- Created on Tuesday, 17 February 2015 15:39
By Mary Foley
Queue up the Beatles' music: “They say it's your birthday! You're gonna have a good time!” That's what we all want on our birthday and I'm no different.
Today I turn the big 5-0 and, honestly, I am in shock and awe that I've already put in five decades on this planet. The reality kinda slaps you in the face. It's humbling, but it's also inspiring.
Honestly, I don't want to be young again (unless I could do it knowing what I know now). I'm not giddy about being eldery, either. Like I have a choice.
It's been said that “aging is the only scientifically known way to live longer.” I do want to live longer, enjoy the ride and make the second half of my life count.
So, in that spirit, here are 50 ways turning 50 rocks from my own thoughts, friends, and a few people you might recognize.
- Let's start with some denial. You're really not 50. You're 32 with 18 years of experience. - Thanks to Leslie Crowley!
- You stop worrying about what other people think of you and start worrying about what you think of yourself. - Thanks to Tom Davidson
- “When you're 50, you know you're in great shape if you still have one.” - Melanie White
- At 50 you're old enough to have learned what to do and not do, yet young enough to still enjoy making mistakes. - Thanks to John Donovan
- Retirement planning, life insurance and long-term care now actually mean something.
- You truly get what Sophia Loren meant when she said “There is a fountain of youth: It is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will have truly defeated age.”
- Your wardrobe is simpler because you're finally okay with getting rid of the 3 other sizes in your closet that you will never fit into again.
- You're not second-guessing or worrying about others. You're happy with who you are! - Thanks to Beth Bettley
- You realize with some irritation that your parents were right about nearly everything.
- It's easier to look good at 50 than 20. People expect so much less!
- You're grateful for all the memories you're already made and you're excited to create more. - Thanks to Dianna Hayes
- You are sure of yourself and what you want – finally! - Thanks to Sherri Norman
- You're okay with the waiter or waitress saying “Yes Ma'am” instead of “You got it, darling” because you want a drink, not a date.
- You feel so liberated! - Thanks to Cyndi Braxton
- “50 years: Here's a time when you separate yourself from what other people expect of you and do what you love.” - Jim Carrey
- You have a real car again.
- “By the time we hit 50...we have found out that only a few things are really important. We have learned to take life serious, but not ourselves.” - Marie Dressler
- “The face you have at 25 is the face God gave you, but the face you have after 50 is the face you earned.” - Cindy Crawford
- Truthfully, turning 50 means that your 20s, 30s and 40s are behind you and no matter how good or bad they were, Lord knows you don't want to repeat them.
- If you want that second (or third) glass of wine, you order it. Pure and simple.
- You have regained an enormous amount of mental and emotional energy by not worry about birth control or getting pregnant.
- Like fine wine, you realize you're not just getting older, you're getting better. Like cheap wine, you have lowered your expectations and enjoy the moment.
- At 50 you've racked up enough life experience to agree with Abe Lincoln that “In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.”
- You get to decide if you're 50 years old or 18,250 days young.
- You have the radar to know the difference between givers and takers, ecouragers and criticizers, the sane and the crazies – and what to do about it.
- You know without a doubt that you still look 21...from a distance.
- You can wear comfortable clothes almost all the time, not just on your fat days.
- You're proud of what you've accomplished, but realize now is the time for your dreams to get bigger, not smaller
- Your wrinkels are the like scenes of a crime. They mark where smiles and laughter have been.
- You know what Josh Jonesa meant when he said “There comes a time when you have to choose between turning the page and closing the book.”
- You buy a coffee mug that you don't need simply because it says “Do more of what makes you happy” and you must obey!
- You exhale in a big way. The fact that you've made it this far, this good, is a good indication of your next 50. In short, you got this!
- Breaking the rules is more fun than ever.
- You know you can still fit into sexy underwear, but you also know it's optional because you've figured out that being sexy has nothing to do with underwear.
- You forgive yourself – then love yourself – for not being perfect.
- Now more than ever you smile knowing that the wisdom gained from the most difficult experiences is your biggest strength.
- You know you have shortcomings, but based on 5 decades of characters who have showed up in your life, you know it could be a lot worse. So, whatever...
- You know for sure why Lucy Van Pelt always made you smile. She's not bossy, she's bodacious!
- All the embarrassing, awkward moment of the past are now quite endearing and hilarious.
- Though you've collected a lot of roles along the way, you roll with them a lot more easily.
- You've replaced “love is a battlefield” with love is a playground – or you're going home.
- You know for sure that you can change your career, change your relationships or change your house without having to change who you are.
- “No” is a complete sentence. - Thanks to Shirley T. Burke
- You have more fun than ever buying alcohol at the grocery store. When the 20-something cashier sees the bottle and hesitates, you say “Just press the Old Fart Button!” just to see what happens!
