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February 2, 2014

5 Steps to Retire Today. ~ Jennifer Moore

Groundhog_eating

Phil, six more weeks of winter? Ugh.

I am grateful to see the blue sky through the windows in my bedroom this morning. It has been days since I have seen the sun. This winter is the longest, coldest, snowiest one I can remember. It is the first winter I have spent working from home and doing what I love.

Three months ago, I left my job. I felt like I was suffocating. I didn’t want to recreate another experience like the one I was walking away from. I knew I wanted to write, travel and heal; I didn’t know how or where to start. As a single mom with debt and responsibilities, it seemed too risky to follow my dreams. Two things happened to change my mind.

First, I went in for my annual gynecological exam. My blood pressure was 159/ 92. I practice yoga, I don’t smoke, I meditate, I eat well, I sleep well; how was it possible that I was on the verge of stroking out? It was the first time I felt my mortality deep in the pit of my stomach.

Second, I met with a financial planner to set up a plan to get out of debt and build my savings. He asked at what age I hoped to retire. I asked him to clarify what retirement meant (as I never intend to stop learning, creating and exploring).

“When do you want to stop working for money and just focus on doing what you love?”
 
“Right now.”

He laughed but I was serious. At that moment I knew what I needed to do. Years ago I had picked up books on how to write, why we write and the business of writing. I love research and learning. But it can also be an effective way to avoid action.

I made the decision to write, fearlessly, every day.

The last two months have flown by, a blur of snow days and new beginnings. I am no longer afraid; I just get up each day and write. I am amazed and grateful for all the unexpected opportunities that continue to surface as I continue to actively pursue my goals and live my dream.

Yesterday, I thought about the direction I am moving in. For the first time in my life, I am completely confident I am doing the right thing—an amazing feeling! And my blood pressure is slowly returning to a healthy level.

This week we have been given a new moon, the New Year of the Horse and now six more weeks of winter to focus on ourselves and go deep inside.

1. Embrace the final weeks of winter, with its slowness and stillness.

2. Take time to dream.

3. Make a list of goals for 2014.

4. Choose one.

5. Take action… fearlessly.

Don’t sit around making a long list of New Year’s Resolutions. Believe in dreams, choose a goal and take action. Grab the reins and fly!

Retirement starts now.

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Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: WikiMedia Commons

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