Studies have shown that when we take the time to write down our goals, we are much more likely to accomplish them.

Write down those goals

If you’re now in your 2nd Act, you may find yourself in an empty nest or facing an empty nest.

Maybe you’ve diligently saved so that you can retire and spend more time doing things you want to do, rather than have to do. Maybe you’re not ready to completely retire and want to continue to earn an income, but doing something different then what you’ve done in your 1st Act.

When you look back at your 1st Act, can you see where there were opportunities that you didn’t take because you were too afraid to go out on a limb, or other people’s desires for your life held you back?

Do you look back and are amazed how one day rolls into another and into another until a year has passed, and then another year?

NOW is the time to design your 2nd Act

If the thought of planning overwhelms you, but you know you want to take more control of your life to ensure you will look back and be proud that you did accomplish your dreams and lived your life to the fullest, keep reading.

Step by Step process to organize your goals


Take your time with this one, because this is your plan for the next 12 months.

Envision what you want your 2nd Act to look like a year from now, regardless of how difficult, or crazy it may sound. Just go with it.

How do you want your relationships, spiritual life, home environment, work-life, health, dietary intake, income, etc to look in 12 months?

Narrow all your thoughts into 10, or less, goals that you would like to accomplish over the next 12 months.

This does NOT have to be in January; anytime is a good time to start.


If you’ve been in a corporate environment, you may be familiar with the S.M.A.R.T. method of writing out your strategic goals. Maybe you’re a teacher and have to write these for your students, or maybe you’ve used this method in the past when planning your personal goals.

Specific: Well defined and clear goals.

Measurable: Specific criteria that are used to measure your progress

Attainable: Challenging enough so it’s growth, but also something you believe you can achieve

Relevant: Make sure the goal fits with your overall life purpose. It’s not based on what anyone else wants for you, but what you want based on your interests, passions, and desires

Timely: Is there an ending date?


At the end of each month, determine what steps you took THIS month to get closer to your end goal and what steps can you take next month to get closer to your end goal?

You do not need to work on each goal, each week, or each month even.

Below is a sample of going after one goal.

Step 1: Lose weight (Goal)

Step 2: Lose 20 pounds end of year (S.M.A.R.T Goal)

Regarding the “A” in the SMART Method

While I like a well thought out and organized plan to reach goals, and a method to measure them, the SMART method could keep me from stretching. Is my dream really “attainable”?

I may need to try harder, reach further, and uber focused, but what originally looks like it isn’t attainable, could become attainable.

I’m not going to let that little voice that whispers “you can’t do that, you’re too old, you don’t have the time or money, etc” stop me for reaching. If a dream continues to be in my mind, I will put it in writing, devise a plan to reach it and work hard for it.

Would love to hear if there is a dream that you have reached that was a big stretch, something you originally thought wasn’t attainable, or a dream that you would like to start working on.

Melanie Silkworth

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