Transitions Can Be Challenging: Step 1 to Creating Your Master Plan
It’s transition time! What is your grand plan for 2018? Will you retire this year? Maybe you’ve come through a divorce and need to create a whole new life for yourself. Maybe 2017 brought an unexpected change in your family-an illness or disability that you’re just not sure how to cope with going forward.
In my last blog, I said I would share some strategies for gaining or regaining control over the sea of change that we call life. The first thing most people think of is goal setting, which is important but not a good first step believe it or not. While checking off your goals as you reach them might bring a feeling of accomplishment, you may not find yourself any closer to getting what you want. So step one is - Ask questions! Here are a few to get you started:
“What do I want to do?”
That’s a common question, but go a little further and ask “Who do I want to be?” For example, if you say “I want to retire”, a good follow up question is “Who do I want to be in retirement?” Maybe you want to be a devoted grandfather, a mentor for young people in your profession, a beach bum-the possibilities are endless. It’s a question that deserves your careful consideration because it will guide your decisions.
“How do I want to feel?” Few of us think in those terms. But what you’ll find in your answers will be a roadmap to your new or evolving identity and that’s what will drive your goals and decisions.
“What are some possible roadblocks?” Thinking ahead to the people, circumstances or personal habits that may throw a monkey wrench in your plans is a strategic step. There will be some very concrete themes that pop up, like money, consensus within your marriage or family, health issues. But don’t forget to have a serious talk with yourself about those pesky little habits or tendencies that we all have. Are you someone who loves to think about what you want, but you don’t seem to get around to actually doing it? Or someone who wants everything lined up perfectly before you take the first step? Maybe you’re not the most organized person on the planet. Honesty and awareness around potential pitfalls allows you to get the support you need.
So, set aside some time and find a quiet spot to start asking yourself some very pointed questions. Next week, I’ll give you strategy #2 for charting your course through this next phase of your life.