Your Happy Places
First, brainstorm: what activities and skills make you happy? Think back to your happiest times: what were you doing? (e.g. hiking, knitting, gardening, cooking, playing with kids…)
Suppressed Wishes, Dreams
Second, uncover suppressed wishes and desires, by asking 3 questions:
If you had money, how would you live?
(This gets at dreams that you may have censored to be practical.
What if you won the lottery?)
If you had 5 years left, what would you do?
(This highlights your priorities)
If you had 24 hours left, what did you miss or regret?
(“Darn, I wish I had done X….” “I wish I had taken the time…”)
[The source of these is George Kinder, in his work on life planning.]
Successes & Strengths
- What are some of the major successes in your life? What are at least five good things you have accomplished? What are you really good at? What do you find fulfilling? What would you like to be known for? What are you better at than most people? Do you have some clear niches?
- E.g. “I am a better cook than most.””I’ve written some dynamite reports.” “Audiences really like me.” “People seek me out for advice on X.”
- Are there things that prevent you from doing what you want to do? Constraints on following your dreams? Too many things in the way?
- E.g., poor health, financial burdens, lack of family support
- What conditions around you support what you like to do, and what conditions work against you? Are there national-local-family trends that are favorable or unfavorable? What situation around you will work for you? What situations will work against you?
- E.g. “There are a zillion other people who want to have a food truck right now.”
- Are the stars aligned for you in certain areas? New resources that you can leverage? Connections with people that you have= social capital? Is there a great need for something you can provide?
- E.g. “I have great connections for XX activity.” “I have all the equipment I need to do XX.” “There is great demand for home-delivered meals.” “I have super credibility with people who will pay for advice on XX.”
Vision for the Future: PLAN
- What is your dream scenario? Who would you like to be, if you had your wish? What would you like to try to accomplish?
- List your top three goals in priority order. Note your plans for investing in the goals: how much time will you invest, and when?
- E.g. “I want to be a creative writer.” “I want to help animal shelters.” “I want to design an English garden.” “I want to be a go-to expert for party planning.” “I want to work in the area of financial literacy.” “I want to produce information products, like book reviews, opinion articles, guides for living.”
- E.g. “I will spend 1/3 of my time over the next year to become a Master Gardener.” “I will spend 1/3 of my time on family and friends.” “I will spend 1/3 of my time on my personal health and exercise.” “If I don’t make $5,000 a year as a Reiki Master in one year, I will rethink this investment.” “I am going to offer proof-reading services on FIVERR.COM and gardening services on TASKRABBIT and NEXTDOOR, and give it two years to make $4,000 per year.”
- Are there former partners whom you could seek to team with? Are there certain types of people you need to find as new partners?
- Are there things you need that you don’t have, in order to be successful with the new dream? Information, skills, equipment, money? Where can you get them? How much will it cost to chase this dream?
- E.g., “I need to know how to do XX. I can get there if I read/take a class/talk to an expert/etc.” “I need to raise money. Maybe Kickstarter?”
Did you make a formal plan for your retirement activities? Want to share it?