Right now, you’re probably thinking – â”Hah, who is SHE to tell ME to Start something new?â€
It’s not easy to DARE Start. Not even for someone relatively fearless like me! It was cruelly humbling to squeeze my middle-aged middle into tiny seats in overheated classrooms surrounded by buff 30-somethings who could thumb-stab multiple coffee/ massage/trainer dates on their phones while simultaneously spotting mistakes in professors’ calculations!
Compared to that, this is as easy as 1, 2, 3: Personal, Career, Community.
- Personal: Sure, many of us resolve to eat better and exercise more, but soon enough, we’re ready to turn that stationary bike into a projectile missile, and not just because some alpha-goon at the gym is grunting â”Ah! Hah! Yeah, Babyâ€ at the top of his over-pumped lungs. Boredom kills! DARE Start a new exercise regimen!
Body:Change up your routine, charge up your metabolism. Though it can be really DARING,Skiing can burn 400 calories an hour – more if you have to hoist your butt up every time some shredder flies into you. If constantly wiping snot-sorbet from your face is not for you, try ballroom dancing, more strenuous than you think, or belly-dancing or just solo-dancing to bad 80s music in front of your mirror (you know who you are). Swimming is also great, and easier on the body. If you’re terrified of deep water, or of swallowing chlorine and body fluids, a good aqua-robics class can burn as much as actual swimming.
Mind, Heart and Soul:DARE Start a private daily journal (i.e., not a blog) to tap into your unconscious and record the flow of ideas, dreams, and concerns you didn’t even know you had. It helps you identify, process, and ultimately prioritize and go for what you really want.
- Career: Taking a â”wait-and-seeâ€ approach to fulfilling work is NOT a good way to Start. Relying solely on online job-hunting sites for your next move is also ineffective. The most effective way to a new job or new career is to network strategically, starting with creating an online brand. Sites like LinkedIn, Plaxo, and Naymz have excellent prompts to help you create an exciting and engaging online profile that can put you in touch with hundreds of people (including headhunters) to exchange advice, ideas, job inquiries, consulting leads, etc. The quantity and types of special interest groups you can join on these sites will astound you. Offline, become active in professional associations, especially if you want to change careers. Finally, take a course to jump-start your brain and your career, or just to stir your soul.
- Community: Now’s the time to heed the lead of our contemporary visionaries, from Gates to Obama, who are urging us all to become â”micro-philanthropistsâ€ – especially as funding for social service organizations dwindles. Whether it’s hunger, education, women’s health or eldercare, research and adopt a social cause or nonprofit that deeply moves you. By contributing your time and skills, you too can become a catalyst for change – in yourself as well as your community. Don’t know where to start? Write a thoughtful query letter to the executive director of an organization you admire, demonstrating what you know about the cause and how your skills could address a specific need. Or, write your Congresswoman. And, while you’re at it, get your children involved. The sooner they start giving back, the better for all of us – especially as we get older.