A popular practice around the first of every new year is to pick a word for that year. Much easier, not to mention more intuitive, than making New Year’s Resolutions, picking a word to serve as a North Star can be very beneficial. During 2018 my word was flexible. I wanted to be more flexible in my body, my mind and my emotions all year long. Not only did it get me into a “mostly” two-day-a-week yoga practice, it also helped my thinking relax and flow as the year progressed. It was such a success for me that I decided to come up with a new word for 2019. I’m hoping this word will guide and direct my intentions as much as the last. And yes, I strongly encourage every reader to take the time to figure out what one word might inspire and pilot them in the next 365 days. [Read more…]
Why Vietnam? Why Cambodia? Why not? My husband Thom and I recently returned from a three-week trip to this part of the world. One of the more exotic locations we’ve explored, this trip was on Thom’s bucket list—and after all, he did turn 65 this year so it was his turn to pick. We’d also had several others tell us about how much they loved this part of the world and why it was worthy of the time and money to visit. So, after much planning and anticipation we experienced a variety of adventure and insights that I thought some of you may enjoying hearing about.
Here are few things I will always remember.
Happy New Year! This is my final week away and I’m happy to introduce you to Pat as my guest blogger. Pat is another blogger who writes about and explores many SMART Living ideas that we can all use to create a happier and more meaningful life. She also has a lot of wisdom for those of us entering the “third act” of our lives and readily shares it on her blog Retirement Transition. Thank you, Pat, for filling in for me and for explaining how we can create happiness by design and then put that design into action.
As we enter this New Year, I ask myself, how can I better live my values?
I’ve often said that our life will happen, either by design or by default, and it’s our own responsibility to make it what we want it to be. Personally, I want to design my life at this stage. So I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what I want this stage of life to look like.
But there is design, the plans and intent–and then the real action, or what you actually do. Sometimes intention does not turn into behavior. At this time of year, that can become very apparent with New Year’s resolutions!
So it’s not just about designing your life, it’s about activating it as well. [Read more…]
This week I’m happy to introduce you to Michele Vosberg as my guest blogger while Thom and I are traveling. Michele is one of the most recent bloggers I began following in 2018, but when I began reading her posts I knew without a doubt that she fits into the SMART Living lifestyle. With a strong intention to help people become all they are meant to be, her blog Life Redesign101 is sure to help any of us who appreciate self-awareness and personal growth. Thank you, Michele, for filling in for me and sharing some of your ideas about rethinking (and rightsizing!) our goal setting for the future.
This is the time of year that many of us are focused on goal setting for the new year. At this stage of life, we are likely accomplished goal setters. We have successfully navigated the demands of the working world. We’ve also successfully juggled the responsibilities of caring for homes, children, pets and even parents.
We have manipulated our Day Planners and multi-tasked our way through many projects and life challenges. We don’t need another lesson on S.M.A.R.T. goals (not to be confused with SMART Living!) We don’t need a bigger planner with more hours in the day. We want to get off the hamster wheel, live in the moment and enjoy our lives without checking off our accomplishments on an endless to-do list. [Read more…]
This week I’m pleased to introduce you to Beth Havey as my guest blogger while Thom and I are traveling. Beth is actually a neighbor of mine here in Southern California (about 150 miles away)—but we haven’t met in person—yet! But I do feel like I know her because I have been reading her blog Boomer Highway for several years now. There she writes about many things that I believe are heart-felt and SMART. Thank you, Beth, for filling in for me and sharing some of your ideas about relationships during the holidays.
Ebenezer Scrooge said: “I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year.” That saying is just one of the hundreds of memories in our hearts that help build our traditions during the winter holidays. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukka, Kwanzaa or other traditions associated with the winter solstice or eastern religions, it is a time of year that gathering friends and family together helps create a warm environment of food and friendship. Clearly, such gatherings help us deal with the bleakness of winter. Christmas, like the other holidays, is most often about the people in your life. [Read more…]
This week I’m happy to introduce you to Donna as my guest blogger while Thom and I are traveling. Donna is one of the few bloggers I’ve met in person and now consider her a good friend. She is also one of the kindest and most generous bloggers I’ve encountered, and if you go to her website Retirement Reflections you’ll likely see how her big heart shines through in every blog post. Thank you, Donna, for filling in for me and sharing some of your SMART thoughts with all of us. Here are her ideas on why it is SMART to put our gratitude in writing.
As a long-time fan of Smart Living 365. I enjoy the journey of self-discovery and awareness that it provokes. I now try to look at ideas and concepts through a SMART lens. More and more I find myself asking ‘why?’ and ‘how?’ to oft-touted notions. [Read more…]
Two years ago I began publishing a list of the best blogs and websites on positive aging and retirement I could find. Now, for the third year in a row I want to continue to promote and provide exposure to those sites that I believe deserve recognition. Like most of us know, it is very easy these days to get lost in the shuffle of the blogosphere. But what I’ve also discovered is that most of the authors and blog publishers in this field especially, are passionately committed to spreading the word about how great it can be to get older. This year I am even more excited and enthusiastic because the research and news continue to show that nearly every single person who ages (no matter what their current age) can look forward to a longer, more meaningful and yes, happier life as they grow older—retired or not. Want to know more? Then check out my updated list below of the best resources I’ve found from 2018. [Read more…]
Wouldn’t it be nice to walk into a store and be handed an instruction manual for living a happy and healthy life? A man named James Doty was offered exactly that back when he was twelve years old. This last week while I was researching another topic, I stumbled upon a podcast by James Doty and immediately knew that his story had the potential to change lives. Of course, even when we have a map right in front of us, that doesn’t mean that we always take the right turns at the right time or the path is without peril. Still, Doty’s story offers us all a glimpse of things we can each do to create the life we feel called to live. [Read more…]
I doubt it is a surprise to many of you that one of my favorite holidays is Thanksgiving. But once the official day is over, it’s far too easy for us to let it slip away and get busy preparing for the slew of holidays to come. Making matters worse are all the retailers and advertising companies doing their best to sell us things for others and ourselves. That is why I decided this year to spend a little more time focusing on what Thanksgiving means to me on the day and week after. And what better way than by sharing the SMART words of many of my favorite writers and speakers?
With that in mind, here are ten quotes from my collection that I believe have the ability to help me the most.
I have never been a slave to fashion. I’m certain that anyone who knows me personally will attest to that! Growing up as a tomboy with a chunky body, along with braces and freckles, I knew trying to be a fashion symbol was a losing battle even when I was young. So instead of striving for a body image I could never fulfill, I mostly focused on my mind and imagination. Even more fortunate, I later found a man who loved me for who I was—not just how I looked or dressed.
So, I’ve pretty much considered myself beyond the shaming that so many women receive for not conforming to cultural or peer standards about beauty. But that has changed some lately. The current discredit seems to be coming from other pro-aging women who imply that if you are still coloring your hair then you are denying your age and afraid to get older. They also imply that unless you embrace your natural-gray-colored-hair you are contributing to the ageism problem in the world. Sorry? I don’t agree. From where I stand hair color has little to do with how a woman feels about getting older. I happen to believe, like with so many issues, it is actually our internal self-acceptance and attitude about ourselves (and about aging) that makes the real difference. [Read more…]