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Wasn't I Just Here? 5 Keys To Zoom You Into the Joys Of Midlife Changes

04/30/2013 07:45 am ET | Updated Jun 30, 2013
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Right now, you're here. But you want to be there.

You can see it so clearly; in fact, if it were any closer, you could just reach out and grab it.

So, why don't you just grab it? Just go for it? That was your plan in the days leading up to this year: You were going to do it right. Big. 2013 was going to be your Best. Year. Ever.

And now, here we are, watching the season bloom into Spring, and you're in the same place you were last year, when you got clobbered with a Big Life Change, OR in response to the wearying doldrums of midlife -- you swore to yourself you'd do something to ignite your spark and re-energize your life.

Don't be too hard on yourself. It happens to most people, every year. We start off with the very best of intentions and solid determination to do things differently.

Then, things happen: we get sidetracked by kids, work, relationships on the fray, aging parents, finances, fears about what other people will think -- the list goes on and on. Inevitably, our distractions give way to inaction. Inaction leads to ennui. Then, before you know it, the calendar has rolled ahead to December 31 and we're having the same conversation we're having right now -- the one about how we can make this year different.

Here's the answer: our years don't become different unless we become different. And here's some good news: you can learn to "bloom where you're planted," so to speak, to maximize the potential of today, even while you're trying to wrap your head around the change that just knocked you on your bum.

But you need more than the best of intentions and an iron-clad determination to do things differently. You also have to have a strategy on how to get there AND people to hold you accountable. It's about creating a life with no regrets.

The strategy involves making room for good things to come into your life -- knowing yourself well, managing yourself well, and leading yourself well.

Are you ready to be "out with the old" for good? Ready to super-charge (and take charge of) your life, even though it looks and feels like all hell is breaking loose? You're in luck. Here are five keys to help you get on track to create a joyful, zestful YOU:

1. Be kind and patient with yourself. When you're confused or hurt, all you want is for the cacophony and pain to stop, NOW. I get it. I've been there. But here's what you must remember: change is a process -- the small moves, as well as the big moves; the good times, as well as the tough times -- all are part of the process of evolution. Honor that. Know that no matter how distressing things seem right now, life will evolve and new vistas will appear, provided you are willing to roll up your sleeves and stay open to the possibilities.

2. Be true to yourself. This means making decisions that honor you and what's most important to you. Stop doing things simply to appease your Board of Critics. Realize there's only one person running your show, and only one person who needs your approval: You.

3. Find your "flow". Find a way to bring your signature strengths, personal passions, and natural talents front-and-center in your life. Instead of focusing on things that don't come naturally to you, learn to play to your strengths and use them in new ways. Rediscover what stimulates your deepest passions. Incorporate them into your life again, and really allow yourself to savor that experience. Being in "flow" is optimal to the human condition. Get into it!

4. Exercise resilience. Remember, positive change is a personal choice. Make the decision to rally back. After all, we all fall at some point. It doesn't matter that you fall -- but it does matter that you get back up. The best part is that you don't have to do this alone: fill your days with activities and people you love; they'll be your support system as you rebuild your life. Also, incorporate some type of daily exercise into your life. It's been scientifically proven that our psychology is directly tied to our physiology. In other words, when your body feels better, your mind will feel better, too.

5.Trust your gut. If you think back on the times in your life when you opted not to listen to your instincts -- what happened? What did you learn? Enough said.

Simply put, we all need to enact the "how" to navigate and blossom in the midst of the "what." To quote Wayne Dyer, "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." It's time to stop looking at Big Life Changes as an insurmountable obstacle to be suffered through. Change is an opportunity; it can be a real gift. The opportunity is how we effect the change.

"Stepping into a brand new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation which is not nurturing to the whole woman."
-Maya Angelou

Over the years, readers have resonated with my message of regaining their footing and learning to live a joyful, zestful life after Big Life Changes. Aside from enduring a life-altering event, some are just motivated to re-ignite their spark for life. But while my message has been appreciated, there's almost always one common question: just how do I do all the things you suggest? What does it mean to "find your authentic self", "find my sweet spot", and "create a life I love". They want it, but the actual path isn't always clear.

Well, I've done it myself -- and there really is a way. It's about accepting what has been and learning how to maximize today by honoring what's true for you. And by embracing tried 'n true tools & techniques, along with an awesome community of like-minded witnesses who understand and "get it". We're talking about the gift of camaraderie. It's about surrounding yourself with support and putting forth determination to make the most of the change.

The goal of A Zestful Life is to create a safe haven to create well-being. Even in the absence of enough positive emotion and in the presence of unavoidable challenge, we can thrive through adversity, gracefully smooth out the jagged edges of change, and flourish.

Ready to live your life in full blooming color? Roll up your sleeves and prepare to Reclaim. Recreate. Rejuvenate. It's an opportunity to create the true life you've always wanted.

Are you a smart, bravehearted midlife woman who is a phoenix in the making? If you're an open-hearted, classy lady devoted to making forward momentum after a Big Life Change, or if you're just needing to rekindle your midlife spark, registration opens May 6 for Society for Zestful Living -- so click here to hear more about Early Bird Discounts and engage in details for this supportive and illuminating 6 week group coaching experience for women only, who are ready to create their New [SO Much Better Than] Normal; you'll enjoy a free download of a chapter of The Bravehearts Guide, too!

Nancy Sherr coaches Bravehearted Women Through Big. Life. Changes. A coach, author and speaker, she is the creator of the Society for Zestful Living group program for women, author of the renowned eBook: The Bravehearts Guide to Navigating BIG. LIFE. CHANGES. Visit here to get Nancy's free five-part eCourse: Fierce Grace for Bravehearts: a Practical Crash Course in Navigating Change.

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

Dr. Colvin's Advice For Staying Active After 50