“Let’s meet up for dinner. If you finish up your project by 5, we can head out to that quiet little place in the country. If you’re later than 6, maybe I could just meet you downtown.”

How many times do you throw alternatives into action? How often do you come up with a Plan B for what you will do?

All the time, right?

It’s called being prepared.

When my husband and I got married, we held our reception outside. We had a Plan B just in case it rained.

We often have a Plan B in place for dinner. If we’re home early we’ll cook one thing; if we run late, we’ll choose something else. Something simpler.

We’ve even created a Plan B for vacations, allowing weather, currency fluctuations, even moods to swing our decisions as the time closes in.

Plan B’s are a great way to handle all the daily factors of life.

But what about the BIG things?

You know, things like how you’re going to retire? Or what you’ll do if you receive a pink slip on Friday? Or what you’re going to do with your life once the kids leave the nest?

It’s easy to see the little things. If you hold a wedding reception outside in the summer, for instance, you know there is always a possibility of rain. You can easily imagine the consequences if you don’t plan for possibilities.

But what about all the other things that tend to happen in midlife? Do you have a Plan B for them? Like what you’ll do if your job of twenty years suddenly goes away? Or what you’ll do with all the time on your hands when the kids go off to college? Or what you’ll do with your life when you no longer can stomach going into the office?

If you start asking yourself questions early enough, you can start PLANNING the rest of your life instead of LETTING it happen to you. It’ll make all the difference.

It’s time to come up with Plan B:

Don’t Panic

A lot of people don’t look towards the future because panic over an unknown future can easily set in. How are you supposed to retire when you have a very small five-figure balance in savings? How can you do everything you have on your bucket list without a large income coming in?

I’ve been there, done that. I don’t have a million dollar savings account, nor do I have a million dollar retirement fund. I gave up a lot of that safety and security when I decided to go into business for myself.

Yet giving up security doesn’t equate to losing opportunity. There are many things you can do that will put you in the perfect position to enjoy your next fifty years. Today’s fastest growing age group for entrepreneurs is the 55 and older for good reason. Instead of panicking about things you don’t know, look for opportunities in what you have today. There’s no better time to create a lifestyle that works for you, and fund it by doing what motivates you, not drains you.

Find A Comfortable Place To Call Home

Comfort means different things at different points in your life.

What I liked as a twenty-something is not something I enjoy as a fifty-something. My goals have switched. My opinions have changed.

When we first married, we invested in a small townhouse that met our needs. When we had our daughter, we moved to a large home in the suburbs. But we never looked at that home as our one and only. We have no problem changing and living in what suits us best for today.

Like now. We live in an apartment. And I never would have believed you ten years ago had you told me I’d be okay with a small two-bedroom place. It’s kind of quirky. Has a retro kitchen – no granite here.

But it suits everything I need for today. I have a wall of windows that overlooks greenery – ivy, trees, plants. It’s simply gorgeous all year long. And just a few hundred feet from my door is the river, with a path that goes on for miles. I walk it every day. It has everything I need and then some. For today. Is it perfect? Nope. Will I be here ten years from now? Nope. But it works, today.

Your idea of the perfect place to call home is changeable. Change it up to suit your needs … today.

Change Your Lifestyle To Fit Your Desires

What’s something you truly desire right now that you can’t have because it doesn’t fit your lifestyle?

A few years ago, we had the desire to travel for extended periods of time. Our first goal was six weeks in Europe. But six weeks in Europe in the heart of the summer was difficult. We lived in a large house with a large lot and lots and lots of grass and landscaping. And in Denver, it’s almost impossible to leave a lawn without extensive care. Heat wave will kill landscaping in Denver in a matter of hours because of the dryness if you aren’t there to water it.

So we changed. Our desire for long term travel was stronger than a well manicured lawn. Now I get my landscaping fix by visiting some of the most beautiful gardens in the world.

While that change was difficult, others have been easier. Like our desire to never deal with snow again. Portland works for us at the moment; Portland’s idea of snow isn’t much more then we consider frost. We moved to have greater access to the West coast, to beaches, to the great outdoors. To experience something new. Will that change? Probably. But it works for now.

What is your plan B

I also had a desire to write. I have written a novel for the first time in my life, something I’ve long since had the desire to do. By freeing myself from other forms of work, it’s given me more time to head down this new road.

You can’t get from here to there without choosing what’s most important to you. And that changes every day. Listen to what your heart is telling you. Then follow it to make it come true.

Find Opportunity Everywhere

Have you ever noticed that when you focus in on something, you see it everywhere?

Let’s say you’re in the market for a new car, and you’re contemplating a little red sports car to get you from place to place. All of a sudden you see little red sports cars everywhere. It’s not that they weren’t there before; it’s you’ve just noticed them because they are in your frame of mind.

The same applies to opportunities.

Whatever you choose to do, someone else has been there, done that, long before you.

So when I decided to start writing a novel, I looked to all those that had been there, done that first. I’ve never written romance before. But Nora Roberts has. So I studied her and looked for others that got my own creative juices flowing. And the list grew. Like Betsy Talbot. And Jill Shalvis. And Emma Chase.

But it wasn’t just finding great romance writers, I also looked for resources. Like classes to make me better at writing on Scrivener. Organizations like Romance Writers of America that helped me focus on becoming a stronger romance writer.

No matter what opportunity presents itself to you, you are the only one who can take a step forward to make a reality. If you want to cook, challenge yourself by creating everything in a cookbook, or signing up for a cooking school.

And if you want to be a romance writer, maybe I’ll see you at the annual convention in July.