I have a dream of a future that is very unlike my current situation. One where I live in a hot country during the winter months in England. I live off my passive income from being an online blogger and enjoying the freedom that comes from living in ‘paradise’.
Getting from where I am now to where I want to be becomes the tricky bit (without help) because there are forces that will align against me. Being fully aware of what these forces are is an important step because I can stop them from stopping me.
I choose to acknowledge their potential presence and get ready to “fight” these psychological forces (which are all self-inflicted) with the aim of achieving my dream.
Deciding to reinvent myself in midlife goes against my natural instincts. There will be a part of me desperate to keep the status quo and another part wondering if I have left it all a little too late.
To get myself through all of that I have to focus very much on my future self. The travel buff, boho wanna be hippie who is healthy and who has a zest for living abroad during the cold English winters.
Holding on to the right future
With so much going on in day to day life it can be difficult to focus on the future. I know now (midlife wisdom perhaps) how important visioning the future is (while still being very much in the present moment) to experiencing success.
I also know doing that means I will avoid chasing one dream after another, or chasing dreams that I thought I wanted only to find out I really don’t want them.
I have also been known to quit after a few years of pursuing something just when I probably needed to work harder and persist.
It is so easy to end up feeling unfulfilled in midlife. I know I have been for the past 7 years until December 2013 when I decided it was time to make a change, starting with my health in March 2014.
With age I have found that persistence is the key to getting what I truly want and this dream of mine to live in a hot country has been around for over 10 years. It has never changed and I still really want to travel.
My health was my biggest issue and I am working on that now and so is my income. The passive income I wanted to develop so I can work, travel and still earn a living is what I am focusing on now in 2016.
The great thing about living in the developed world is there is always an opportunity for self-reinvention no matter what our age. Self-reinvention in midlife really is possible.
Look at Earnest Shepherd who was in her 50’s when she started weight lifting and became a champion in her age group in her 70’s.
Fauja Singh ran his first UK marathon at age 89 and continued running until he was 101 years old.
People are made redundant in their late 50’s and early 60’s or retire early, then go on to run a successful business that makes them very wealthy.
Personality change is possible at any age and age is no longer a valid excuse not to change. Believing we are stuck with who we are or what we have in midlife is limited thinking and really not true.
The trick to success though is to chase a dream that will make us happy. How many times have you thought to yourself that you really want something only to feel unfulfilled within days of having achieved it?
It is really easy to get stuck chasing a dream that won’t end up making us happy so finding out what will is the key to success.
Another important step is to accept that it can take time to reach a goal.
That is something I never did in the past but have been willing to do with my weight loss and my desire to get fit. Focusing on losing 1lb a week and exercising towards fitness is a far more mature way of handling my health than I have ever tried in the past. In the past I wanted it all to happen yesterday.
Forming long-term goals
The trouble with not having long-term goals is it can be real easy to just focus on the day to day stuff and never get around to actually achieving anything.
Since the recession started in 2007 and me having to sell my home in 2009 I spent a lot of time just focusing on the day to day stuff – finding work (and money), answering emails, cleaning and cooking.
Getting round to even thinking about goals was impossible for me as I fought to just survive the day.
Sometimes wondering what my children and I will be eating that day (as money was so tight) was all I could think about. As I got through that period and was able to supply my immediate needs things changed.
The focus on my health became my first long-term goal in a while in 2014.
It gave me a sense of purpose and that restless unfulfilled feeling went away for a while, but it was still not strong enough to get rid of it completely. Now getting back to figuring out how to live my dream of travel and living abroad is also back as a long-term goal.
I am once again excited about life and ready to make change happen.
It is important to me that my site zestizm.com highlights my own journey towards change, transition and transformation – not just me talking about what you need to do to make a change in midlife.
In the next article on re-inventing myself I will focus on how to take yourself through re-invention.