Build the Life You Want in 9 Steps

happy senior couple smiling and embracing each other
happy senior couple smiling and embracing each other

Creating the life you envision isn’t a mere aspiration; it’s a deliberate pursuit requiring a well-defined vision, unwavering determination, and ongoing commitment. 

This holds true whether you’re a high school student embarking on a new chapter or a businessperson reflecting on your accomplishments.

Irrespective of the individuality of your journey…

Certain steps serve as guiding principles, especially during pivotal moments like retirement or when the kids head off to college. 

Consider this comprehensive list to help you build the life you want.

1. Define What You Want

mature woman with headphones taking notes in front of her laptop

The first step in creating the life you want is defining what that looks like. Take time to reflect on your values, passions, and goals. What brings you joy and fulfillment? What are your aspirations in different areas of your life – career, relationships, personal development? Be specific with your goals as this provides a clear direction for your journey.1

2. Create a Vision Board

a woman creating a vision board. Cutting paper with sissors.

A vision board is a collage of images and words that represent your dreams. In creating a vision board you materialize your desires into something tangible. This constant visual reminder boosts motivation and keeps you focused on your objectives.2

3. Develop a Plan

steps towards a goal or target

Once you’ve defined your goals, develop a plan to achieve them. Break down your longer term goals into smaller, manageable actions and set timelines for each. This makes your goals more manageable and provides a clear roadmap to follow. Remember, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”3

4. Prioritize Personal Growth

Mature woman learning how to create pottery on potter wheel in a workshop

Investing in personal growth is essential in building the life you want. This could involve acquiring new skills, pursuing further education, or seeking personal therapy. Self-improvement brings you closer to your goals and enhances self-esteem and resilience.4

5. Cultivate Positive Relationships

friends embracing each other

Surround yourself with people who support and inspire you. Positive relationships provide emotional support, stimulate personal growth, and can open opportunities that bring you closer to your goals.5

6. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

older woman in sportswear exercising with dumbbells indoors at home or gym

Physical health significantly impacts your ability to pursue your goals. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep can boost energy levels, enhance mood, and improve cognitive function.6

7. Practice Gratitude

Senior woman doing breathing exercise in nature on early morning with fog and mountains in background.

Gratitude shifts your thinking from what’s missing in your life to appreciating what you have. This positive mindset can increase happiness, reduce stress, and foster resilience, which are beneficial in the journey towards your goals.7

8. Be Flexible and Patient

women doing outdoor yoga

Building the life you want doesn’t happen overnight. It requires patience and the flexibility to adapt when things don’t go as planned. Embrace challenges as learning opportunities and don’t forget that every step, no matter how small, brings you closer to your goals.8

9. Seek Professional Guidance

Senior couple meeting with professional guidance

Consider seeking guidance from a life coach or mentor. They can provide valuable strategies, insights and support to navigate your journey effectively.9

Building the life you want is a continuous process of self-discovery, planning, and action. By implementing these steps, you’ll be well on your way to realizing your dreams. Remember, the power to create the life you desire lies within you.

The journey to the life you desire begins in your head…

Dynamic Brain

So here’s a suggestion, start every day with Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Brain.

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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Sources:
1. Locke, E.A., & Latham, G.P. (2002) American Psychologist, 57(9), 705-717.
2. Burnette, J.L., et al. (2013). Psychological Bulletin, 139(3), 655-701.
3. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, as cited in “The Quotable Saint-Exupery” (2003), edited by Connie R. Sasfy, p. 95.
4. Ryff, C.D., & Singer, B. (2008). Journal of Happiness Studies, 9(1), 13-39.
5. Holt-Lunstad, J., Smith, T.B., & Layton, J.B. (2010) PLoS Medicine, 7(7).
6. Hillman, C.H., Erickson, K.I., & Kramer, A.F. (2008). Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 9(1), 58-65.
7. Emmons, R.A., & McCullough, M.E. (2003). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(2), 377-389.
8. Duckworth, A.L., et al. (2007). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(6), 1087-1101.
9. Grant, A.M. (2012). International Coaching Psychology Review, 7(2), 146-165.

