Living purposefully: How mindsets have shifted

Did you know that since the start of this decade, and with everything that has taken place in the last few years, two in three Kiwis over 50 are inspired to get more out of life? According to our Living Purposefully study, over 50% are also considering their purpose in life more.

At this stage in life, you may be feeling more settled in who you are and your place in the world. You may be content with your career, your children may be old enough to look after themselves, and your obligations to others may be easing a little. You may also have more financial independence with greater disposable income available to you. But at the same time, impending retirement, shifting family dynamics, and changes in your health may be on your mind as well. 

Among all these shifting planes in your life, you may also be shifting your mindset when it comes to living more intentionally and leading your life more purposefully.

In our Living Purposefully study, we found that the majority (72.3%) of Kiwis over 50 have reported at least some shift in mindset, which includes things like prioritising family time, and spending less time sweating the small stuff.

And for 18%, that mindset shift includes prioritising themselves, and putting more of a focus on doing the things they want.

Ways you can prioritise yourself

So how can you live more purposefully when it comes to putting yourself first? It’s something many of us struggle with when we are so used to giving our time and care to those around us.

The first step is to take one step back. Stop trying to rush and instead live within the moment. Be mindful that life can be messy and challenging at times, but there’s happiness to be found in taking a second to simply breathe it all in.

We all know we probably need to move our bodies more – and often enjoy it when we do. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to destress

Taking just half an hour a day to get some exercise in is an excellent way to put your physical and mental health at the top of the priority list. Another idea is to venture into new waters and try your hand at a hobby, spending time doing something you enjoy can also improve your mental wellbeing.

Think back on those times in life when you wished you had the time to try something out. Now’s your chance. Get that dive certificate, learn how to decorate cakes like a pro, master the art of the perfect mini-golf hole-in-one… whatever it is, get out there and give it a shot! If nothing else, it’ll be a good laugh.

Finally, you can put yourself first by putting your health at the top of your list, which includes eating well. Give yourself the time to prepare healthy, delicious meals, don’t let health food myths derail you, and rediscover the fun in trying new, healthy recipes.

Shifting priorities 

As well as putting themselves first more often, Kiwis have also been shifting priorities in other areas, too.

For many, that means family time. Our Living Purposefully study found that 39.9% are more focused on spending time with family when they can, with just over two-thirds (67.5%) saying that family get-togethers are the most important social events on the calendar.

And it’s not just family they want to connect with. A quarter of over 50s surveyed, said they want to participate in club or community group activities, and two out of five (38.2%) want to prioritise their social life more.

On top of building those all-important personal connections, many have also had a mindset change on dealing with life’s little annoyances. Almost half (42.6%) said they are now learning not to sweat the small stuff.

But that’s not to say they’re less aware of the need to adapt and prepare for other curveballs in the future. A little over a third (36.1%) are focused on building resilience, and a little over half (50.6%) are looking to save more money for times ahead. Then there’s a quarter who said, at the time of the survey, they plan to or will organise a will and testament.

Focusing on what you want in life

Generally, over 50s are focusing a little more on what they want in life, and a little less on the things that don’t matter so much.

Our survey suggests that the main goal is now to accumulate enough savings to be financially independent, with almost half (46.4%) saying that was a milestone for their senior years.

But hot on that goal’s heels was ticking off bucket list items and travel, whether that’s here in New Zealand or overseas. A little more than a third of those surveyed said this was a goal they planned on achieving during retirement.

And perhaps least surprising of all is the number of people thinking about the importance of their own health – well over half of those surveyed (58.2%) said that their mindshift included prioritising their health.

The good news is that 86% of adults reported they were in good health in the last annual health survey, but there are certainly individual areas of improvement we can all focus on to take better care of ourselves, be it our physical, mental or emotional health.

The shifting mindset of everyday Kiwis shows an incredible level of resilience and growth since the beginning of this decade. With more focus on spending time with the family, prioritising one’s own health and wellbeing, and being more prepared for the future fuelling Kiwis’ drive to live with more purpose. 

Take control of your future

A big part of being prepared for the future and looking after our loved ones can include organising life insurance. With flexible cover, New Zealand Seniors can provide you with peace of mind, knowing your nearest and dearest will be looked after should the worst occur.