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Life Transitions

8 Key Considerations for Full Life Satisfaction


Written by: Dolly Garlo


New issues arise even among the healthiest adults. Attending to weight, fitness, nutrition, hormonal balance, emotional concerns, and medical and dental issues paves the way for more active living. This is the best place to start.

Finances and Estate

A good salary is great, but more important is what you keep and how it’s invested. Perhaps it’s time to learn more about your portfolio and future cash flow needs, adjust for any long-term family support, review and update your estate plan, communicate that with maturing children, and focus on aging parents. Perhaps you need to hire or work more closely with the right financial, estate, tax, or life and legacy planner.


Identify how best to interact with immediate and extended family and those people who are “like family.” Facing an empty nest or trying to successfully launch one? Want more time with grandchildren or elders? Anticipate serving in a caregiving role for aging family members? These all deserve planning consideration.

Personal Development

Beyond career and family, how do you want to learn and grow? You may want to pursue interests you set aside or explore new ones – learn a language, take a class or teach something. Perhaps it’s time to deepen a spiritual practice or join a mastermind group in a subject area of interest.

Related: Obstacles People Face When Trying to Convey Their Wisdom to Their Families

Related: Practical Tips for Creating Lifelong Memories


How about time with friends outside of your professional or business circles? Primary relationships change. Divorce happens. Friends have been important at prior stages of education and career, and may be even more important going forward, especially for women: only one-third of them over 65 have spouses or partners, and they ultimately outlive husbands on average by 15 years. It may be time to meet new people, be more involved with community groups, or enjoy existing friends you see too rarely or have rediscovered on social media.


This is what we do when not working, and is crucial for mental and emotional health. It includes things on your life list — a more optimistic and life-affirming term than “Bucket List.” Making one is a good starting point; then add to it regularly. Maybe this is about pursuing art or music, or a new hobby or sport; maybe it’s time to learn to dance or sail, travel or enjoy nature more. This includes considering how and where you live – maybe moving to a new place, or downsizing to a residence with less maintenance so you can enjoy more of your life.


Your professional work may have originally filled a desire to make a contribution, and now you may have more to give through different involvements using your time, interests, money, or other resources. Places and ways that move you to give back are truly endless. This may include defining your legacy or different forms of charitable giving through your estate plan. I offer my definition of legacy creation: “a conscious and meaningful contribution of your authentic gifts, talents and resources, that adds value in a lasting way.” It is truly a pursuit that is available to anyone of any means who chooses to approach it purposefully.


Work involvement will likely continue in some form for many decades. What would be more interesting and fulfilling now? Something with more responsibility, greater leadership opportunities, or something less formal, more on your own terms? Work fulfills important purposes beyond remuneration: a sense of purpose; a means of time management, structure and organization; a form of socialization; and sense of status, not for ego but for identity and inclusion in community. Many options exist to sort through.

Dolly Garlo became known as The Whole Life Wellness and Reinvention Mentor after her own journey from critical care nurse, to attorney and business owner, to board certified business, leadership and legacy coach, author, environmental advocate, philanthropist, and champion of women’s leadership.

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