15 Tips to Make Solo Travel A Joyful Success

People holding passports, map for travel with luggage for the trip
People holding passports, map for travel with luggage for the trip

Solo travel can be a scary thought for many. Your first venture can be quite a mix of excitement and uncertainty.

But fear not because solo travel is a genuine opportunity to free yourself from routine and reshape your perception of the world and your own identity. It is a pivotal experience that everyone should embrace, marking a significant checkpoint on your journey through life.

My very first solo adventure was quite a unique and liberating experience. It began in Colorado Springs when I dropped my young daughter off at a USA Volleyball training camp. I had five days all to myself to explore this new place. At first, I was apprehensive thinking about having meals alone. But by the end of that first day, I decided to soak in the beauty around me fully.

Colorado’s landscapes quickly became my playground, and in no time, I got more comfortable exploring different new and exotic locations. Places like the incredible Garden of the Gods, the towering Pikes Peak, and the fascinating Manitou’s Cliff Dwellings were calling my name.

I treated myself to a stay at the Cliff House at Pikes Peak, tucked away in the delightful town of Manitou Springs. There I met lovely people as I enjoyed the evening public concerts in the town square. That initial weirdness of being on my own slowly turned into this amazing feeling of empowerment as I kept pushing my comfort zone.

Reuniting with my daughter brought a huge smile to my face, but saying goodbye to my solo adventure had a mix of happiness and a touch of sadness. Today, traveling solo is a no-brainer; once you break through the first time, you might decide you won’t do it any other way.

The Benefits of Solo Travel

Smiling old senior man in airport with luggages waiting for his flight departure gate. Traveler concept people with backpack and suitcases.

Studies say going solo has some seriously awesome perks—like growing as a person and discovering yourself. It pushes you out of your comfort zone, greatly boosting your confidence and resilience. Plus, it’s time alone to consider your life choices and listen to your gut.

Solo travel isn’t just about personal growth; it can be a truly joyful experience. You get to explore new spots on your terms, relive your favorite activities, and bask in your independence. Be it lively cities, hidden trails, or calm beaches, your solo journey makes you soak up the moment and really connect with what’s around you.

How to Make Your Solo Trip a Success

planning vacation with world map and planner

1. Plan Your Itinerary

travel itinerary handwritten with white chalk on a blackboard decorate with plane model, passport, money wallet , notebook , camera and smartphone on a wooden background

While spontaneity can lead to exciting adventures, having a basic itinerary can help ensure you see and do everything you want. Research your destination, learn about local customs and attractions, and map out your must-visit spots.

2. Join a Solo Traveler Group

Big group of people having fun in success pose with raised arms on mountain top against sunset lakes and mountains. Travel, adventure or expedition concept

This is a great way to meet like-minded individuals, participate in planned tours and activities, and make new friends. You’ll enjoy the camaraderie of a group while still maintaining the independence that comes with solo travel.

3. Plan but Be Flexible

Man traveling backpacker in Khaosan Road outdoor market in Bangkok, Thailand

Start by researching your destination and creating a loose itinerary. Knowing what you want to see and do can help alleviate any travel anxiety. However, remember to leave room for spontaneity. The beauty of solo travel is the freedom to change your plans as you wish.

4. Prioritize Safety

Serious Senior Man at the Beach Using Phone - Vacation Retirement Lifestyle at Sea - Angry Elderly Grandfather Talking on Mobile Phone Standing close to the Sea Water

Always keep safety in mind when traveling alone. Research the safety of your destination, avoid risky situations, and always let someone know about your whereabouts. Sharing your location with a friend or family member on your phone is a great way to feel more comfortable so that people will know how to find you in an emergency.

5. Pack Light

tourist woman with suitcase in old town

Packing light simplifies your travel. It’s easier to navigate public transportation, walk around, and keep track of your belongings when you have less to carry. Adding a tracking device like an AirTag or Tile into your bag can help locate lost items during travel.

