Life Reimagined: Part Two!

Setting Purposeful Goals

In August, I began exploring Life Reimagined, a program sponsored by AARP.  Friend for the Ride readers are invited to try it too, free of charge. Please do! Just follow this link.

I’ve had a wonderful time and learned so much about what I want in my years ahead. You can read my first post here.

You begin your work in Life Reimagined by coming up with a purpose statement. Here’s mine:


This purpose statement becomes your guiding light as you navigate all the activities their website offers.

In my first conversation with my life coach, Christine Ryan, we looked at my purpose statement together. At the close of the call, Christine encouraged me to focus on the very last word of my statement: “content.”

“Look at the activities that relate to contentment on the Life Reimagined site,” she told me. So I did.

The activities led me to this conclusion: Above all, I want to make strong strides toward better health. One activity I found especially helpful was on how to avoid getting stuck. Many of us know the getting stuck story when it comes to diet and exercise.


Two recent blood tests confirmed that my blood sugar is close to pre-diabetic. Yikes!

“I first ask my patients to stop drinking sugar,” my doctor said. “That’s where most of us go wrong.”

“I don’t drink sugary sodas or fruit drinks,” I told her. But then it hit me. I put too much sugar in my beloved Lipton’s tea. And I often drink four cups every morning.

Solution: Sugar cubes! I love dropping them into me tea, and now I know just how much sugar I’m using. (It’s a lot less messy than measuring too). My tea isn’t nearly as sweet, and I was surprised how quickly I got used to the lowered sweetness.


I’ve cut myself back to two cups a morning, which not only slows down the sugar but the caffeine. (More on my insomnia soon.)


I’m ramping up my walking. I love to walk, but sometimes, the day gets so full, I don’t get to it. New goal: Walk earlier in the day. With my new plan, many mornings in the last month, I’ve hit Hillsborough’s Riverwalk right after dawn.


I sometimes bring that second cup of tea with me, later hiding the empty mug in the grass. Trick is to remember to pick it up on the way home.


I never quite understood why so many people are into counting steps. I downloaded a step counter on my phone called “S Health,” and I love it. Here’s the report from a five mile river trek one morning.


I’ve taken in the morning mist in Gold Park (an extension of the Riverwalk).


The light through the trees.


And the new bridge that connects the Riverwalk to the historic Occoneechee Speedway.


Is this the wet squiggle of a snake?


When I come home, I’ve already hit my tea limit, so I’ve taken to making smoothies. I’ve never been deep into smoothies, mostly because I tire of washing the blender. But gosh are they good. This one features bananas and frozen berries with a splash of milk and a few ice cubes.


On to my insomnia. My friend Joanna told me that cutting out all alcohol has cured her insomnia.I seldom have more than two drinks,usually just one (except for Beach Week and a really fun wedding). But after talking to Joanna, I began to wonder: Could just one drink keep me from sleeping? So I am drinking only tiny bits of alcohol, if any at all.

We had dinner the other night at a favorite Hillsborough haunt, Radius Pizza, I asked for a mocktail made of seltzer. Yum!

My sleeping has improved dramatically. We’ll see what happens as time goes forward, but I’m encouraged.

In my second conversation with my coach Christine, we talked about my eating and fitness goals. “Small steps,” she said. “Success builds success builds success.”

Perhaps this is why attempts like these have failed me before. I want all or nothing. And I want it in an instant. So I keep repeating:

Success builds success builds success

Life Reimagined offers group coaching sessions too. I signed up for this one.

Setting Purposeful Goals

Our leader, Elissa Ashwood, talked about the difference between purposeful goals and performance goals. With purpose-driven goals, we’re accountable to something inside of ourselves. “Go back to your purpose statement,” she told us. “Purpose is the why, and it’s got to be bigger then the objections.” She laughed: “Your why has to be bigger than your but.”


I liked the group session and definitely got some takeaways. I even spoke up! I plan to sign up for more.

The Life Reimagined website features excellent articles, too. Here they are listed by topic.  This one, written by a grieving father, address purpose: How Purpose Saved My Life.

Another question I’ve been exploring through Life Reimagined is  what to do about my writing for children. My blogging and health writing are going well. The children’s book field is a tough one. I recently parted ways with my agent and am in search of a new one. Not an easy adventure.

My illustrator friend Wendy Wahman wrote me about my agent search: “Hang in, my talented, sensitive friend. It could be a long road. Make it one of the courses on your plate. De-intensify. You do other things, and your blog is great.”

Speaking of talent, here’s Wendy’s upcoming picture book, coming out March 2, 2017 from Boyds Mills Press.

