There are times in our lives when circumstances change, giving us an opportunity to take stock, re-evaluate what we’re doing or look at where we’re headed. Often those times come with a major life event, such as marriage, having children, finally getting the kids out of the house or even retirement. Wherever you are in life, chances are you’ve had one of those moments when you thought about shaking things up a bit. Recently, I hit one of those seasons in life. I changed careers and got my youngest child fairly well settled in adulthood. I was ready for a transition. I was ready to put the pieces together and undergo a bit of a life overhaul. Thankfully, I was smart enough to know that I didn’t want to go it alone.
Loree Bischoff is a life coach, part time Cody, Wyoming resident, and author of the book “Common Sense Happiness.” Most of her clients are women in their 40s and 50s who have the time to reevaluate their lives and focus on themselves instead of raising children. Often, Loree is hired to help them work through the process of what they want to do at this stage of their lives. If you’re struggling, hiring a life coach is a great way to get down to a deeper level, allowing you, as Loree puts it, “To clear away all the crap and find your courage to discover your passion. Passion is what fills you up and gives you peace, joy and happiness.”
Loree’s goal is to shift a client’s focus from what they don’t have, to what they do have. Don’t think, “Oh the kids are gone, I have nothing to live for.” Instead think, “What new opportunities are now open to me?” Loree says, “Be willing to start with small steps toward something that intrigues you and gives you a positive, energetic place to be.”
Loree’s book, “Common Sense Happiness,” is a quick read but it’s a great reminder about some of the easy things we can do to lead a happier life. If you’re having a hard time sorting through the clutter in your life, ask yourself four questions: What do you want to keep? What do you want to discard? What do you want more of? What do you want less of? Then, you’ll have to take action based on your answers.
Aimee Carlson of Clear Path Coaching and Energy Healing in Billings says this is also a critical time in life to declutter. She stresses, “Decluttering actually releases endorphins. That’s why you feel a mental, physical and emotional release after doing it.” Aimee says over the years we collect more than just “stuff.” We collect obligations, relationships and memories. A coach, “can be a great support and ally” when you want to discover why you collect and how, if you want to, you can purge.
If getting rid of the clutter is one of your goals, Aimee says why not try one of these methods:
Eating a more nutritious diet tends to top many peoples’ life overhaul lists. It was certainly near the top of my list. I’ll admit, it’s really hard. Veggies are seldom on my mind, let alone on my plate. Aren’t the two most perfect foods bread and chocolate? But I realize now that I’m in my mid-50s (honestly, late 50s), I had better get a handle on eating well before a whole host of health issues gain the upper hand and take away the choices I do have.
I spoke with Tina Breat, a registered dietician and nutrition counselor in Cody about revamping what fuels my body. She says a person’s metabolism begins to slow down at age 30, so a 50-year-old woman would either need to eat about 400 calories less each day to maintain her weight or increase her aerobic exercise by at least 30 minutes every day. In other words, we need to eat less and exercise more to keep from having to purchase new clothes in a bigger size.
For optimal health, Tina advises women, especially those of us over 50, to concentrate on adding in more nutrient-dense food and cut out sweets, refined grains, and regular soda. We also need to start moving more. She says women in this age of life that start following these rules will witness more energy, weight loss and even clearer thinking. Who wouldn’t want more of that?
When it comes to vitamins, Breat says women should increase their intake of Omega 3s (our diet is heavy on the Omega 6 side), and make sure we are getting an adequate supply of Vitamin D3. Because our bodies are getting less estrogen, we are all at an increased risk for heart disease and soft bones. To counter this trend, women should check to see if they’re getting enough calcium, vitamin D, magnesium and vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 tells the calcium to be deposited in the bone and not in your arteries. Think fewer broken bones and less heart disease.
While tackling a better diet, we also need to get moving and add some strength. Muscle mass can keep those hip-fracturing falls at bay and allow you to tackle the simple things like opening a jar of peanut butter. Many women live alone, so we’d better be able open those jars, shovel that walk and haul those grocery bags ourselves.
Strength training is key to developing muscle mass, and yes, we’re talking weights. I hired a personal trainer to get me back into the gym. I was intimidated by the free weights and knew I wasn’t progressing with the little gym time I was getting. Now, I have a better handle on what exercises to do daily and more importantly, how to do them properly.
I’ll admit, getting to the gym can be as difficult as making a conscious decision to eat more nutritiously. While I don’t really care if I look better by going to the gym, I’ve trained my brain to realize that my livelihood depends on good health. My physical health, or lack thereof, could have a huge impact upon my ability to earn money. As a freelance writer, I need to be in good health in order to do my job. With that thought floating always in the back of my mind, I now set aside time every day to get to the gym knowing that my financial health as well as my physical health depends on it.
Everyone experiences major life changes. Embrace the change. See it as a new chapter. A positive mental outlook will do wonders for how well you make the transition. A strong, healthy body will allow you to expand your horizons to try new things. Take it from me, this is your chance to become a better version of the fabulous person you already are.