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Refilling Your Social Life in a Fulfilling Retirement

February 8, 2019 by  
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The great thing about regular work or a job is that it gives you a good reason to get out of bed each morning and get going, and it is very important when you retire is to set something up that replaces that for you. One way to do that, as I mentioned in last week’s post, is put yourself to work in a way that can better the world.

As you push yourself to get involved with a charity, or whatever it is that you choose, you will find that you can replace what your work gave you in terms of structure and routine with the activities of your new mission. This will give you something to get you out of bed but, just as important, that structure and routine will also give you a new social aspect to your life.

Most of us develop a significant social life that revolves around work, but then, when we retire, this is often lost. So, getting involved in a charity or other organization can replace what you are missing when you leave your job or no longer work. It will do all that while you do a little something to make the world a better place.

Most of us humans really don’t realize how very important our social contacts are until they disappear or are greatly diminished when we retire. It’s not that you won’t know those same people or continue to have great friendships with some of them, but when you’re no longer working together, you are suddenly not nearly as involved in each other’s lives and you don’t see each other nearly so often. Most people will greatly miss the regular social contact if they do not replace it with another purposeful and regular activity that also involves time connecting and interacting with other people.

Each of us will have our own plan but here is what I plan on doing to push myself to create a new routine, structure, and source of social connections in my life that will make me get out of bed every morning and look forward to the day: I would like to teach grade school, high school, and university students in classes on writing, marketing, public speaking, financial methods and strategies, and maybe even tennis, on a regular scheduled time and day. I know quite a bit about all those subjects, and I do love to teach others how to do these things and show them how they can have great success and a huge sense of fulfillment and satisfaction from learning these new skills.

So, my challenge to you is to start thinking about your own retirement and start making plans on what you will do to create routine, structure, and social connections. Make a list now, even if you are many years away from retirement. You can change up that list as things come to you but just being aware of the necessity will help you create a fulfilling plan. You won’t be sorry if you do that now!

Retirement Can Create a Better World

February 1, 2019 by  
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I want to write a bit more about last week’s theme of retirement – how it can be good, bad or sometimes very ugly. Even if you are many years away from retirement, you can make your retirement much better and have an easier transition if you are aware of some of the pitfalls that many people stumble into when they retire. I want to share a few secrets to making your retirement transition quite comfortable and pleasant.

Part of the reason I want to share these points is that, for me, retirement came close to driving me seriously crazy. It made me feel worthless and caused me to have big mood swings. Last week I wrote about some of the great and promising ideas from Patrice Jenkin’s book, What Will I Do All Day. She points out that many people go into retirement without realizing how critically important it is for them to still have routine and structure in their lives. Most people’s work lives automatically give them those two critical things. Plus, their work usually results in a lot of measurable production which lifts the human mind and spirit and gives us great personal satisfaction. The huge problem comes when a person retires and most, if not all, of those satisfying items quickly disappear. One other thing that also goes away or is often greatly diminished is one’s social life!

So, what is an excellent antidote to the retirement blues and the great letdown? In one word it’s WORK. But it has to be much more than just busy work. It has to be meaningful and productive.  Ideally, it’s doing something that you love and something that helps other people. It should be something that helps make the world a better place because, although you don’t really need to make a dime out of doing that work, it needs to be purposeful.

For me, the answer was going for the great feelings I get from donating my time and money to charity work. What is especially appealing to me is helping kids. Even doing a little thing like reading to them or telling simple, fun stories on a regular basis is fulfilling and purposeful. Even more fulfilling for me is teaching, because of my background and my passion.

I’ve done a little of this already, but I’ve just begun this particular new mission in life. The time I spend with the kids involves simple things but it is now part of my routine and structure and is a huge mood lifter for both me and the kids. A similar mission could do the same for you no matter what charity you choose. In a small but growing way, we can make the world a better place all while staying fulfilled and purposeful in our retirement.

Three More Buried Secrets

July 31, 2015 by  
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A secret is some bit of knowledge that is kept from someone or many someones. Last week I spotlighted those truly terrible secrets … the ones we hid from ourselves! When you are trying to accomplish something that is challenging or simply hard to stick to, you need every tool you can get your hands on. But so often, we have been given these tools and then hide them away. Why is that?

Well, if you read last week’s post, you now know (or have been reminded!) what some of the most important ‘secrets’ are to accomplishing both small and large goals. But wait … there’s more! Let’s take a look at some of the other great ‘secret’ tools you have available to you to make your dreams happen!

No. 5: Establish a routine and keep with it until your routine has truly become a hard and fast ‘habit’!

This is a big one. Form the right habits and you can change your life forever.  You know as well as I do that this is true whether the habit is a good one or a bad one.  Scientist have determined that it takes anywhere between 21 and 66 days to form a solid habit, depending on the person. You and I must stick with the routines that are leading us toward our goals long enough that they become rock solid routines.  If we do that, we’ll see that sticking to our plans and reaching our goals will become easier and easier.

No. 6:  Break down those big goals into what I like to call ‘bite-sized’ steps.  For most of us, and I know for me, if I don’t break it down into small goals or bite sized tasks, those big goals can break me down. Why? Because those big, long term goals can overwhelm the mind and shut a person down. It’s easier to do the small stuff and they eventually add up to something big!

No. 7: Set up a reward system for yourself. That is, when you hit your goal and maybe even along the way as you take those bite sized steps or reach intermediate points or milestones of success, take time to celebrate your victory. You can reward yourself with a special night out on the town or a huge getaway vacation to an exotic place. Whatever it is, make it super special and something that you will always remember.

That is a long list of ‘secrets’ you can use to help you reach your goals. But one last thought–If you don’t hit your goal or you miss a deadline, don’t be too hard on yourself.  Remember, some of the most successful people on the planet had many, many failures as they pursued their big goals.  It really is okay to fail–almost everybody does at some point or another. The thing is, failure can lead to even greater successes, so if you fail and fall down be sure to get right back up, reload and reset and keep going!