Over Fifty and Goal-Oriented – December 3, 2012

Just when you think it is safe to rest on your laurels, just when you tell the boss what to do with it and then retire, just when you get the kids out of the nest, you may think you don’t have to set any goals. Retirement forgives the lack of goals. Or does it? To fish when you want to, to meet the girls for lunch, to buy chocolate because you don’t care if you fit into your clothes doesn’t sound so bad…for a while. Then, someone like me comes along to tell you: Don’t give up your goals!

Setting goals:

  • Gives you something to look forward to,
  • they regenerate your brain cells,
  • they make you accountable for continuing to live a full life.
  • They are a mind/body/soul connection that will make you a more interesting person.

Setting goals gives us something to measure success, encouraging us to look towards the future in anticipation of a new adventure. Whether it is loosing ten pounds, OK, twenty pounds, whether it is undertaking some hobby you always thought you would like(I took up mosaics and I love it), whether it is improving your golf game, whether it is bungee- jumping, setting goals and realizing the importance of continuing to accomplish is important regardless of the date of your birth.

I have to admit when I go without some measurement of achievement I get lost in the fray. I flounder around like I was an abandoned ship on the cloudy seas. My brain becomes a little foggier than usual. I get bored; heck, I am boring! I have a girlfriend, conservative in her seventies. When her husband passed away, she elected to engage in a very active social life, take classes to regenerate her brain cells and tap dancing and belly dancing for sheer fun. She always has something to tell us and we always laughed and admire her plunk. She, most definitely, is not boring.

When I arrived in Paris prior to writing my book “Meet Me Under The Eiffel Tower” I had no goal in mind other than to enjoy myself. Within days I heard about an upcoming half-marathon in September beginning at the Eiffel Tower and ending in Versailles. I hadn’t trained, as I admitted in my book, but I was in pretty good shape. So quickly, I anchored on a goal to participate in this half marathon. It had been thirteen years since I did a full marathon for Leukemia’s Team in Training in Alaska, but when I set my mind on a goal I normally accomplish it. I can still remember that gorgeous autumn day, color-drenched leaves dripping from the trees as I and twenty thousand people like me from all over the world dashed off. My young Parisian lover was flabbergasted that I finished in  half the time it took him to do the marathon. I say in my book: “At the end of the race I received a medal place around my neck. I love that medal. It symbolizes to me that we should never discount ourselves just because we are older. There are still so many things to realize and the fun of that is in the planning. Anticipation is everything. Most of us are going to end up in the same place at the end; the journey is what is important.”

So, as the holiday season rushes us along to that never-ending resolution/new goal on December 31, why not give a real introspective look at what goal you want to reach in 2014. You have to visualize it or it will never happen. Like they sang in The King and I: “If you don’t have a dream, how you going to make a dream come true?”

Me? I haven’t sky-dived yet….


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