Energized Aging – Let’s Make a Blueprint
From last week’s blog, here is your ‘assignment’:
So your inner work for this week is to start your energized aging blueprint. Select the 6 – 8 areas of your life for focus, analysis, and reflection. Create one column and make notes about what you are doing now. In column two describe what you want to change. Next week we will consider how to connect really well-written goals to your new blueprint.
How did it go? Were you able to quickly identify the areas for focus? Did 3 or 4 pop up and then you paused to consider what else to include? There are no right or wrong choices here. These areas are the foundation for your personalized blueprint. Now, open a new Word doc and list the areas you selected. If you are into charts (see below), start a table and put your areas in separate boxes down the left-hand side.
Remember that after you selected the areas you completed an analysis of what you are doing now and what you want to change in each area. Move that information to your new document.
You are ready for the next step.
Setting Goals – [Big Sigh! – But how do I reach them?]
Most of us set goals throughout our lives. Whether it is New Year’s resolutions or weight loss goals, we have done it. Unfortunately, these attempts at setting goals often fall short of the hoped for results. Why?
First, no one teaches us to set clear goals. Second, we don’t track our progress on a regular basis. Third, we don’t take the time to connect the progress to the goal and reflect on what worked and what didn’t. And, finally, we don’t understand that goal setting is a process and not an event. We don’t go back and think about the goal, why we wanted to reach it, and where we are in the process. We don’t adjust the goal based on current realities. This all sets us up for goal reaching failure.
Goal Setting for Success
We are going to avoid goal setting failure. First, let’s start with what makes a good goal. We are writing SMART goals. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time based. In other words, your goals need to be really clear (specific), have a way to know when you reach them (measurable), know they are within reach (attainable), meaningful to you (relevant), and have a time stamp (time based). We are adapting the concept of SMART goals which are used by corporations and institutions of education. Our focus, however, is on personal goal setting for growth.
What This Looks Like
SMART goals for growth set us up for goal meeting success. The chart below takes you through one of my goals and checks it against the criteria for creating SMART goals. You will need to check your goals to see how they match the criteria.
|SMART Goal||Apply the SMART Goal Criteria to your goals.|
|Goal #1||Explore possibilities within a framework/process/structure/blueprint to get from here (meandering around) to a purposeful, intentional life|
|Is it Specific?||Yes. I want to look at the current research and literature on aging to see if there is a ‘cookbook’ of recipes for pro-aging.|
|IS it Measurable?||Yes. There are either resources out there or not.|
|Is it Attainable?||Yes. I need to do the research to see what is available.|
|Is it Relevant?||Yes. I am 68 and find I would like a blueprint for positive and energized aging that will serve me for the next 25 years.|
|Is it Time based?||Yes. I have a time frame of one year.|
So, do it. Write your SMART goals for each area you selected. Check each goal against the SMART criteria. Really take the time to write meaningful goals.
Next week’s blog is about accountability. In other words, how are you going to know when you meet those goals you are writing this week?
Thought for the Week and Prompt
From A. Applewhite (This Chair Rocks 2019), “How we spend our time defines who we are. Building a good day is about making good choices involving our emotions, thinking, and behavior.”
Do you agree that how we spend our time defines who we are? Why or why not?
Thinking about building a good day, how do you do go about doing it? What criteria do you use to define a personal good day? If you think about how you are spending your day(s), do you appreciate and enjoy the events of your day? Do you define your day or does you day just happen? How might all of this impact your energized aging plan?