In this article, I want to talk about something near and dear to my heart: finding meaning and purpose in life after 50.
I know, I know. Many of you may be rolling your eyes and thinking "Oh great, another article about finding purpose." But bear with me! I promise this one will be different.
See, a few years ago I was stuck in a major rut. I had just turned 50 and suddenly it felt like life had lost its spark. My kids were grown, I was bored at my job, and I just felt kind of...blah. Like I was just going through the motions each day without anything to feel excited about.
I'm sure some of you know exactly what I mean! Hitting that half-century mark can really mess with your mind. Even though 50 is still young these days, it can feel like you're suddenly "old" and your best years are behind you. So not true, ladies!
Anyway, in my search for more meaning and purpose (and in Life Coaching training), I came across something called the Wheel of Life. It's an exercise that helps you assess different areas of your life to see where you might need more balance and fulfillment. Once I did it, so many lightbulbs went off! I realized where I was languishing and what changes I needed to make.
So today, I want to walk you through doing your own Wheel of Life so you can gain more clarity and hopefully rediscover some life passion too!
How the Wheel of Life Works
The Wheel of Life is divided into 8 sections or "spokes" representing important areas of your life:
- - Career
- - Money
- - Health
- - Friends and Family
- - Romantic Relationships
- - Personal Growth
- - Fun and Recreation
- - Physical Environment
First, you rank your level of satisfaction with each area on a scale from 1-10. 1 means you're completely unsatisfied, 5 is moderately satisfied, and 10 means you feel totally fulfilled and happy.
Once you've ranked each spoke, connect the numbers to create a wheel. Step back and look at your wheel. What stands out? Are some spokes much smaller than others? Where do you see gaps or imbalances?
This visual representation helps spotlight where you might need to make changes to create more balance and joy. The idea isn't that you need a perfect 10 in every area. That's unrealistic! But you want to nurture each spoke enough so your wheel rolls smoothly.
Now, let's walk through each spoke in more detail and discuss ways women over 50 can find more purpose and meaning.
Many women over 50 find themselves questioning their careers. You may feel disengaged from work, overlooked for promotions, or just plain burnt out.
If your career spoke is low, brainstorm ways to shift focus. Could you turn an unfulfilling job into a more purpose-driven gig? Might you parlay skills into consulting or freelancing? Perhaps this is the moment to retire early and free up time for other endeavors.
Even volunteering or mentorship can bring new energy to your career spoke. You have a wealth of wisdom to share with younger women just entering the workforce. Let your talents shine!
Financial security is important, but money alone doesn't buy happiness. Look at what truly matters to you. Can you simplify and find joy in experiences over things? Are there ways to use your resources to help others?
Get creative about generating income through hobbies or small side businesses. Lots of women over 50 are launching online stores, writing books, or monetizing artistic talents. With kids grown, you have more time to explore money-making ventures you're passionate about.
And if money is especially tight, focus on gratitude for what you do have versus what you lack. Contentment comes from inside, not a bank account.
When health declines, meaning and purpose can wash away. How's your self-care routine? Are you eating nutrient-rich foods, staying active, and getting enough sleep? Don't neglect regular check-ups and screenings either.
Make your health a priority now to enjoy years ahead. Invite friends to join a new exercise class (or join me in a workout on YouTube!). Meal prep wholesome food on Sundays. Say no to extra obligations that deplete you. This spoke impacts every other, so nurture wellbeing.
Friends and Family
Women often anchor themselves in caretaking roles. But as kids leave the nest, these connections can fray. Nurture bonds that matter through shared experiences. Plan a trip with your spouse or siblings. Schedule a monthly night out with your friends.
Most importantly, don't neglect self-care as you support others. You can't pour from an empty cup. Find pathways for your own growth too. Join a book club. Take art classes. Follow passions that light you up outside family roles.
With decades of marriage under your belt, the spark may have fizzled. Or perhaps you're single and disconnected. Either way, human connections are vital for meaning.
Reignite bonds through intimacy or romance if possible. Plan regular date nights, hold hands more, ask deeper questions. If relationships are beyond repair, don't cling to toxicity. You have a right to walk away.
Spend time in nature, volunteer, dive into hobbies. When you feel fulfilled as an individual, you exude an energy that attracts people. Stay open to new companionship while embracing your own wholeness.
When life feels stagnant, purpose dwindles. Commit to learning, exploration and adventure - no matter your age! Consider taking classes, reading inspirational books, starting a blog or YouTube channel. What have you always wanted to try but never made time for?
Travel, both near and far. Keep expanding your experiences. Say yes to opportunities outside your comfort zone. You're never done growing. Let curiosity lead the way.
Fun and Recreation
Laughter, play, lightheartedness - these moments get overlooked as adult responsibilities pile up. But fun is essential! It relieves stress, boosts immunity, and forges connections. Make playfulness a priority.
Do the silly activities that bring you joy, whether hula hooping, dancing like no one's watching, or belting out karaoke. Escape through movies, theater, music or books. Let your inner child come out and revel in mirth. You're never too old to have fun!
Notice how your home and surroundings affect your outlook. Do clutter or noise weigh you down? Does your space spark creativity and rejuvenation? If not, make changes.
Declutter and reorganize to clear mental space (here's a great article on how to start the process: The Ultimate Guide: How to Begin Your Decluttering Journey with Ease).
Add inspiration through art, music, and elements from nature. Adjust lighting and color to be uplifting. Create a sanctuary that replenishes you. Your physical environment impacts inner purpose, so make it meaningful.
I hope walking through the Wheel of Life gives you more clarity and ideas for finding purpose after 50. We all deserve to feel engaged and fulfilled at every age. Don't just resign yourself to the backseat - keep chasing dreams!
Stay open to new possibilities and adventures.
Keep learning and growing.
Nurture your health and close connections.
Do more of what brings you joy and less of what drags you down.
You have so much wisdom and life experience to offer. Share it, embrace it, keep evolving.
Purpose comes from mindset as much as action. Approach life with curiosity and passion.
Here's to being 50 and fabulous! Let your light shine. The best is yet to come.