Sunday, July 19, 2015

Becoming Savvy at 53

Tomorrow is my 53rd birthday.  I like setting goals on my birthday; my New Year's resolutions are usually long forgotten, so my birthday is a good time to reassess and come up with new goals for the remainder of the year.

While brainstorming goals for this year, I reread my birthday post from last year. I had a little chuckle over the title, “Career Reinvention at 52,” thinking that didn’t work out so well. But as I read the post, I realized every word still applies to my life today except my retirement goal has been pushed out another year.  I still work too much – probably more this year than last as I struggled to find at adequate replacement after my employee resigned.  My workouts became fewer and fewer until I dropped my gym membership altogether and my diet has gotten worse. The good news is my company has approved an additional hire for my department, so hopefully my work load will improve in the future.

I would still like to retire early from my job and spend my time doing something more rewarding.  My plan last year was to follow James Altucher's The Ultimate Cheat Sheet For Reinventing Yourself. He says it takes five years to reinvent yourself.  Here is his recommended five-year plan:
  • Year One: you’re flailing and reading everything and just starting to DO.
  • Year Two: you know who you need to talk to and network with. You’re Doing every day. You finally know what the monopoly board looks like in your new endeavors.
  • Year Three: you’re good enough to start making money. It might not be a living yet.
  • Year Four: you’re making a good living
  • Year Five: you’re making wealth
In my 52nd year, I planned to read everything and start to Do.  Altucher claims reading 200-500 books are equal to one good mentor.  I finished 19 books last year and have to admit many of them were largely forgettable, so as I begin my 53rd year I am still at step one of the reinvention cycle.    I’ve always been a late bloomer, so for my 53rd year my goal is to

Become “savvier.”  I plan to do this by continuing my goal to read 200-500 books.  Only I hope to pick better books.

I am also adding Altucher’s suggestion to get your idea muscle in shape.  To do this he recommends coming up with 10 ideas a day.  As you do this the muscle will grow, you will be able to come up with more ideas and the ideas will get better.

What books have helped you become savvier?

18 comments:

  1. Happy birthday!! And the very fact that you have goals to be able to delay in the first place is a good thing. Keep pushing. And I am doing a Bible study on Psalm 119, and it is actually very grounding in adjusting my life to where God would have it to be and going from there. That's savvy. Also, a book that I read a few years ago called "It's Hard to Make a Difference When You Can't Find Your Keys", which is all about organizing.

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    1. Thank you Lynne. And thank you for the book recommendation, I will check it out. I'm also going to read Psalm 119. I'm interested in what works for others.

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  2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAVVY!!
    Always forget you and I share our special day with everybody's buddy, Tom Friedman. He's way older than us--ha!
    From one late bloomer to another--may this year be your best yet.

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    1. Thank you. I hope you also have the best year yet. For some reason I am not surprised we share late bloomer tendencies. Oh and thanks for reminding me about Friedman, for some reason that little fact always slips my mind.

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  3. Hope you had a wonderful birthday!

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  4. Happy birthday, Savvy! Hope this is a good year and you move lose to your goal of retirement.

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    1. Thanks Webb. I've already extended my estimated retirement date out to my 60th birthday. It is more realistic. That doesn't mean I'm not going to stick to the remaining goals.

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  5. Hope your birthday was truly amazing. As I close out my 50's, I have found this to be an awesome decade. It's the decade in which I started blogging and rediscovered my passion for writing. It's when I felt I hit my stride and got to do so many wonderful things like travel to Brazil and train teachers on how to instruct science in their classrooms. It's when I began writing for my local newspaper, and when I adopted my two dogs. Yes, fifty has been pretty nifty!

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    1. Your comment is an inspiration. I hope I can be as happy about my 50's as they come to a close. I think part of it is having a more positive outlook!

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  6. I hope you had a rockin birthday, Savvy :) Hoping you at the very least laughed and felt loved and treasured :)

    Now I know I mention him waaaaayyy too often, but seriously, anything written by Joel Salatin inspires me and makes me more aware of what's going on with my life and the direction it's taking. Now grated, he is a farmer, so most of his principles lie in roots made of food, but the lifestyle he spearheads helps motivate me to change the way I see things. Plus he is simply entertaining to read. "Folks, This Ain't Normal," is a great one if you're just starting out.

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    1. Thanks Jennifer - I did laugh and feel loved and treasured. I love your perspective.

      And I AM adding Joel Salatin to my Savvy reading list.

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  7. Happy Birthday! Let's see, books ... Right now reading The Man Who Quit Money and it eye opening and a good story about reinventing yourself

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    1. This one sounds great. Adding it to my TBR list.

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  8. Happy belated Birthday!

    200-500 books? Eep! Is that over the 5 years? 5 years for a reinvention does make sense, especially when I consider life in retrospect. I'll have to read up more on this. Thanks for sharing!

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  9. Keisha,
    Yes that is over the 5 years! Thanks for the comment.

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  10. Belated birthday wishes! I've been following you this summer, but it's been a difficult summer and haven't felt like commenting. One book that I loved is How Starbucks Saved My Life by Michael Gates Gill. A corporate big-wig gets the shove out the door and winds up working at Starbucks. As someone who believes no duty is beneath me, I enjoyed seeing an ad exec understand that the bathrooms at Starbucks are cleaned by human beings, employees who, though they may not like it, don't whine about it and consider it just part of the job. I hope your 53rd year is the best one yet!

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  11. Thank you. Sorry to hear you are having a difficult summer. I love your book suggestion. It sounds like it will be a good read for my challenge.

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