You’re told that retirement is supposed to the golden years, when you can relax and live life on your own terms. Yet so often, when we finally find ourselves with the luxury of time, it can be overwhelming to enjoy it to its fullest. For senior adults who are in or approaching retirement, consider these helpful tips to ensure you use this new chapter to make special memories near and far with friends old and new.
- Create goals and expectations.
Before you begin retirement (or even if you’re already in retirement), write out a plan. It doesn’t have to be anything formal or complicated – it can even be a few sentences on a napkin! By communicating with yourself and anyone joining you in retirement what you hope this season of life to be like, you’re setting expectations to hold you accountable. Do you want to travel? Visit family? Move? Stay active? Create a bucket list for what you hope to experience that you can revisit and work toward checking off.
- Revisit your “retirement plan” often.
A plan is only good is it’s visited often and up to date. Your goals for retirement are likely to change over the years. What you wanted to do in the beginning may change due to health, finances, relationships, or simply your own desires. Make it a goal to look back at your retirement plan every couple of months, and especially if you find yourself less than satisfied with your current routine.
- Don’t go it alone.
Most things in life are more fun when spent with people you enjoy. Family and friends should be part of your retirement plan. Who do you want to visit? You can spend extended time with them now that you’re retired. Even better, think about the new friends you will make as you act upon your retirement goals like traveling, volunteering, or getting out in your community.
- Step outside your comfort zone.
Retirement can and should provide much-deserved rest and relaxation, but don’t confuse that for complacency. Challenge yourself to use this next season of life to step outside your comfort zone and try something you might not normally do. How about learning to cook a new cuisine, learning a new musical talent, reading a classical novel or a how-to book? Once you start thinking about it you will be surprised by how many things you have yet to experience in life, and ones that will stretch you beyond anything you’ve done before.
- Seek support if you find yourself in a “rut.”
If the days of the week begin to run together and you feel like your routine has become stale, switch things up! And one of the most powerful ways to evoke change in your schedule is to invite others to be a part of it. Seek support when you feel like you’re in a rut. Invite a friend to walk with you during the week at local parks, try a new hobby together, or share a meal. These small changes will add variety to your week and be a ray of sunshine you can look forward to.
For some, this is lots of activity and adventure and for others is a peaceful and simple routine. So long as you’re fulfilled, there is no wrong way to spend your retirement. We hope these tips offered you inspiration to live retirement to the fullest.