Milestones, Personal Growth, and My New Life Challenge

personal growth and my new life challenge

I love to use milestones as a motivational tool and a way to facilitate greater personal growth. For example, knowing that we were going to Kauai this last January provided the perfect incentive to get into really good shape. The trip served as a milestone.

Three months before the trip I set up a life challenge for myself based on some pretty extreme fitness goals. As that vacation got closer, my efforts, motivation and focus grew. I had a time-line and it made a big difference in my determination. In the end, it was a very rewarding personal growth experience.

There’s a much bigger milestone ahead

We all have milestones in our lives. How we choose to spin those events has a huge effect on our personal growth and our perception of life. I’m facing a milestone that could easily be viewed in a negative way, but I refuse to let that happen.

Instead of adopting the common negative “oh no” mindset about this particular event, I have decided to turn it into a personal life challenge. I have just over one year before this milestone becomes a reality, and I intend to use it as a huge source of motivation and focus. So, would you like to know what that big milestone is?

Sooner or later, it happens to everyone!

For many of you this scenario may seem to be so far in the future that there is no reason to even think about it. Trust me; it’s closer than you think. In just over a year I will be 60 years old, and let me tell you, it’s weird to even say that. I’m not sure how it managed to sneak up on me, but it did and so I might as well turn it into an advantage.

I intend to defy every preconceived notion about turning sixty because I believe that we create our own reality. It is my intention with this life challenge to celebrate that milestone as one of the major positive events in my life so far. But for that to happen, I need to start working toward that goal right now.

The primary reason for this article is to announce my intentions and create accountability for…

My Personal Life Challenge

I am challenging myself to reach new heights in several important areas of life over the coming year. I realize that this will require incredible focus and honestly, and I welcome this new life challenge. By making my intentions public I have just created massive accountability.

I know from experience that accountability can be an incredible source of motivation. If you are contemplating some personal life challenge, I encourage you to take advantage of the power of accountability. Once you do there is no turning back.

7 specific areas included in my personal life challenge

Physically. Simply put, I am challenging myself to get in the best shape of my life by the time I turn sixty. This is saying a lot considering that physical fitness has always been important to me. It’s not like I’m some couch potato just trying to achieve minimal fitness goals for a sixty year old. Even so, I can already see the results in my mind and I am excited about it.

Financially. I haven’t been very focused on making money the last couple of years because I’ve been busy creating value and helping others with their personal growth. Now it’s time to allow financial abundance to flow into the picture. Exactly how I do this is something I will be sharing with you in a few months because I believe in abundance for everyone.

Spiritually. This is not an area of my life that I talk about on this blog and that’s not going to change. It is however something that is extremely important to me personally and to my family. Suffice it to say that this aspect of my life will be getting increased attention on a daily basis.

Emotionally. This includes my overall and dominate attitude about everything. Learning to live more fully engaged and present in each moment and being even more aware and open to this incredible journey.  I’ll be working to achieve a greater degree of full mental and emotional involvement and integration with every situation and circumstance.

Inner clarity. Over the next year I want to review and reevaluate my beliefs about my own potential. I want to make absolutely sure there are no hidden limiting beliefs hindering my personal growth. I intend to bring new clarity to my priorities and let go of anything that no longer serves me.

Relationships. I want to raise the level of communication and connection with those who matter most to me, especially my wife. My marriage is an absolute top priority in my life and I will be working to make sure that it never takes a back seat to anything. We have been together a long time and I have a deep desire to grow our relationship to a new level of intimacy and oneness.

Contribution. Right now I have several projects at different stages of development. They are all designed to make people’s lives better in one way or another. I will finish all of these projects over the coming year because helping others improve the quality of their lives through personal growth is how I enter the world.

There are of course other aspects of life that will be involved in my personal life challenge, but I think you get the idea. I’ve turned a normal event into a reason to get motivated and make good things happen. I am happy to report that my wife and life partner is doing something similar. For me, that alone makes the whole project worthwhile.

