meaning and purpose by shedding light on our values, behaviours and actions.
A life stocktake can take many forms – you can write a journal, create a picture board with images drawn from your life or draw a timeline. As a suggestion, you may like to divide your life up into four stages spanning from your youth to your current age.
Look at how you spent your time and energy during each life stage and reflect on the following questions:
This birdseye view of your life allows you to identify what has traditionally motivated and driven you. It reveals the common threads, themes or choices you made, highlighting your values. Better still, it puts you in the driver’s seat of your life so you can examine your overall life journey and speculate: “Should I use the next life stage to realise and consolidate my dreams or forge a shiny new direction?”
Above all, please don’t create a life stocktake and then shelve it. Do the opposite and revisit it regularly. Treasure it. Consider sharing it with people you trust and who are vested in your success. It’s all part of building up your enthusiasm and making sure you commit to action to bring your dreams to fruition.
In essence, a life stocktake affords you that precious time to think, refocus your goals and make more mindful decisions about future life adventures. You are important. Your life counts. As the saying goes, you only live once, so why not enter your 60s by being empowered, focused and deliberate.
Have you created a life stocktake? What did it show about your goals and motivation? What did you do with your stocktake? Did you pursue it, or did you shelve it?
Tags Reinventing Yourself