6. Stay Connected

Male hand holding New Apple iPhone 7 8 Plus after unboxing and testing by installing the app application software Find My Friends

While the idea of disconnecting might be appealing, it’s important to stay connected with friends or family back home. Regular check-ins provide peace of mind for both you and your loved ones. (Having an App on your smartphone like Life 360 or Apple’s FindMy can allow those close to you easily keep tabs on your whereabouts.)

7. Make New Friends

Portrait Of Mature Friends By Tent On Camping Vacation Against Setting Sun

Traveling solo doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. Use this opportunity to meet new people. Join group tours, participate in local events, or strike up a conversation with fellow travelers or locals.

8. Take Care of Your Health

elderly man drinking water from bottle in the mountains

Keep up with regular meals and stay hydrated. If you’re traveling to a different time zone, try to adjust your schedule to the new time as soon as possible to minimize jet lag.

9. Indulge Yourself

senior woman enjoying facial massage at luxury SPA center

A solo trip is the perfect time to pamper yourself. Whether it’s dining at a fancy restaurant, taking a spa day, or splurging on a luxury hotel room, treat yourself to something special.

10. Bring Great Books

Beach books sunglasses

Traveling solo means you’ll have plenty of alone time. A good book can be your best companion during long transit times or while relaxing at a café.

11. Meet New People

a solo European traveler and a street dessert vendor, a Vietnamese lady in an Asian conical hat, happily look at each other after completing the shopping interaction.

Don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation with locals or other travelers. These interactions can lead to unexpected friendships, valuable travel tips, or even exciting adventures. Locals typically know the most interesting off-the-beaten-path places to check out that you may not have found yourself.

12. Prioritize Self-Care

Happy family senior couple having lunch and sharing meal together at restaurant. Elderly people man and woman enjoy retirement with outdoor activity lifestyle on summer holiday travel vacation.

Keep hydrated, eat well, get enough sleep, and listen to your body. Your health and well-being should always be a priority.

13. Embrace the Alone Time

mature woman in sporty outfit relaxing meditating feeling zen-like on fitness mat in public park outdoors. Healthy active lifestyle

Being alone gives you the chance to reflect and rejuvenate. Use this time to read, write, meditate, or simply relax and enjoy your own company.

14. Stay Open-Minded

Man climbing up a mountain. Motivation, and inspiration concept.

Be open to new experiences, cultures, and perspectives. This openness not only enriches your travel experience but also leads to personal growth.

15. Document Your Trip

woman smiling taking pictures with her camera while traveling solo

Keep a travel journal and take lots of pictures. Documenting your experiences helps you remember them more vividly and provides a sense of accomplishment.

Build Your Confidence

Building confidence to explore the world solo and stepping out of your comfort zone requires engagement and courage. When you feel confident, you experience a sense of self-assurance and are more likely to connect with others.

However, forgetting names, feeling spatially confused, or struggling to express yourself can be confidence-diminishing. If you find yourself facing these challenges more frequently, supporting your memory can boost your confidence.

Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Brain is formulated with cognition-supporting ingredients such as Bacopa, Choline, and Huperzine-A. These ingredients have been shown in studies to improve memory. Additionally, Dynamic Brain contains a comprehensive blend of vitamins and minerals to nourish and support brain health. *

With Dynamic Brain, you won’t fret over memory lapses, allowing you to focus on connecting with others effectively. *

A solo vacation presents endless possibilities for discovery, adventure, and self-growth. With careful planning, an open mind, and a spirit of adventure, you can ensure that your solo journey will be a memorable and rewarding experience. Remember, the world is your oyster, so go forth and explore!

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Unveiling the Path to Resilience: 6 Habits of Mentally Strong People

Mental strength is a valuable trait that enables a person to navigate life’s challenges with resilience, grit, and a positive mindset. Cultivating mental strength is not an overnight process; it requires consistent effort and the adoption of certain habits that foster emotional well-being.

