Many of us have been planning for our retirement since we started working. Like me, you probably have an idea at what age you’ll retire, maybe you’ve even decided where you’d like to retire, but are you ready to make the transition into retirement gracefully?
If you’ve already finished Part 1 of this series, you can start right here. If not, I recommend going back and starting with the first set of questions as the context will help you answer the questions below more fully.
As a retirement coach, I strongly believe that passion and purpose are two key elements to a successful retirement. The questions below are designed to help you identify your passions, or in more simple terms what “gets you up in the morning”.
If you said golf, traveling, or catching up with family and friends, you aren’t alone. I know it’s easy to think you won’t get bored of days filled with your favorite hobbies and people. But most of us will have 8-10 hours we would have spent working and commuting each day to fill. The reality is that you may find a daily golf game to be repetitive – perhaps, even boring – and lacking purpose in a very short time. It also may be difficult to make regular connections during the workday as family and friends will have their own priorities they are chasing and may not have the same amount of free time that you now have.
I find that doing a contemplative exercise helps me and I’d love to share one with you that will help you get to your purpose and passions. Let’s begin!
Set aside some dedicated time (I recommend 15 minutes) to put pen to paper and name the purpose and passions that fire you up and those which put a smile on your face.
I encourage you to take your time to move through each of the items below mindfully. If you’re feeling like you don’t know or are overwhelmed, simply bookmark this post with a plan to come back to it in a few hours.
- Make a list of topics, causes, people, and activities that make you feel alive.
Set a timer for 3-5 minutes and jot down any words, phrases, or thoughts that come to mind. Please don’t edit yourself. Sometimes it may be hard to silence our inner critic but now is definitely the time!
- Now I want you to go back through your list and circle your top 4-6 answers.
Again, don’t spend too long on this step. If you circled more than six answers, I encourage you to edit yourself. You can always come back to your list at a later time.
- Pick the top 2 answers and outline at least 3-5 main actions items for each.
Perhaps one of your top answers was to do more volunteer work to support a cause near and dear to your heart. An action step would be to do some initial research on what types of organizations in your area are looking for volunteers. Are you willing to drive or do you want to be closer to home? Is there a virtual volunteer option? A second action step could be to research what the organization requires to qualify volunteers. Is it a lengthy training or a “one and done” commitment? The last step may be to research if the training and volunteering commitment will work with your schedule.
After you’ve finished with the activity above, I recommend setting aside time to move intention into action. Grab your calendar and schedule the action steps you identified. If you know you tend to procrastinate, find an accountability buddy. Share the exercise and action steps with your buddy and ask them to help keep you on track.
And remember, any journey is made up of a thousand little steps. You’ve taken a big step forward today towards creating a retirement filled with passion and purpose.
If you’d like help moving through any of the above steps or need an accountability buddy, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.