It’s tempting to look at retirement as a time of new beginnings as well as a welcome time to relax. Your time becomes your own and now you can pursue all those interests that went on hold long ago. Visualize your dream retirement and imagine yourself involved in meaningful and enjoyable activities. You’ll retire, sit back and just wait for that wonderful life to begin. Sounds sweet, right? Hold on. Follow this plan and you’ll guarantee your retirement will be boring.
Assuming your plan is to fill your retirement with purposeful and meaningful activities, you’ll need to do more than wait for them to happen. Put yourself out there and try out some new things. This is the time to explore all your interests and not limit yourself to the same activities that you did before you retired.
Your plans for retirement will likely include taking on a new job, either paid or unpaid as a volunteer, as well as joining a new group or pursuing an interest or cause. No doubt your intentions are good ones. But your plan to make it all come together may seriously need a tune-up.
Here’s the thing. If you want to be part of something, you need to seek it out and join in. Chances are, you might not even know exactly what it is that you want to pursue either for leisure or vocation in retirement. So sign up for a variety of things and try them out. Plan to pursue lots of interests before making long term commitments.
In the event that you’ve always been more reluctant to try new activities or seek out new connections, you’ll need to push yourself. There’s a good chance you’ll be uncomfortable at first initiating conversations or joining in. After all, it feels risky to put yourself in a situation when you don’t know anyone else. There’s always that fear of rejection that runs through your head. Even when you know better, sometimes your gut reaction is to just stay away from new situations.
The more you create reasons to avoid making connections, the harder it is to get yourself motivated to start. If you think time is flying by now, that doesn’t change when you retire. Delay too long and all of sudden you’ll be 3 years into retirement and wondering why it feels so stale. Don’t be that person who keeps talking about what they “should” do. Get out there and do it! It’s a guarantee your retirement will be boring if you don’t make it a priority to get involved.
You’ve waited a long time to retire. You didn’t work as hard as you did to have an uninspired retirement lifestyle. Get out there, make connections, find the perfect activities and make your retirement rock!