Remember when you were 15 or 16 and, for the first time, you asserted yourself on personal taste and choices about how your future would take shape? It wasn’t long before you began in earnest to think about plans for school, jobs, and family?
Planning goes on throughout your life. We plan for our short-term goals including vacations and small purchases and long-term endeavors like the lives of our kids and retirement. After retirement begins, planning slows down. Eventually, we settle into a stage in our life where plans focus mostly on short-term goals, like what we’ll have for lunch or where we’ll play golf.
Some of us let planning of any kind, even short-term, fizzle out entirely. We merely drift from one activity to another, guided by those around us.
To slow or quit planning creates a smaller life.
Not everyone like me, at age 73, sees the need to continually chart our remaining time on earth. Do you subscribe to the notion that these final years are to be celebrated the way they are, in a comfortable routine of your making, and that we are to be more spectator than participant? This might be fine for some, especially those whose life overall has been tumultuous, and these days of comfortable routine are prized above all else. Still others feel it’s a waste to plan for a future event that they might not be around for.
Floating like a falling leaf from a tall tree to some seniors represents boredom, stagnation, dis-ease. Stagnation is a familiar myth created for the older generation.
Benefits of Planning
One of the main benefits of taking action and planning for the future is that it puts you in a forward-thinking frame of mind. Instead of just considering what’s for breakfast, thinking of what and with whom you might enjoy sharing a meal next week keeps the excitement and enthusiasm for things in the future. This enthusiasm can propel you forward beyond what exists only for today.
You’ve probably heard the phrase raison d’etre, your reason for being. Charting a plan for the future provides multiple reasons for being. In the process, you can identify a new passion like writing, crafting, gardening, or juggling (yes, juggling! Lol).
Having something fun to look forward to is exciting. Remember being a kid and being told a fun vacation or holiday event like Halloween or Christmas was happening in the next month? Charting a future that includes fun things to look forward to generates the same enthusiasm for life in general. Give it a go!