Do you find yourself looking out the window dreaming about less stress, more time to pursue hobbies, relax and live the life you really want? You have been waiting for retirement for years and now it is just around the corner. But as it gets closer you start wondering what you will do. It should be so easy, but you’ve been so caught up with work, and family you have lost your way in being clear on your interests – you feel stuck.
There are many ways to discern possibilities for the future. Here are some ways to begin the exploration:
Finding Your “Thing”
It is time to get back in touch with who you are. This may be something you have not thought about for quite some time. A fully authentic career, or life with activities that you really enjoy and are good at, comes from the inside out.
Taking time to discover what’s important to you allows you the opportunity to consciously create change in your life. And as you come to understand and honor who you are, you’ll be better equipped not only identify work or a life that fits well, you’ll be able to make the most of your strengths in finding or creating the life you want.
A Beginner’s Mind
Having a beginner’s mind means being open and willing to see things with fresh eyes, to learn new skills and new ways of doing things…one step at a time. Allow yourself to not know, to not pre-judge, to not have to have every step figure out ahead of time. Also, go back to the early part of your life and rediscover what brought you happiness. Long ago I loved photography, life got busy and along the way I slowly stopped taking pictures…. except for some on my phone. So, I recently bought a new camera and starting taking pictures of nature.
Take Yourself on a Field Trip
The point of this exercise is to experience life more directly again and to relearn what it’s like to hear your inner voice. Set aside a few hours for yourself. Unplug the computer, the television, turn off your phone and get out. Take a long walk, or go to a local bookstore and simply notice what sections you gravitate towards.
Asking yourself some questions can help jog your memory about things that used to interest you. And some of your current activities may reveal career possibilities you hadn’t thought of. Here are a few to get you started:
- What do you love to do in your spare time?
- What reading material are you drawn to (articles in magazines or blogs, websites, books)?
- If you won the lottery, what would you do with your time?
- What are some of the things that you always seem to have the energy for?
- Is there a cause about which you feel passionate or that touches your heart? If yes, what is it that attracts you?
Everyone does retirement in their own way. Talk to several people about their retirement. Ask about their choices, activities, curiosities, challenges, and satisfaction. This may be a way to explore something on your Curiosity List. See if their story might inform your own. See who else you might want to talk with. How will you take action on what you learned?
What if you could collaborate with a group of like-minded pre-retirees visioning and planning for the next chapter of your life? Contact Sandy at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about the What's Next Coaching group starting later this month.
ENJOY THE JOURNEY!