Putting a positive spin on unavoidable milestones

Why am I challenging myself like this? Well, in just over a year I am going to turn sixty no matter what I do. However, the significance of that unavoidable event is something I have control over. It can represent a new pinnacle of personal growth and development, or it can be something less appealing. I have a choice and I choose a new, positive milestone of epic proportions.

We all have milestones in our lives, what will you choose to do with your next one? Will you create a life challenge and use it as a springboard for reaching new heights, or will you allow it to represent something much less empowering? I encourage you to turn every life challenge into an opportunity. I encourage you to choose empowering!

Got goals?
Want to create some accountability?
Think I’m crazy?
The lines are open!

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  1. John Rocheleau July 6, 2010 Reply


    It’s an interesting time of life isn’t it? I’ll be 60 this September. Each decade brings new vision to us (assuming we are aware).

    This particular time of life is different in a profound way. We are on a cusp of major change; still vital and strong but we can feel the future — the letting go of it all. And that of course can bring up a sense of urgency in us. Well, that is part of how I personally feel and see this time.

    Your goals will be a lot of fun to accomplish I think. I appreciate your courage to share them with us. Many folks would keep it close, to guard the power of it all as it unfolds.


    • Jonathan July 6, 2010 Reply

      Hi John, yes it is a time of change for sure. I think the most important change we can make is to unleash the inner power we all have.

      If we think of aging as a process of decline that’s how it will play out. If we think of it as a power shift (from mostly physical to increasingly mental) we can actually maintain the physical while increasing the mental.

      Learning to let go, especially of preconceived ideas about aging, is one of the greatest ways to free up more personal power. After many decades of experience and knowledge, it’s the perfect time to make use of it. We can live better by living smarter.

  2. rob white July 6, 2010 Reply

    Wow, Jonathan, I applaud you on your sincere and public effort to continually improve the many domains of your life. The joy in life is knowing we can continually create ourselves anew. You are on your way toward life mastery (I just wrote a blog about it). You are fully participating in life with no holding back. You are looking at life from a consciousness of prosperity of every nature. I, like you am reaching milestones that I see as overwhelmingly positive… the better it gets the better it gets!

    • Jonathan July 6, 2010 Reply

      Hi Rob and thanks for the encouragement. I wish everyone would fully grasp that we really do have the power to “continually create ourselves anew.” Many will acknowledge that ability intellectually but neglect to put it into practice. For those who do put it into practice can say… the better it gets the better it gets!

  3. Robin Easton July 6, 2010 Reply

    Hi Jonathan,

    This is so weird that you posted this today. By weird, I mean it is something that I’ve been thinking about the last few days, well longer, but a LOT the last few days. And then this AM I woke thinking how I have to get more sleep, eat better (and I eat really healthy, but still want to eat better), get more excercise (and I get more than many people 1/2 my age, but still do not feel I’m doing “MY” full potential, which, like you, would be more fit than ever before in my life, and I’ve always been exceedingly fit), I want to become more focused in financial areas, spiritual areas, contribution, inner-clarity, and all the areas you mention.

    ANYWAY, this AM I woke and my first thought was that all my life I’ve wanted to learn to do a cartwheel (LOL!), like the kids do. I may or may not learn to do this, but it represents the essence of the freedom from conditioned-thought that I am after and have sought (and FOUND) all my life.

    I do NOT believe that it is age, our physicality or anything else that limits us, It is our thoughts that limit us, our perception of who we “THINK” we are and should be..

    Sure, a missing arm, a mangled leg, damaged joint, a lost eye can be a handicap, but it does not need to become something that stops us from reaching our full potential or setting ourselves FREE.

    I LOVE LOVE LOOOOVVVVEEE this post. You think like me. It is so odd that I have had these exact thoughts intensely the last 3 days, and I come here this AM to read this. YES!!!