You can read more about Wendy’s work here. 

Other writer friends have chimed in: “Keep writing for kids! You have a great voice.” My friend Margaret Nevinski just read my novel and gave me wonderful insights on the plot. I’m ready to revise.

Small steps to finding an agent, to writing, and to health!

I tell my Life Reimagined story to keep myself accountable to the changes I want to make. But I tell it too, to encourage you to give Life Reimagined a try. Once again, here’s the link! 




Life Reimagined: My Experience – Part One



My Life Map

I’m exploring Life Reimagined, a program sponsored by AARP.

Reevaluating my life is one of my favorite projects. With a move coming up, it’s time to think about what’s new, what’s ahead. When the folks at Life Reimagined invited me to try the program and blog about it, I said yes. You’re invited to try it too!

Here’s part of the description they sent me:

 An online, subscription-based service, Life Reimagined helps millions of Americans explore, dream, and plan for what’s next in life. Fueled by a coalition of experts who are on the cutting edge of their fields, the personalized platform provides a place where people can go to discover what is meaningful to them, navigate life’s crossroads, and find new possibilities. It’s able to connect to users via multiple touch points, to keep you constantly inspired along your path.
LifeReimagined-logo-2 (1)

You can learn lots more on their website. Some of the services are free; others require a fee.

My first task was to create my LifeMap. You play a card sorting game and end up with a brief purpose statement. See mine at the very top of this post. I was surprised, when finished, that it rings so true. It’s me!

Next, the program creates a colorful visual mosaic of your purpose statement. This is your LifeMap. You can print it out, if you like, to inspire you. You can doodle on your LifeMap and add notes.


Next, dive in. There are activities,quizzes, and articles related to three areas of life: Well-being, Work, and Relationships. Here’s a chart I downloaded from the Relationships section.

Positivity Calendar

I read a lot of psychology and self-help, and I think the Life Reimagined articles are excellent. This is my favorite thus far, on decluttering as you work on emotional clutter: A Seven-Day Emotional De-clutter

And here’s a fascinating article on  psychological development in later life. Seems the thinking has changed.The old model had folks settling in, calming down, preparing to leave the world. No more. Experts are finding that many people don’t want to settle down at all. Bring on the new life!

The Life Imagined program is based around this book: Life Reimagined: Discovering Your New Life Possibilities, written by Richard J. Leider and Alan M. Webber. A fast read with plenty of insights.

Life Reimagined

Life Reimagined offered me four hours of coaching services as part of their compensation for blogging about the program.Here’s an article that explores reasons for working with a life coach.

I looked through the list of coaches and chose to contact Christine Ryan. You can talk with your coach by a video or telephone. I picked the telephone.

Christine is friendly, encouraging, and a listener. I spent a lot of the call introducing myself and my challenges of recent years. Looking ahead, for now I want to focus on two issues.

Number One: The move from my home of thirty years to a brand new house just three blocks away. Here are some of the treasures coming with us. (Note: The TWO turntables are Cliff’s and the heavy boxes contain his collection of American Flyer trains, which I hope he’ll set up for the grandchildren. But I got to admit, plenty of the boxes in our new garage are mine.)



Number Two: I also want to talk to Christine about my writing career. Despite success in earlier years, I’m having trouble getting my children’s books published, even though I love writing for kids. Meanwhile, blogging and health writing are going well. Time to make a switch and give up the frustrations of so many rejections in the children’s book field? But do you give up something you love?


Toward the end of the call, Christine and I discussed my purpose statement and how I can use it to reimagine my years to come.

What’s so easy about working with a life coach through Life Reimagined is you speak right from your own home.


20160730_111722 (1)

As Christine and I talked about my purpose statement, I realized that most important to me right now is to be content. “Content” is not a word I’ve given a lot of thought to, but it was one of the options in the card game, and it ended up being one of my final selections. Official definition is “a state of peaceful happiness.” My definition of content doesn’t necessarily mean”calm” or “ease,” but in the years ahead, I want to energetically find a type of peace I may not have experienced in my earlier years. Christine suggested I begin by working through the activities on Live Reimagined under the “content” section. Will do!

I decorated a notebook to use as I talk to Christine and as I explore Life Reimagined. My mom created the giraffe and a great-aunt painted the sailboat seventy years ago. Am I sailing ahead into a breezy future spotted with happiness and creativity? Hope so!


I’m digging into Life Reimagined and having a wonderful, meaningful time. More posts to come.

Your turn: Life Reimagined is offering Friend for the Ride readers two weeks of free Life Reimagined services and thirty minutes of coaching. Follow the link here.

life reimagined logo