Major Milestones in Life
Our major milestones in life, or significant moments, in life affects our happiness and relationships and vice-versa. In this podcast show that accompanies this article, (our 100th episode!) Greg accompanies me as we focus on areas of life where we have both experienced major milestones. When we joined our lives together years ago, we committed ourselves to moving together through the significant moments of life, good and bad. That hasn’t always been easy!
As life moves in a linear direction, we can’t really see the future and it’s a good thing! If we knew what was really ahead, we might not want to go there! There are always so many unknowns, even with the best-laid plans. Here, we focus on five areas of life where most of us will experience major milestones, no matter what stage of life: Career choice, life partner, having kids, financial decisions and growing older. (Listen below to the Women at Halftime Podcast 100th episode!)
One: Career Choice
The choice of a career can significantly affect your happiness. Many find themselves stumbling into a career that could be entirely different than what they planned. There has been so much emphasis on significance and following your passion through the years but there’s a fallacy to this, especially early-on. We develop our passion by being really good at something. In fact, that excellence significantly affects our happiness and satisfaction.
Your current skills and past achievements act as springboards. Realizing that fact will help you in facing your next major milestone in life. Achievement and experience are not synonyms. They are unique and both are needed. Because they are often combined, our world is full of posers and Instagram successes. Look to be authentically great in your field! Greg and I have encouraged each other with this fact. With any career change, aim to be So Good They Can’t Ignore You. I highly recommend this great book by Cal Newport!
Two: Life Partner
The choice of a life partner is definitely a significant choic. Watch out for those persons who assume that marriages don’t last. They tend to be very vocal. Greg and I assumed ours would last and that assumption brought us through the tougher times together. As I look back on our relationship, I am truly thankful for our relationship, though I didn’t always feel that way.
For many years, I was in survival mode, working and raising kids and weathering the emotional changes my female body experienced. However, I had married someone with similar values as mine and I assumed we’d stick together somehow. But the significant moments occurred when we realized how important communication was with a spirit of thankfulness for each other. We had to learn how to let the little things go, even laughing them off. Major on the majors as I always say! Doing this will help you weather the storms most any relationship brings! Looking back, deciding to be grateful was a major milestone.
Three: Having Kids
Greg and I never really realized how having kids would change our lives. I certainly didn’t! With a family, our values and relationship really are tested to the fullest. When you are tired, frustrated and feel like you are pushing those kids up an endless hill, realize that there is an end in sight!
Of course, our kids think they know it all. But a strange thing happens when we all grow older. Our parents grow smarter and smarter! Remember, you are the parent with a lifetime of experience. (see: Helping Your Kids Make Crucial Life Choices) You will also always be their mom and dad, or just mom or dad if you are raising them as a single parent. When those difficult times come, keep the conversation going with, “Listen, I’m going to give you my opinion.” There is never room for, “I told you so!” That will come back to haunt you.
I can say now that a major milestone in life is when you kids are fully launched. It seemed to take our kids longer than usual, but they definitely had to find their own way and are now well-planted where they are. That fact brings us a great deal of satisfaction and a humble pride that we at least gave the world responsible adults. Not easy to do these days!
Four: Financial Decisions
Our world wants us to live in a consumer economy. To many this means to buy into what you want as early as possible. That may be the bigger house, car or even clothes. Consumer debt is a huge issue and will really tie you down for years for years to come. For a good article on this, see What Economic Cycles do to Entrepreneurs. In there you will find some good basic principles to follow.
A major milestone for many is the decision to get out of debt. If this is done early, the freedom it brings will have an impact on any significant relationship as many heated conflicts occur over finances. What you do early in life will definitely affect your later years, especially if saving and building wealth on compound interest. If you work and save vs. getting into more debt, you will end up in a much better place. Concerning businesses, financial decisions should still be weighed carefully. The same principle applies with what you do early affecting your later years.
Five: Growing Older
This is a tough one concerning our mindsets. Our bodies don’t move as fast, we can’t eat as much without putting on a few pounds and we even find ourselves experiencing a momentary loss of details. Our brain says, Go do this! But our body just doesn’t respond like it used to! As we grow older, balance also becomes more of an issue than speed.
Here, a major milestone in life for many is to accept this is happening and embrace changes. Also, adding activities to our lives that will help us adjust such as Pilates, strength training or yoga will help. We are not here forever. In fact, none of us know how long we have on this earth. This becomes more apparent with tragic accidents, unexpected illnesses or even just old age. Accepting ourselves and all that comes with growing older is a major milestone for all of us. Learning to laugh at ourselves will help thought this process and being proactive with our health. Also, the resolve to never quit is so very important. If quitting, age has won and I want you to win!
The resolve to never quit is so very important.
If quitting, age has won and I want YOU to win!
Thought Leader, Keynote Speaker, Author
If you are interested in growing and learning, check out our online courses here: Online Learning