    I have decided to do the same. And, I have several injuries from high speed ski racing, climbing up rock faces (without ropes – LOL!), rollerskating (wild fast turning, spinning, skating backwards – LOL!!), etc over the years or when I was younger. So I’ve decided to not only find ways to heal and strengthen those areas of my body, but to get as fit as I can, regardless of.

    I am good at taking emotional/mental risks and stretching my comfort zone, just doing this book and going into a whole new career at 56 is REALLY stretching my comfort zone. And although often VERY uncomfortable, I would not have it any other way, because I KNOW inside my heart that it will burst me through every limiting concept I’ve taken on.

    I thank you from my heart for being such a powerful role model and inspiration. The ramifications of what you are CHOOSING to do, and be, are HUGE. I do not think there is anything more powerful that someone modeling to us a way of life, of being, of seeing, and so forth. It is way more powerful than a million words.

    So thank you!!!

    • Jonathan July 6, 2010 Reply

      Hi there my like minded friend. Wouldn’t it be a shame to not use a life’s worth of learning to shape our reality? I want to accentuate the positive aspects of getting older (and there are many), while minimizing and postponing the down side. For some reason society seems to prefer the opposite approach. How dis-empowering!

      By the time we reach our 50′s we have powerful resources that took decades to assemble. We may have been fit and even smart at earlier stages of life, but experience puts those earlier attributes in a whole new dimension. Having gained understanding of so many things, it’s time pull it all together for a richly rewarding life experience.

      So Robin, let’s rewrite the book on aging!

  4. Abhijit July 6, 2010 Reply

    Inspiring story! There is a saying in oriental culture that a rich life only begins at 50! What you do before that is trying to figure out how life will be or how you would like it to be. Then you start working seriously in living life in the NOW.

    Do keep posting how you progress. I am 52, another few years and will be heading for sixty! And just feel like you – life is just beginning! to your success. Abhijit

  5. Jonathan July 6, 2010 Reply

    Hi Abhijit, thank you for relating that bit of oriental wisdom on aging. It’s both true and encouraging. Here’s to new beginnings. It’s interesting that the very last chapter in my book is titled “new beginnings.”

  6. Marko July 6, 2010 Reply

    I love to read other people’s intentions and goals. They are always interesting and fresh.

    Some people look at age as a barrier to their growth. I do not think that age is barrier. Everything has its advantages and disadvantages. The more disadvantages we turn in advantages our life will be better! It’s the same with age.

    Jonathan, I wish you a lot of discipline, will, knowledge, motivation, boldness, bravery, calmness, decisiveness, love, passion, adventure, with your goals and intentions… and of course I wish you “luck”… :)

    • Jonathan July 6, 2010 Reply

      Hi Marko, and thanks for all the good wishes. Maybe I’m just wired weird or something, but I love doing stuff like this. It gets me really jazzed to lay out a plan that pushes all the boundaries and then jump right in.

      I know people sometimes hold back from making these kind of commitments, especially publicly. I figure if I can motivate just a few to challenge themselves that I’ve provided a good service. I love the energy that motivated people generate.

  7. Jonathan,

    Brilliant to share your goals – I feel the intention in them almost like they are already accomplished!

    I’m turning 55 in a month, and it’s curious that I’m noticing limiting thoughts about my age that have never been present before. On a positive note, I am feeling a shift, an inner transformation that feels like a movement into greater wisdom, depth, and maturity (whatever that means!). It’s an interesting time – feels like something is brewing, and I get to witness the process.

    Thanks for a perfectly-timed and thought-provoking post!

    • Jonathan July 6, 2010 Reply

      Hi Gail, being in our 50′s really does make one stop and evaluate the situation. I think the rise of a few limiting thoughts is a natural surfacing of conceptions about aging instilled in us long ago. Little time bombs waiting silently for the right time to go off.

      I decided to flip them around and use mine as a springboard. I am simply too passionate and excited by life to let them interfere.

