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"The Ragged Socks of Hope"
Resolve to be your best Third Act self
I just love the analogy of setting a New Years Resolution being like pulling up the ragged socks of hope, and I wish I could take credit for it, but it’s the brainchild of my favorite author. He writes a blog about it here.
So why are Resolutions just hope that’s likely to fall down around your ankles by the end of the year? I believe Resolutions are likely to fail because they are big and vague and you probably don’t even believe you can do them when you set them. They’re an aspiration. But with all of the change and opportunity in your life when you retire, how will you be the person you were meant to be in your Third Act without a bit of resolve?
You do need some resolve to move positively through change. There is no question about it. But resolve is different than A Resolution. Resolve is the willingness to try again and again to attain a goal. The goal could be a big, fat, aspirational Resolution, or it could just be a smaller goal on the way to your aspirational self. So, yes, you need resolve, but I’ve found that most people do better with realistic goals and a path with some opportunities for success than they do with a looming failure that they set every January.
As you head into retirement, or another year in retirement, you could make A Resolution to be a happier healthier person in 2023, gain a purpose, lose a few pounds and become the life of the party. But, honestly, there are a lot of holes in those socks of hope. Defining how you’re going to be the best you in the Third Act may mean shorter term, more attainable goals. I like small, quarterly goals on my way to my best self. It probably comes as no surprise to you that I like to organize my quarterly and yearly goals by my pillars - Purpose, Wellness, Connections, Financial and FUN! I generally pick a few goals for each pillar and list them by quarter, and then I follow up with myself each quarter to see how I’m doing. I don’t get ‘em all, but I also don’t get a complete whiff and miss my Resolution completely and I get the satisfaction of knowing that I am moving myself toward that Third Act self I want to be.
Maybe you have a particular pillar that you’d like to start with. Focusing on just one is a great place to start. Or you could be more ambitious and pick something from each pillar.
Let’s try. Here is a list of a TON of possible smaller goals listed by pillar. Pick a pillar and pick one or two goals per quarter that progress you toward what would have been your Resolution. You don’t have to pick any from this list unless you like them. It’s just a jumping off point. Make goals that are meaningful to you. You’ll still need enough resolve to focus on your goals, remember to check yourself once/quarter and get back on the horse when you fail to meet a goal or two, but at the end of the year, I bet those socks of hope will be a bit less slouchy than they were this year. (If you are unable to download this file, try turning off your pop-up blocker or just reply to this newsletter with your email address and I’ll send it to you.)
Retirement is a time of change and the new year is a time of hope. Those two things can come together beautifully to help send you into the Third Act of your dreams! So, grab a few goals and get psyched up for the best 2023 life has to offer!