By 75….By 70….“By Now”….





By 75….By 70….”By Now”

by

L.T. Force, Ph.D.

Gerontologist

There are guidelines and guidebooks that can help people navigate a personal and professional journey across life. Think about this - we have an emphasis and a vast inventory on planners - both addressing professional time management and financial planning. There is probably “zero-chance” that you can watch a sporting event or popular cable newscast - without seeing commercials on financial planning or strategies to reduce insurance cost….etc.

Every cohort (age group) has a connection - with other members of their cohort (age group). Think about this: “What were the Saturday morning TV shows that you watched as a child?” I remember,

“Sky King and Penny” and “Wonderama” - people of my age group would typically be familiar with these TV shows.Today, if you were to watch Saturday morning TV - I can guarantee you - its not: “Sky King and Penny or “Wonderama”….So, what do we know? Time matters and different things are highlighted at different times during a person’s life.

For example, when I think about the strategies, tools and resources that I was exposed to - early in my career - it was the trusty: “Franklin Planner”. The “Franklin Planner” was in the format of paper and binder. Each year, you would order a refill - and then be given instructions on how to assemble it - and how to use it. The strategy of the planner was to: “write everything down and prioritize it - in the format of A,B or C”, thereby, completing the essential items first. You were instructed to always carry your planner with you - and different sizes were available for purchase. At one point, the Franklin Planner was rebranded as the “Franklin Covey Planner” - when the work and writings of Stephen Covey were merged with the Franklin Platform. Rain or Shine the Franklin Planner was by your side.

My how things have changed. Now, we have electronic platforms to organize and plan our day. It was difficult for me to transition from a paper calendar to an electronic calendar. In fact, there was a period of time - I was utilizing both a paper and electronic calendar together. That strategy did not work at all. I was missing appointments and deadlines - as I was using a duplicate system. Then one day - “it came to me- a solution”. I would use the electronic calendar to record meetings and events - and I would use the Franklin Planner - for just that - a Planner (creating long-term goals for projects….etc. I also committed to not carry the Franklin Planner - but leave it on my office desk). To date the combined system (calendar and planner) has worked for me - in a seamless fashion.

As I was using my Franklin Planner the other day (sitting at my desk) I started to think about “what goals do I want to accomplish?” This thought came to mind - because next month is my Birthday - I will be 69 years old. I started to think: “What is it that I want to accomplish by age 75 - 6 years from now” And then I started to think - you know there really aren’t guidebooks or guidelines for people to use and review - regarding the setting of goals in their 70’s. (It’s typically all about retirement and disengaging - and many people have no interest in retirement). And then I realized why plan out 6 years - but rather: “what is it that I want to accomplish by age 70 - one year from now?“At that point, I was flooded with a mixture of emotion and insight - with an overarching reaction:

“Me, I’m’going to be 70 years old!” . And as I started to think about that point. I quickly realized that it wasn’t age 70 that was bothering me - because historically, = in all of the decades I have transitioned through - it was: ”the year before the beginning of the new decade (29,39,49,59 and now 69) - it was the “9’s” that created more anxiety for me. With that thought in mind - I reformulated my vision of goal attainment from: “By 75….I want to accomplish…. No. By 70….I want to accomplish,… No….”By Now” I want to accomplish….Yes!” The gift for me, from this exercise, was - it wasn’t the establishment of a: “timeline landscape” that truly matters….but rather it was the realization: “if you want to accomplish something or set a goal to complete a project or realize a dream - you need to do it now!” The take-away for me: “it was the “lived-experience of years”…. combined with the “voice of mentors” that provided a sense of clarity for me: “Now is the day….seize the moment: Thank-you Stephen Covey - for your organizational insight - and Thank-you to members of my family, my friends, my teachers, my students for providing a presence of support and unconditional belief that….any and everything is possible. And Thank-you to the Inventors and Visionaries who have shown all of us - the power of integrating technology into our daily practice…. taking us to new levels of insights and possibilities….including the setting of goals….and helping us set them now”.

The question is: “What are you waiting for….as you start to think, plan and implement what you want to accomplish? If you really want to accomplish a goal….or achieve a milestone….act like you do!” By doing so - and incorporating actions into a daily practice - those images found in the picture above….will become crystal clear….and that clarity will provide you with a sense of attainment….and a sense of fulfillment.…”By Now”.