      This is indeed an interesting time Gail. Something I feel we can really look forward to. Along with all the things you mentioned, it’s also an awakening. I am excited.

  8. Nea July 6, 2010 Reply

    Your have such a marvelous approach to turning 60. In fact, that approach is perfect for pretty much everything. Instead of being anxious about this milestone in your life, you’re fully embracing it and choosing what to make of it. I LOVE THAT! You are such an inspiration.

    • Jonathan July 6, 2010 Reply

      Greetings Nea, and thanks so much for your kind words. I remember turning 40 and thinking “no problem.” At 42 I became a grandparent and that took some mental adjusting. 50 made me stop and think, but this is different somehow. There is a difference inside that I am struggling to find words for. It’s like my understanding of the big picture has a depth that now eclipses my former perspective.

      Here’s an example: Why would I think that I can get in the best shape of my life at this stage in the game? The reason is because my mind is more powerful than it was when I was younger and it can direct the body. I don’t need to rely solely on physical exertion anymore. I can adjust the settings to get the result I want.

      That may sound crazy, but I’m willing to back it up with results and then it won’t matter how it sounds. This is a great place to be in and I love it.

  9. Mike King July 6, 2010 Reply

    Great commitments here Jonathan and good on you for publicly placing them out there to get to know you a bit better and what you are all about. Great to read, inspiring and many align with goals I hold myself year after year. I love progressive goals for life that build on each other even though the world sees aging differently. This reminds me well of your articles on aging and its evidence of how you do think differently than the masses on aging. I look forward to carrying that same mentality through my life (and I just turned 33).

    • Jonathan July 7, 2010 Reply

      Hi Mike, thanks for dropping by. At this point in life I know that doing nothing represents some kind of decline, especially physically. I also know that taking charge of your physical self empowers you to take charge of the other aspects of life also.

      As we get older, the tendency is to allow for (or even expect) physical decline. But the longer we strive for fitness the less we notice age. Most of the people I know who are close to my age haven’t been fit since their 20′s and the quality of their life reflects that. For me that’s just not acceptable. Never was, never will be.

      Who knows, maybe I’ll even learn to ride a unicycle one of these days like good friend Mike!

  10. Jonathan, you know me and I have an love affair with CHALLENGE – I love it in every which way, a yoga challenge, vegan challenge, early rising challenge, spinning challenge now – I LOVE challenge because there is such a power to it, such an intention behind it and such a high probability of success when we clearly put focus on a thought and set out to make it a reality. And I am with you in defying all preconceived notions of turning into a healthy, strong, handsome and very well-loved 60-year old blogger/friend/man! All the best and while your wife will spoil you dearly, we are here to support you thoroughly in all your goals……thank you for sharing these challenges with us here!

    • Jonathan July 7, 2010 Reply

      That’s exactly it Farnoosh. When we challenge ourselves there is a tremendous amount of power generated. We can tap into that power and ride it to success. I love it too. Thank you so much for your kind words of support and encouragement. There are nowhere as many limits on us as most people think there are. We just need to challenge those imaginary limits and most of the time they will get out of the way. And even if we cant climb over them, we can usually find a way around them.

  11. Sandra Lee July 7, 2010 Reply

    Jonathan, I am awestruck and greatly inspired by the breadth and scope of your personal challenge. The whole idea as well as the accountability aspect has me thinking.

    It’s ironic that I can run an entire organization systematically, but when it comes to my own life I tend to be more of a flow person rather than a goals or a challenge person. I believe we all naturally have different styles and that it’s important to respect one’s own style. At the same time, I want to make sure this isn’t just a cop out so thanks for the stimulating post.

    I wish you great success with your personal challenge, which I already know will be successful!

    • Jonathan July 7, 2010 Reply

      Hi Sandra, I tend to be a “flow person” also, but sometimes I need to stoke the fires a bit. That’s when I usually create a challenge for myself. I know that doing so will create the energy I need to take things to the next level. I guess I have always liked to compete with my current self. That’s probably why I have always liked weight lifting. It allows me to use my mind to push my body incrementally. I love those little mental victories. Thanks so much for your support.

