You’ve probably heard expressions like “60 is the new 40.” The truth is actually that anyone can be 68 going on 50. All you need is a motivational mindset. Then you, too, can start counting the calendar backwards at each birthday.
Beyond good diet and exercise – which are critical for anyone at any age – getting motivated is the key to aging well. Here are five ways to adopt a motivational mindset, launch your own age rollback, and engage the world at any age:
1. Change your WOE to WOW ratio. There’s nothing more de-motivating than living in a world of WOE (which is an acronym that stands for What On Earth). The world of WOE is dark and consists largely of finding fault and blame. WOE is like a leech that sucks the life spirit out of you. Its opposite, WOW (which means Wonderfully Obsessed with Winning) infuses every moment with excitement about the world. WOW is that frame of mind that motivates you to fully embrace whatever you’re doing. No, you can’t get rid of WOE—it’s part of the human condition. But you can choose to minimize the presence of WOE and focus on WOW; the key is to become more aware of WOE’s presence and to consciously opt for WOW. Try it. Keep a notebook of how much time you spend in a WOE state versus a WOW state. Then set a goal to focus on WOW for 15 minutes as you start your day. Soon, it will become a habit, and you won’t even have to think about it.
2. Get curious. Many studies have shown that the more you flex your mind as you age, the healthier your mind will be. In addition to engaging in brain-cell building activities like puzzles, ask questions about how things work and why things are. Nothing motivates like a good question. Find a headline story each day that you want to learn more about. Find a topic each week that you want to research through books or using online resources. Adopt the curiosity of a child. The more new things you learn, the more you’ll be motivated to discover new areas of interest.
3. Invest in the moment. It’s so easy to look back with regrets or nostalgia that we forget to see the joy of what’s happening in the present. Ditto for spending time gazing into the future with apprehension or fear. Try an experiment: every day, spend 5 minutes focusing on the here and now, and allow yourself to feel totally invested in whatever you’re doing, whether it’s work or play. Be conscious that you’re in the moment. When you get comfortable with that notion, expand the time you spend in the here and now each day.
4. Let go and take a higher perspective. When you were younger, you were probably in the mode of striving for more -- more money, more status, more security, or more attention. More anything. As you age, that pressure starts to diminish. But if you’re like most of us, you still likely cling to the notion that you’re in some kind of a race that you must win. Let it go! When you stop competing against others you’ll be motivated to appreciate those things that really matter and you probably already have.
5. Do things that put you in a good mood. Good moods don’t just happen. They come about from doing things that make us feel happy, things that we enjoy. When we were younger, it was easy to feel good because we weren’t shy about letting our hair down and having fun. You can recapture that habit now. Incorporate at least one thing a day into your routine that puts you in a good mood whether it’s taking a walk, completing a puzzle, or pulling out a board game or a deck of cards with friends.. When you’re feeling good, you’ll likely be more motivated to try new things. And you can almost hear the clock ticking backwards.
Be aware that a motivational mindset doesn’t come overnight. But the more receptive you are to it, the more you’ll enjoy waking up every morning – and flipping another page back on your internal calendar!
Rob White is an author, motivational coach and story-teller. Visit him online at www.robwhitemedia.com