That’s Christmas and New Year all wrapped up for another year! The interesting thing is that it’s not just a brand new year it’s also an entirely new decade.
The Decade In Review
I did a decade in review, which involves looking back at the last 10 years of your life. I highly recommend it as it’s super interesting (and a bit of a wakeup call in this camp!). All you need is a notebook and a pen or you can do it on your computer.
Begin by noting down the momentous and not so momentous happenings that occurred for you this decade.
- If you’re reading this it’s a pretty safe bet you hit a milestone birthday during the 2010s whether that was 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 or 100 (or beyond!)
- You might have hit a significant number in your marriage or partnership too.
- Did your body change?
- I’m guessing your hormones started shifting as you hit perimenopause, menopause or post-menopause?
- How about your health? Was there cause for attention?
What else happened?
- Were there familial changes with your parents, your children, your relationship(s)?
- Did your work change? Was that a good thing or a bad thing?
- Maybe things around your home changed?
- What about your interests?
- And your finances?
- You? Did you feel different?
Ten years is a significant amount of time especially at this stage in our lives. It feels good to take stock of any changes and reflect on the good and the bad.
Then it’s time to look to the future.
The Year 2020
One of my Christmas presents to myself was a super beautiful 2020 planner to mark out my plans for the year.
I don’t know about you but the meno years have turned my world a little bit upside down so I wanted to ensure I’m in the driver’s seat (as much as it’s possible to be anyway!)
The New Year is all about resolutions – the Internet is literally shouting about them right now. But do you know what? The number of resolutions that get made with great enthusiasm at New Year often fall by the wayside because life happens. It just does. In fact, studies have shown 80% of resolutions don’t make it to first base or if they do they die a pretty quick death.
If you’re on board with this train it’s probably better to change the focus to goals which are more specific and measurable – resolutions are rather broad.
New Year’s Resolutions Goals
For women in midlife making goals can be a good idea because our bodies are changing and so are our lives, needs and wants so giving these shifts some sort of structure can make us feel more comfortable.
More often than not our kids are growing older (and more independent) or they’ve flown the coop.
If fertility’s been our burden to bear we must finally come to terms with it.
Our parents are getting older also and either need care or we’ve gone through caring for them and had to say our goodbyes.
We might have gone through a separation or divorce last decade and are starting out in a new relationship, or finding ourselves back in the dating game.
Maybe you’ve downsized your job or started a new business. Perhaps your husband or partner’s done the same and you’ve started said business together.
There are so many different scenarios that can occur as we head into midlife and they’re not all without their bumps. The only certainty is that life will change so think about what you want for yourself in 2020 and during the next 10 years!
How To Make Goals Work
Rather than making big audacious goals that may set you up for failure take small steps.
The reason I recommend writing them down like I’m doing in my planner is that they’re 42% more likely to come to fruition. Dr Gail Matthews, a psychology professor in California discovered this figure when she studied the art and science of goal setting. It’s also why to-do lists work so well too.
I used to work in magazine publishing and if those pages weren’t ready on time there would have been hell (actually thousands of dollars) to pay so deadlines ruled our world and my to-do list did too. And actually Ms Meno’s, if you find yourself getting a tad forgetful a to-do list is pretty essential even if you’re a non-habitual list writer.
Put that together with my small steps theory and you could make 2020 a great year as you navigate midlife and the menopausal years.
Science says it works and what have you got to lose?
To give you some small steps ideas:
- If you’re not an exerciser resolve to go for a walk every Saturday for 30-minutes.
- Stretch for five minutes three times per week.
- Subscribe to beginners yoga on YouTube – you can do it in front of the TV!
- Ditto for mindfulness or meditation classes. (Proven to help with menopausal signs!)
Nutrition & Weight Management:
- Close the kitchen at 6 or 7 pm. No sneaky snacks.
- Add a nutrient-rich smoothie to your day (as a meal not a snack).
- Eat a salad on the daily.
- Swap your standard milk chocolate bar for one square of 70%+ dark chocolate.
- Breathe deeply. In for 4, hold for 7, breathe out for 8.
- Be honest with those closest to you if you’re experiencing anxiety, insomnia, hot flushes, brain fog.
- Cultivate vitamin H (humour). Tip: persistence wins out.
- Learn how to meditate (see the addendum to yoga under exercise ). It might sound woo woo but it’s transformational.
- Take your two capsules of 40+ or 55+ together morning or night. Every. Single. Day.
If you’re going to get a 2020 planner, use it to set goals for:
Finally, let me leave you with this quote from a book called Piloting Your Life that I fell upon as I was writing this piece. It seemed relevant to us:
“For many women who have been caring for and putting others first, midlife is the time when there’s finally space to start thinking about you. You may feel compelled to make room for you, to live with greater purpose, or to answer the call to do something big in the world. It’s during this time that we can begin to define what legacy we want to leave.
If you’ve lost sight of who you are and what you want, it’s time to explore and experiment and define your own new milestones. Up until this point, there have been socially defined milestones like school, first job, maybe marriage, maybe kids, maybe uni, maybe the first house, and then if there are kids, the kids’ milestones. The lack of milestones can make midlife feel like uncharted territory.
It is, and it’s ready to be explored and conquered.
If you’re reading this book, it’s time. Time for you. Time for vision. Time for clarity. Time for you to resolve unresolved issues from your childhood, adolescence, and early twenties. Because if you don’t, they are going to keep resurfacing. Trust me on that.”
Good luck, let’s do a review in 2021!it