Set flexible life goals healthy life ct


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Eight years ago Lynn Naliboff put together a journal of dreams, impeccably detailed with all her goals. She lined each page with inspiring images from magazines to keep the visions fresh in her mind, reminding her that her goals were important. Then she put it in a drawer and referred to it when she got off track.

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Set flexible life goals healthy life ct

  1. 1. Web Search by YAHOO! Businesses body mind spirit healthyhomeSet Flexible Life GoalsKaren PasacretaUpdated 12:15 p.m., Monday, February 6, 2012For life, set goals but be flexible. Photo: ©Eric Gevaert, / Eight years ago Lynn Naliboff put together a journal 0 0 0 of dreams, impeccably detailed with all her goals. She Like Share lined each page with inspiring images from magazines to keep the visions fresh in her mind, reminding her Larger | Smaller Email This that her goals were important. Then she put it in a Printable Version Font drawer and referred to it when she got off track. The journal incorporated all of Naliboffs passions: totravel, be a food writer, be in a job she loved, and someday be married with children. Each pagewas dedicated to something she wanted in life."When I started it, I wanted to push myself to achieve more in life, so I wouldnt get lazy," saysNaliboff, a Stamford resident. "I wanted to remind myself `I can and to figure out how Iwould."Naliboff, a direct marketing writer, has achieved many of her goals. Paris and Spain wereamazing and the Napa Valley was stunning, she says. Shes also developed a food blog of low-
  2. 2. fat recipes ( But at 41, she feels time is running out formarriage and children. While she was out forming a career and building a life that was self-sustaining and interesting, the dream of a family took a back seat. It hasnt fizzled, but she saysshes not going to expend energy on it the way she did in her 30s.How did I get here?"I try not to think about it, but its just so not where I thought I would be. I am trying not toregret it, but I do a little bit," Naliboff says. "And I really hate living my life with regret, so Ineed to focus and really strive to achieve the things I want to achieve." So, she is re-evaluatingher plan.Naliboff has the attitude you need, says life coachCynthia Mayer, whose practice is in Westport. "Grieving the loss of a fantasy is sometimesharder than a person," Mayer says. "It can hit hard. Sometimes people get so attachedto their life plans they forget to leave space to be openand flexible."Many of us wake up one day and find ourselves asking: How did I get here? You could betalking about your relationship, lack of one, or a job. Its kind of like a line straight out of theTalking Heads song, "Once in a Lifetime" -- a sort of midlife crisis theme song. We just movealong, "the same as it ever was," without direction because complacency is sometimes easier.Mayer stresses that getting on track means finding out whats standing in your way. But itshard to take a deeper look. Why are some of us so afraid? Then one day we wake up, and were50. Is it too late to start over?Why do we need plans?If you subscribe to the philosophy that you only get one shot in this world, it is never too late toget off the couch and get in control. Because we dont want to find ourselves "rudderless,floating on a sea without a direction," says Kathy Caprino, a Norwalk-based womans careerand executive coach. Caprino, who is also a licensed therapist in Fairfield County, documentedit all in her book, Breakdown, Breakthrough, which highlights hidden crises working womenface and how to overcome them. After a year of interviewing women who are successful, she"found the happiest (ones) are the ones with a direction."Caprinos journey to her enlightenment began about 10 years ago while she was a corporateexecutive in a job that wasnt fitting with her life. Even though the high-paying salary was amotivator, her personal life was suffering. Then, after an 18-year reign, one day she foundherself pushed out and out of work. Just like that."When I got bumped out of the corporate world, it was an awful thing to be discarded," shesays. As she entered her 40s, she was forced to take a good look at her life. Her therapist toldher it was time to ask herself: Who do you want to be? And she found the things she wanted asan adult were not so far off from the things that she wanted at 18. "We dont recognize thethings that are easy as skills."Thats why she thinks it is important to start a life plan while you are young, so you can identifyyour skills. "When you look back on who you were," she says, "youll find the core of who youare is unchanging."Caprino stepped back and got what she calls an empowered perspective. "We think we blew itwhen things go bad," she says. "We dont understand it is all there for our growth." Caprino,now 51, is doing all the things that she loved in her youth: writing, coaching, and even singing(she married a musician). She also formed Ellia Communications and invests a lot of her timetoward changing the workplace model she once found so stifling, so women feel they can haveit all.Be persistent
  3. 3. The road to success can be long and winding. Ellen Makar can tell you all about that. She hadambitions while growing up in Trumbull. She wanted to go to college but didnt feel as if therewere many female mentors to guide her. She didnt even know what to look for -- there was noInternet to conduct Google searches back then.So she decided on a traditional female-dominated field: nursing. But after experiencing high-pressured life and death emergency room situations, she realized the clinical side wasnt forher: Administration was. That meant furthering her education with a bachelors and thenmasters degrees. So she set a lofty goal: By age 30, she would have it all. Then maybe shed beable to stay home or work part time when she had kids.But that didnt work out. Love came along a lot sooner than later and so did the kids, and shehad to re-evaluate her timetable. The 1990s brought a weakened economy, and Makar wasntabout to give up her job. Instead, she was working two jobs at an insurance company and anursing facility, while taking classes, and sharing kid duty with her husband, who was alsogoing to school.Her motivation and her persistence kept her going. It was a long haul, but finally she got herbachelors and ultimately landed a job at Yale Medical Center. She was climbing the corporateladder in administration and on her way. But something was missing: her masters. This timeshe applied to Yale University.Makar feels that had she stuck with the original plan, she would have missed out on this life-changing experience. Call it serendipity. "(Yale) was an absolutely transformative experiencefor me. I would like to think everything I did led me to be at that college." By leaving room tobe flexible, Makar was able to achieve her goals. "It took me 15 years to get there, but I did it."Follow your heartThe key to a life plan is to identify that one thing you love, to stick with it, and to learn fromyour mistakes along the way. "You need disappointments to grow," Steve Jobs told the 2005Stanford University graduating class. And though the words in this commencement addressmay seem cliché and over-Tweeted since Jobs death, the core still rings true. By makingmistakes, you can start over and begin again. Call it luck.Even though meeting a man is no longer one of Naliboffs top goals, shes still planning toattend a speed-dating event because, "you have to remain open." And thats why Makar isstaying on top of her industry, in case she needs to reinvent her skills once again. As forCaprino, every time she visualizes what she wants to be, new doors open and she goes for it."The ability to keep going and stay focused on whatever you are doing," says Mayer, "thatscreating your own luck."FORM A LIFE PLAN IN 5 EASY STEPS1. Know yourself. What do you truly want in life: A new career? A relationship? More travel?More education? Ask yourself whats missing and what will make you happy -- and why.2. Write it down. Begin to form a blueprint of your life by adding inspirational anecdotes,pictures and quotes of milestones you want to achieve -- to remind yourself why you chosethese goals in the first place.3. Set goals that are realistic and highly targeted to what you want. By forming a well-constructed plan, you are creating something you know you can achieve, yet its still healthy toadd a couple of far-reaching goals.4. Do something every day that puts you closer to reaching your goal. Make a phone call, sendan e-mail, or research your topic. Remember, you cant make progress unless you do somethingabout it.5. Refer to your goals often to help you stay positive and on track.
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