Keep reading to explore the six practices of mentally strong people. Understanding and implementing these habits can enhance your mental resilience and lead a more fulfilling life.

Cultivating Self

One of the fundamental habits of mentally strong people is cultivating self-awareness. This habit involves deeply understanding one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. By being aware of their mental and emotional states, mentally strong individuals can effectively manage their reactions to challenging situations.

Self-awareness begins with introspection and reflection. It involves recognizing and acknowledging one’s strengths, weaknesses, and triggers. Through self-reflection, mentally strong people gain valuable insights into their beliefs and values, allowing them to make better decisions aligned with their goals and values.

Moreover, self-awareness enables mentally strong people to regulate their emotions. They learn to identify negative thought patterns and replace them with positive ones, fostering resilience and maintaining a balanced mental state. This habit empowers individuals to respond to difficulties with composure and seek constructive solutions rather than succumbing to negativity.

Practicing Gratitude & Positivity

Mentally strong individuals understand the power of gratitude and positivity in shaping their perspective on life. They consciously practice gratitude daily, focusing on what they are thankful for, no matter how small.

By cultivating a positive mindset, mentally strong people maintain a hopeful outlook even in adversity. They understand that challenges are opportunities for growth and learning. This positive mindset allows them to approach setbacks as temporary hurdles rather than insurmountable obstacles.

Practicing gratitude and positivity also involves surrounding oneself with supportive and uplifting individuals. Mentally strong people seek relationships that nurture their emotional well-being and avoid those that bring negativity or drain their energy.

Embracing Change & Adaptability

Change is inevitable and mentally strong individuals embrace it rather than resisting or fearing it. They understand that adaptability is crucial for personal growth and success. Instead of dwelling on past mistakes or missed opportunities, they focus on finding innovative solutions and adapting to new circumstances.

Mentally strong people develop a growth mindset, believing their abilities and intelligence can be acquired through dedication and hard work. They view challenges as stepping stones towards personal and professional advancement, fostering a sense of resilience and perseverance.

Moreover, embracing change involves stepping out of one’s comfort zone. Mentally strong individuals are willing to take calculated risks, knowing that growth occurs outside familiar territory. They are not deterred by failure but view it as an opportunity to learn, improve, and try again.

Setting Clear Goals & Taking Action

Mentally strong individuals set clear, specific, and achievable goals. They have a sense of purpose that drives their actions and decisions. By defining their objectives, mentally strong people can channel their energy and efforts toward meaningful pursuits.

Additionally, mentally strong people break down their goals into smaller, manageable tasks, creating a roadmap to success. They understand that progress is achieved through consistent action and perseverance. They maintain focus and discipline, tackling challenges one step at a time.

Setting goals also involves maintaining a positive mindset when facing obstacles. Mentally strong individuals view setbacks as temporary detours rather than failures. They adjust their strategies, seek support, and stay committed to their aspirations.

Prioritizing Self-Care & Resilience 

Mentally strong people prioritize self-care and resilience as essential habits. They understand the importance of maintaining their physical and mental well-being. Engaging in exercise, proper nutrition, quality sleep, and relaxation techniques help them build resilience and cope with stress effectively.

Furthermore, mentally strong individuals recognize the significance of balance in their lives. They establish boundaries, practice self-compassion, and allocate time for enjoyable activities. This self-care nurtures their overall well-being and gives them the strength to face life’s challenges head-on.

Support Your Brain Health

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Cultivating mental strength is a lifelong journey that requires conscious effort and the adoption of empowering habits. By incorporating these practices into your daily life, you may develop the resilience necessary to navigate difficulties gracefully and maintain a positive outlook. Remember, mental strength is not innate but a skill that can be honed through consistent practice and determination. Start cultivating these habits today and unlock your potential for a mentally healthy and fulfilling life.

Sources:
Article inspired by New Trader U 5 Habits of Mentally Strong People.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.