• Are you undervalued or underpaid?
  • Are you willing to accept it and for how long?
  • Can you create something new?

Midlife is a time of many personal, physical and mental challenges. It\’s also the perfect time to write the next chapters in your life and take action. Eliminate distractions and focus your effort so you have more . . . More energy, more time for what you value, better relationships and more income.
Here are 5 steps to help you manage and map your midlife:
1. Make A Fresh Start
Whether it is your overflowing mail or your year\’s worth of fast food wrappers lining the floor of your car, get rid of it. Clutter weighs you down. Toss all of it. If it seems too overwhelming, throw away a small chunk each day until it is gone. Once you have cleared some space for yourself take a nice deep breath and pat yourself on the back. Now remember that peaceful feeling and deal with the items that accumulate one by one and day by day. Be consistent. A lot of little tosses will save you valuable time and the effort and expense of a major overhaul.
2. Make an Important Appointment
Schedule a daily appointment with yourself for yourself. Set aside a specific time and make it a priority. Take a few minutes to relax, close your eyes and breathe deeply; quietly. Once you have centered your mind, connect with your inner voice. Treat yourself as a friend with no judgments or guilt. Be calm and generous. Take stock of your talents and dreams. Make goals. Write them down. What do you want? What do you want to let go of? Where do you see yourself in a year?
3. Just Jump In
Find one thing you can do every day to achieve your goal. Be realistic and regular about it. Have a plan and stick to it.
Want to exercise? Try walking an extra block or two on your routine way to work. Or do all of your chores standing up. Get active. Motion increases positive emotions. Treat yourself to 10 minutes of exercise that appeals to you. Do something new for yourself a little at a time and get used to it. Enjoy the process and you will make progress.
Want to go to school? Take a community class that interests you. Enroll now in a free course online. Participate in a teleclass or find a teleseminar that you want to attend. Set aside money monthly for long term tuition.
Want to meet more people? Join a shared interest/hobby group that has face to face activities. Do a Google search on MeetUp groups in your area, sign up and push yourself to attend. Make it about something that you really enjoy. Make it fun.
Looking for a love partner? Be clear about type of person you would like to go out with and go to where they are. Be smart and safe about it then step out of your comfort zone. Try something new. Go someplace and do something you wouldn\’t normally do. Stretch a little.
Taking small steps in the same direction will create a path. When you have mastered one thing, add another goal and then another. Consistency is vital.
4. Reach Out
Celebrate change and appreciate what you have achieved, then move on. Build on what you already have, have always had inside of you. What do you want to bring out? Visualize it. Seek information from the internet, books and articles. Ask questions in conversations. Observe and educate yourself. Find music and experiences that inspire you. Find new people with common interests. Talk to them about your shared passion and listen carefully for feedback, insights and new ideas. Spend time with people who reinforce your progress. Find a mentor or a reverse (a younger) mentor and ask them questions. Consider what has worked for them and what hasn\’t. Find your own way but save yourself the expense and frustration of reinventing the wheel. Consider hiring a coach. Decide what you think will work for you and pursue it. Allocate your resources (time, energy and money) wisely. Be open to change, make adjustments and persist. Persist and push through. Focus on your goal each and every day.
5. Mix Action with Sharing
Do something to keep moving forward. Do not get sidetracked by distractions. Decide whether something is helping you to get to your goal or if it is a distraction. Don\’t focus on the distractions but keep your eye on the prize. If you are taking an airplane trip and you have a layover in an intermediate city, you focus on your destination and what you will do when you get there; not the city of your layover. Be single minded, keep focused on your goal and the steps that give you traction. Build your vision and your relationships with action steps. Interact with people. Serve others with your skills, abilities and imagination. Provide something that people value and they will pay you for it.

Risa Kelly is a midlife women\’s coach focusing on repurpose and connection. Her web address is www.allwaysoptions.com