  12. timethief July 7, 2010 Reply

    Thanks do much for sharing your personal challenge Jonathon. I always take so much food for thought away from reading your posts.

    For most of my early life I was a goal orientated driver. At this time in my life I’m not feeling an urgent need to set major goals or to rise to meet any challenges other than those my health and circumstances present me with.

    I’m delighted to say I have arrived at the time ans pace of not doing. Yes, I’m currently in a head space where I feel comfortable just being with what is and meeting the challenges of the day.

    Best wishes for the success I’m sure you will achieve and much love too.


    • Jonathan July 7, 2010 Reply

      That’s a nice space to be in TT. I seem to move between that comfortable “just being” mindset to all fired up and ready to make something happen. It feels like I gather my energy (and thoughts) during the power down cycle and then jump into some big challenge. But I totally appreciate both. Besides, challenges come in many forms and I know you have faced your share recently.

  13. Frank July 8, 2010 Reply

    Thank you Jonathan for sharing your personal challenges. It is amazing how much inspiration you can get just from hearing the challenges and success of others. I also enjoy how you break down your challenges into 7 specific areas of focus.

    • Jonathan July 8, 2010 Reply

      Hi Frank, I also love the way enthusiasm is contagious. That’s one of the reasons why it’s so beneficial to surround ourselves with positive, energetic people. Their energy is very motivating and encouraging.

  14. Miranda Cruz July 8, 2010 Reply

    I really enjoy your writings Jonathan. Keep it up and I will keep on supporting your blog.

    • Jonathan July 8, 2010 Reply

      That’s a deal Miranda, thanks for you kindness.

  15. Lance July 8, 2010 Reply

    I LOVE your attitude!!! It’s contagious…your zest for LIFE!

    And it’s really in these challenges that we grow into what is possible. And you just continue to do this in very clear and meaningful ways. AWESOME!!

    Me? I’ve been working toward a fitness goal recently – as I have a triathlon coming up in just over a week. While I’ve done triathlons before, this one has a new aspect in that I’ll be there with a friend, and the swim portion includes the ocean. In a way that scares me, and yet it has also been motivating in prepping for this new challenge! And what comes of all of this – I plan to come out on the other side, both with a new appreciation for the ocean and for myself…and that is pretty wonderful!

    Best to you in all that lies ahead in this exciting year!

    • Jonathan July 8, 2010 Reply

      Lance my friend, a triathlon – you are an animal (from the Jungle of Life). Man, that’s impressive. I can’t wait to here more about it. Don’t you just love the way getting really fit makes your whole life feel right? I’m gonna need some more details. Your challenge is getting me pumped.

  16. Sibyl Chavis July 8, 2010 Reply

    Jonathan: Great points you made here. Thanks for sharing your insights. I really liked what you said about changing your perspective and really learning how to embrace and appreciate milestones. So much of what we do and how we experience life is impacted by how we perceive things, and as you mentioned, we really can create our reality. To me, making certain you have the best perspective is such an important part of creating our reality the way we desire and applying that to milestones can definitely transform your life. Thanks so much for the wisdom.

    P.S. I bet Kauai was amazing…

  17. Steven Aitchison July 9, 2010 Reply

    Hi Jonathan, I promised when I was on holiday I wouldn’t be on the internet that much, only to comment on my blog, however I had to break that rule to comment on this.

    your goals are wonderful and I sincerely hope that you reach every single one of them. You continue to inspire me every day and I look up to you in so many ways and am glad our paths crossed.

    I am also sharing your goal to get as fit as I have ever been and being on holiday has kick started this. I am also trying Shaun Ts Insanity program, but nearly passed out when I tried it over here in Turkey as it’s so hot and humid, so I think I will give that a miss until I get home :)

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