When coaching my clients on purposeful retirement, I have always encouraged them to have a plan. In my online video course, Sail Into Retirement, I guide students from, “What am I going to do when I retire,” all the way through to creating a detailed plan, and taking the first steps in that plan.
But, what do we do when our plans are dramatically interrupted and the original plan just won’t work anymore? The Coronavirus has changed so many aspects of our world in such a short time, many of us have been caught off-guard and unprepared. After all, who had a contingency plan for such a pandemic? I hope reading my story will be like a coaching session, and by seeing my actions, you’ll develop your own.
Over the past few months I’ve felt like a deer standing in the middle of the road, staring into the headlights of an oncoming truck, unsure of which direction I should run. And I have often felt as though I hadn’t moved at all, and I had been run over. Then I wake up and catch myself, give myself a swift kick in the butt, and thank my lucky stars that at least I still continue to have my good health. Once I have done that, I come back to standing in the middle of the road, trying to decide which way to turn. Does this sound familiar?
My post-retirement plan was coming along nicely. I wrote a few books, coached clients on purposeful retirement, and was making a strong comeback in the speaking world. Last fall I felt at the peak of my game. After I had given a high-paid speech, I was named the best speaker of the entire 3-day conference. I had joined a gym, was working out regularly with a trainer, and was getting back into good physical shape.
The road ahead looked clear for continued success. Except, around early March everything started to crumble.
In March, within one week’s time, all of my booked speeches were cancelled, I stopped hearing from potential coaching clients, and of course my gym closed. I was not really devastated, just dumbstruck. [Hmm… More than anything, I was dumbstruck! It all felt so surreal, like I was in a bad dream] This can’t be real, this can’t be happening, I thought. But it was real, and it was – and is still happening.
What was I supposed to do? What did you do? How did you cope with all these drastic changes?
What are you doing to adjust and adapt to this new milieu?
That’s the word which is now being used so frequently in the coaching world. My To-Do List has changed, but not as much as I was lamenting. My coach (yes, I have a coach, everybody needs a coach) gave me a new plan – my Plan B:
• Become a certified online presenter, so I did.
• Keep doing social media and the coaching clients will come, but they didn’t, and even though people need coaching more now than ever, it means spending discretionary money in an unsure world. Nevertheless, I’m optimistic – I believe the clients will come!
• Exercise at home, so I have been walking, doing yoga online (often on zoom with other isolated yoga-partners), and have begun learning Qi-Gong.
• Write! I do so love to write and this has been a perfect time to increase the pace. I’ve also taken the time to read, which I consider a true luxury.
For now, my Plan A is shelved and I’m full on implementing Plan B.
Without a plan, we can wander in any direction, but if you want to get somewhere in particular, you need a plan. Otherwise I’m just wandering like Moses in the desert; and unlike him, I don’t have another 40 years to wander around. While most speaking engagements are on hold for now, I’m doing some online presentations, and I believe there will be a pent up need and desire for speakers post-pandemic. I will be ready and waiting in the wings when the call comes.
Plan B also includes writing a new book, eating healthy, learning about new subjects as I continue to be a lifelong student, and taking time to care for myself in ways I didn’t before, such as slowing down, and taking guilt-free naps. It being election season, I was toying with a run for Congress, but think I’ll stick to volunteering for others this time around.
I have also re-committed to new ideas and activities, and am actively seeking them out, such as learning more about outer space, and mindful meditation.
Does my story resonate with you? Did you have a grand plan you had to put on hold? Keep that plan, as I believe you’ll still have an opportunity to see it through. And remember, with a plan, you always have something you can change.
Develop your Plan B to keep you interested, engaged, and doing some things you’ve always wanted to do but didn’t have the time. This way, you won’t feel as though you’re being cheated out during this pandemic period.
Hang in there! Even though we don’t see the sun through the dark clouds, there’s always an end to every storm.
Always in support of you,
Do you need help with Creating Your PLAN B? Consider signing up for Larry’s LifeStyle Design course that focuses on helping you find your passion, purpose, and create a step-by-step plan to live that purpose – Click HERE for Details!
Or if you’d like Larry’s personal support, you are invited to book a complimentary exploratory coaching session. Click HERE to contact him and schedule your session. And if you’re looking for a good read, check out his books, The Boy Behind the Gate and its children’s companion book, Let’s Go!