- You understand that confidence isn't knowing what to do, when to do it, and have no doubts. Confidence is believing that step by stepy you can figure it out.
- Your best is yet to come because Napoleon Hill's research concluded that the biggest success and contribution of the most successful people of his time happened in their 50s and 60s. Everything before was preparation.
- You are still considered young...to anyone over 60. So guess who you start to hang around?
- Age is merely the number of years the world has been enjoying you. - Thanks to Jana Bridgman
- You can now join the Fabulous & 50 Club, once you figure out the secret sign, which you're pretty sure is bringing a bottle of wine to the next meeting without being asked.
- Insert yours here! ________________________________________
What's your favorite? What reason would you add? Post it below!
- Created on Tuesday, 17 February 2015 11:17
Other than making sure you're dressed appropriately, weddings and professional events don't have much in common, except for one big thing.
As one meeting planner told me: “The event is the thing. Check the box and it's done. It's like focusing on your wedding with no real thought about what happens after.”
Another meeting planner shared: “Post-event engagement. That's where I'm a loser. I'm burnt out and so is my committee.”
Here are 3 ways to increase your event's take-away value and “happily ever after”:
#1 – Create a post-event survey as part of your initial event planning
Assign the task of creating a 5 – 7 question post-event survey to one or more committee members using a tool such as SurveyMonkey. If you're stumped about what questions to put in the survey, ask yourself “What would be helpful for the committee to know in order to determine what went well and where we can improve?”
Write the email with the survey link to be sent to all participants immediately following the event. Make sure to thank participants for attending and that the survey will only take 3 minutes (or another specific amount of time) to complete. Pre-load and schedule this email way before the day of the event. Immediately following the event, simply remove any email addresses for no-shows.
#2 – Setup follow-up, content-rich emails and more to stay connected
Similar to the post-event survey, assign this task to 1 or more committee members. Determine your follow-up frequency (I suggest at least once a month).
For easy email content, ask each speaker and session leader to provide a link to an article on their blog/website (good ones will have articles readily available). If you need more articles, search the web. Make sure each email has a fun, interesting subject line. Instead of including the entire article, simply give a few paragraphs and a link to the rest. This will make the email shorter and provide additional benefit to the article author. Pre-load and schedule several of these emails before the day of the event.
Consider going beyond articles to offering follow-up reinforcement events such as teleseminars, webinars or web chats. Tap into the talent you are already providing at the event by making one of these follow-on events part of your speaker's engagement agreement.
#3 – Create an event Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn group for attendees
Social media groups are an easy way to instantly create a community space for attendees to stay connected after the event. It's also a great way for the event to stay useful and top of mind for people to register for your next one. Again, the trick is to decide during the initial planning to have a group and assign this task to one or more committee members.
First, determine which social media platform to use (I suggest just one so you don't drive yourself crazy). Next, create the group according to the platform's instructions. Make sure to include any event graphics and information. Working with the rest of the committee, determine how the group will be announced at the event (on stage, printed materials, etc). Write a post-event email inviting attendees to the group and schedule it to be sent a few days after the survey email.
It's important to “seed” the social media group with posts to get the party started. So, determine several posts ahead of time. Ideas include a “welcome” post, “thank you” posts to attendees and sponsors, and articles from speakers.
Want more ideas about how to make your professional women's event rock?
Grab a copy of my FREE report POWER UP! 3 Critical Trends and 10 Essential Strategies to Energize your Professional Women's Event.
Or let's brainstorm for 15 minutes - call me, or send me a quick email!
- Created on Friday, 13 February 2015 01:00
Inspiration is everywhere if you're open to it. Not long ago after several long ten to twelve hour days, I was dragging. I was working hard and had gotten a lot done,but I had more to do. The problem was my mojo was running low. So, I did what so many of us do when we need that temporary jolt of energy. I headed for the chocolate!
This time it was a special box of chocolates that I'd been given a month ago as a gift. I reached into the cupboard for that familiar gold crested box of the divine choc-o-late. You know what I'm talking about: Godiva.
And oh, I had been so good with this box of Godiva, only taking one or two pieces at a time to make it last as long as possible. I don't do this with Hershey kisses; I pop those morsels in my mouth without a second thought! But, Godiva, well that's an upgraded chocolate experience. Take. Your. Time.
Then, as I was removing the box top with the stately Godiva crest embossed across it, I realized something in all my chocolate eating years that had never occurred to me.
It didn't say Godiva. No, not at all. It said GO-DIVA!
Right then and there I realized that all this time Godiva was inspiring me to be a bodacious, diva woman and rewarding me with amazing chocolate. I smiled, exhaled and felt inspired. In that moment, life made sense!
So notice the little things during your day - the person who slows down to let you over in traffic, the co-worker who compliments you, and the name of your chocolate. Kindness, recognition, and motivation are there to spur you on. Inspiration is everywhere if you're open to it.
Have you been inspired recently by something unexpected? Please share below!