Do you have a birthday approaching that is causing you to think way too much about, well, everything? Maybe you are looking back at that previous milestone birthday and what you had planned for yourself. Back then, perhaps you’d set personal goals like how you were going to spend more time with your family and less time at work. Or you were going to learn to play an instrument, or to speak French. Maybe you’d decided to assess your friendships and meet some new people. You were going to take up golf, or maybe go on that exotic trip you’ve always wanted to take but were a little scared about.

Now, here you are, careening toward another milestone birthday and all those things you thought about got lost somewhere in the day-to-day business of life. Perhaps you are beating yourself up a bit about all those accomplishments you didn’t accomplish. If so, hold on. As Scarlet O’Hara said, “Tomorrow is another day!”

One of the reasons you may be feeling restless and reflective can actually be explained scientifically. Prime contributor and leadership consultant Nancy Keene wrote about Daniel Pink’s new book, WHEN in her article What’s Next? 9 Signs You’re on the Path to Something New. Pink examines the science of perfect timing and suggests that endings are more important than beginnings. For instance:

  • The highest percentage of people becoming marathon runners at age 29. Next is 39, then 49. (A birthday ending in a 9 is strategic.)
  • Mice in a maze accelerate when they get closer to food at the end.
  • In taste tests of new varieties of Hershey Kisses, the last one tried scored the highest.

So, take heart as this chapter closes and think about what you still have time to do. How often have you heard about Grandma Moses who started painting at 78? (She was headed for that 9-ender birthday.) Within our website, we have countless examples of women who took on big challenges after 50, 60 and 70.

Women who “wow”

For instance, Bobbe Greenberg, Ironman athlete at the age of 71, shares the top ranking at the US and Global level for the 70-74 age group. The Kona Ironman record times decline 7-10% for each five year age group over 50; but Bobbe Greenberg keeps getting faster.

At 50, Donna Richardson, former lifestyle correspondent for CNN, BET and FOX, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. At 52, she led her team in the Hood To Coast Relay 200 mile run. At 54, she ran the Paris Marathon. At 55, Donna still doesn’t shy away from trying something new. Her fashion business, “Donna’s Tiny House Boutique” has taken off and she’s invited to tiny house conventions all over the country.

Our own PrimeWomen.com founders (Dorthy Shore, Valerie Freeman, Jan Fletcher OBE, and Dianne Patterson) started this online publication in their 60s, in response to what they viewed as a complete lack of media, fashion and advertiser focus on women after 45. (Other than to sell them anti-wrinkle cream or pre-planned funerals.) All entrepreneurs with successful businesses of their own, they formed a company and began learning everything they could about online publishing, SEO and content creation, with the goal of providing women with information on health and wellness, fashion, careers, relationships and more – written by women in their prime – FOR women in their prime.

The takeaway

So, with this next trip around the sun, you can either look over your shoulder endlessly, focused on what you haven’t done, or start planning what you’re going to do next. Set a goal. Take a chance. Make a drastic change that terrifies you. That butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling? That means you’re alive and kicking.

If you’re ready for ideas, inspiration and advice on how to achieve whatever is next, join us by subscribing to PrimeWomen.com.