On The Road to 100 Acres and 100 Years



I am a lover of life and I’m more open to talking about death than the average person, however, I thought it counterproductive and a bit morbid to have people write their own eulogy. I also don’t like the idea of a bucket list because I’m not thinking about what I want to do before I ‘kick the bucket’, but I’m excited to plan what I want to do while I am alive. Now that I’m thinking about it, it’s probably time to update my life list.

When I began doing group work with teens nearly two decades ago, one of our activities was to write the speech they want to be read at their 100th birthday party. This required thinking about what they wanted to experience in life and who they wanted to experience it with. And today, I’m giving you another invitation to my 100th birthday party.

As a young girl, I was always fascinated by the centenarians whose birthdays Willard Scott celebrated on the Today show back in the day. A centenarian is a person who has reached the age of 100 years. It is such a big deal to be alive for a full century – even more so when you consider that our global life expectancy was 73.4 years in 2019.

Century celebrations I’ve experienced in my life:

  • I graduated from Trinity College in its 100th year  
  • I was a part of planning the celebrations for the 125th and 130th anniversaries at one of my past jobs.
  • I attended the 100th anniversary celebration of my current church.
  • I celebrated Trinity’s 125th anniversary last year while teaching as an adjunct professor.

Today I am fascinated with Blue Zones. “Blue Zone” is a non-scientific term given to geographic regions that are home to some of the world’s oldest people. It was first used by the author Dan Buettner, who was studying areas of the world in which people live exceptionally long lives. The places not only had high concentrations of individuals over 100 years old, but also clusters of people who had grown old without health problems like heart disease, obesity, cancer, or diabetes. They are called Blue Zones because when Buettner and his colleagues were searching for these areas, they drew blue circles around them on a map. The five known Blue Zones are:

  1. Icaria (Greece)
  2. Ogliastra, Sardinia (Italy)
  3. Okinawa (Japan)
  4. Nicoya Peninsula (Costa Rica)
  5. Loma Linda, California (USA, Seventh-day Adventists)

Blue Zones Power 9: Lifestyle Habits of the World’s Healthiest, Longest-Lived People

  1. Move Naturally – Exercise is built into daily life
  2. Purpose – goal-driven, move through life with intention
  3. Downshift – Stress management strategies
  4. 80% Rule – Fast and follow the 80% rule
  5. Plant Slant – Eat a diet full of whole plant foods
  6. Wine @ 5 – Consume alcohol in moderation
  7. Belong – Spirituality/Faith-based institution
  8. Loved Ones First – Family relationships are a priority
  9. Right Tribe – Social connectedness

On my road to 100 acres, my goal is to learn more (and possibly visit some of the Blue Zones) to incorporate these principles into the development of the intergenerational community which is my life purpose. The plan:

1)       A nonprofit organization that honors the grandparents of its founder

2)       Shared homes for active seniors

3)       Tiny houses for traveling nurses and social workers

4)       Transitional living program for 18-24-year-olds

5)       A vocational training academy for 16–24-year-olds

6)       A resource center for unhoused college students and youth who have aged out of foster care

7)       A community garden (and farmland available as requested)

8)       A special event center

9)       A family enrichment center

10)     A General Store

If you’re also ready to move beyond limitations and get the support you need to take concrete actions to level up in your social work leadership career, schedule a time to chat about enrollment in On My Terms leadership development coaching. APPLY for On My Terms Coaching Here.

RELATED: What Does My TV Viewing Say About Me and My Coaching?



Nicki Sanders, MSW, supports high-performing women of color in social work leadership in developing careers that feed their hearts, minds, and wallets. As Founder and CEO of Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting, her mission is simple – to eliminate toxic workplaces by developing skilled, empathetic, and goal-oriented leaders who have the vision, support, and resources to create a culture where business prospers, and employees thrive individually and collectively. Nicki has an extensive background in nonprofit management leading high-functioning, multi-disciplinary teams, volunteer recruitment and retention, and social impact programming. She is an accomplished professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has combined her gift for authentic relationships, Master of Social Work degree, and over 20 years of diverse work experience to create a life and career aligned with her values and purpose. Nicki is a lover of cupcakes, travel, and 80’s hip hop and R&B music.

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