Inspired by a new year and the promise of fresh beginnings, January is the perfect time to imagine, plan, and pursue your best life - at any age! Creating an official life plan can help you feel more in control and provide a clear path toward what you want. As the inspirational author H. Stanley Judd said, "A good plan is like a road map. It shows you the final destination and usually the best way to get there."
With that said, let's go! Here are five deeply thoughtful questions to help map out your journey.
- What's your vision? This is your chance to dream big. Imagine what a day-in-the-life-of-you looks like when it's your best day and write it down in great detail. Where do you live? What activities fill your time? What relationships do you have? What kind of things are you learning? How are your finances? How do you feel about your health?
If you're more of a visual person, it may help to look for pictures in magazines or online that inspire you. Try to answer the same questions above, but with images. Print or cut them out and glue them on a poster board to help create a clear vision of where you're headed.
- How does your vision line up with today? Now that you have a clear picture of what you want, take a look around. Assess where you are on the road to Best You, USA. Are you just a few exits away, or are you still packing the car? Either answer is okay! Now that you know, you can steer yourself in the right direction and take the quickest, most efficient route forward.
Here are a few questions to consider at this stage: What area needs the most improvement to reach your destination? Who do you need to ask for help? What do you need to learn? How much money do you need to save? What exercises or checkups do you need to schedule? When do you want to "arrive" at your best life? Now is the time to be honest with yourself. Go through each question and make a list.
- What do you value? We'll prioritize your list in just a moment. First, let's talk about values. When you identify your values and what is most important to you, they can become a measuring tool. Your priorities and decisions suddenly become easier because you can see what does and does not align with your values.
Take a moment to think about your top five values right now. Beyond your basic human needs, what must you have to experience fulfillment? Is it creative self-expression? Strong health and vitality? A sense of adventure? Being surrounded by beauty? Always learning? If you need more ideas, this article shares a list of over 200 personal values. Have fun exploring and meet us back for question #4.
- What do you need to prioritize? Understanding that you can't tackle everything at once, go back to your list of things you need to work on or change. Review and reorder them according to your values and what is truly most important to you.
For example, suppose you value adventure, and you picture yourself retiring in a thriving community one day with other fun-loving residents who love to travel. With that in mind, you may want to prioritize downsizing your home so you can start enjoying those experiences now. Many residents at Resort Lifestyle Communities tell us they love their lifestyle so much, they wish they had moved sooner!
- What's your plan? This is where the rubber meets the road, as they say. At this point, you should have a prioritized list of things you need to do. All that's left is putting it into action.
We suggest tackling one thing at a time. So, take the first item on your list and develop action steps along with a timeline. For example, if you've prioritized downsizing your home, a few action steps could look like this:
- Assess the price of my home (by date)
- Establish my financial goals/plans (by date)
- Visit retirement community options (by date)
- Decide where I want to move (by date)
- Put the house on the market (by date)
- Take inventory of what I own (by date)
- Consider what I need for my new lifestyle (by date)
- Begin to sort: sell, donate or pack items (by date)
As you make progress on your plan, continue to remind yourself of why you're on this path. Know that you're headed toward greater life experiences…the ones you envisioned for yourself. At Resort Lifestyle Communities, we couldn't be more excited for you and what's to come. We love encouraging people, especially seniors, as they make positive changes in their lives.
If moving to a worry-free, all-inclusive retirement community is in your future, we would love to have you. Come tour a community near you, and let's toast to new beginnings!