“That !?” you exclaim? Goals? I’m sick of goals. Throughout my entire working career, I needed to focus on goal setting, so much so that I decided that my The only goal in retirement would be to have no goals!
You may need to rethink your strategy. McLain and Lovejoy, in their article, The importance of setting goals for retireesHe says, “The first step in setting goals as a retiree is to think about what matters most in your life, so that you can live with purpose” (March 2015). In fact, setting retirement goals can help retirees avoid some of the negative effects of aging and help maintain their quality of life longer.
So if you’re willing to review your adversity toward retirement goal setting, let’s start with one of life’s most important and meaningful realities: family.
Until now, your work life consisted of a challenging juggling act, trying to balance the demands of your family with those of your career or job. You now have the opportunity to renegotiate your time allocation according to your own values. How about we make spending time with family members, both immediate and remote, a high priority, either through personal time alone or through social media?
Yes, the family dog must be walked. Grandchildren can be taken on those special excursions that create lasting memories. Now you have time to plan that special and one-of-a-kind birthday event for your significant other or kids, instead of just mailing that predictable birthday card! And don’t forget your parents, those special people who were largely responsible for the success of your life. They will most likely welcome a weekly breakfast date.
And your personal mental development? In his article, Mental retirement, Rohwedder and Willis state that: “For many people, retirement leads to a less stimulating daily environment … the prospect of retirement reduces the incentive to engage in mentally stimulating activities.” The authors go on to note that retirees can avoid decreased reasoning ability and speed of mental processing by engaging in cognitively demanding activities that exercise the mind (October 2010).
So if you follow the “use it or lose it” mantra, then yeah, join that local book club that makes a progressive lunch after every meeting. Introduce yourself to that bridging group that always seems to be having fun. Hone your Sudoku skills by challenging virtual friends you have met online. Take that gardening course that’s so popular at your local community college.
Better yet, volunteer to teach a workshop on The History of Rock ‘n Roll-a subject that has consumed you since you were a teenager. These activities not only sharpen and enrich your mind, but also provide surprisingly satisfying social connections.
If you have always believed that who benefits most in any altruistic endeavor, the recipient or the donor, is a game of chance, you will find ample opportunity to give back to your community by volunteering your time, talents or material resources for worthy causes. while stimulating your mind.
Offer to tutor children within your local school district. Keep in mind that any number of Boomers would appreciate your help with tax preparation or creating a family slide show in PowerPoint. If you live in town, your local museum, theater, or hospital will eagerly accept your volunteerism, time, and talents. And in return, imagine what you would learn in the process in any of these places. Hence the paradox: “The more you give, the more you receive.”
Your travel options are endless. Go on your own and explore every corner of your chosen destination at your leisure. Pick an organized tour and leave all the details and decision making to your favorite travel organization. Whichever option you choose, you will need to weigh its pros and cons. But you will undoubtedly find your choice of travel stimulating, enriching, and even life-changing in many cases. Traveling takes you out of your comfort zone, challenges your traditional ideas, allows you to experience new cultures, and unknowingly or unknowingly opens new windows of self-discovery.
The first time I stood at the foot of a waterfall in a small Swiss village, the lump in my throat revealed so many mixed emotions … that I could never fully share this moment with the people of my country. That there are, in fact, so many amazing destinations beyond the US that I will change forever for the better with my first trip to Europe and all subsequent trips.
Goals of “work”
“Without work, or without goals that supersede the purpose that work gives you, you have little to stay motivated” (McLain & Lovejoy, 2015). With that said, consider that you are now in the enviable position of being able to completely review and renegotiate your “terms of employment.”
Take a step back and “aim, aim, aim” before firing. Consciously and thoughtfully determine your goal. Will you continue to do the same type of work that you did before retirement? Full time or part time? Or are you going to pursue an entirely different “job” path, one that satisfies a latent talent or compelling interest? You may be thinking of venturing into the world of entrepreneurship, rather than having a boss, be the boss. It’s your choice.
How much of your creative side did you reserve for the practical demands of reliably earning a living, maintaining and raising a family, settling down, and moving up the ladder? But that was then and this is now. Have you ever loved writing? Act? Make pottery? Create watercolors of spring flowers? Has your saxophone been relegated to a closet since you graduated from college? Is the voice that once won you the best solos in your high school choir rusted from disuse? Did you put aside your love for woodworking long ago? Or knit? Gold padding? Or restore classic car engines?
You’ve probably never had time for any of these, yet. Therefore, you don’t even know if you would be so talented in what you have always wished you had the opportunity to create. No problem. This just means that the time is now for you to start. Creating is its own form of pleasure. Expressing yourself through words, oils, fabrics, clay, or wood gives your inner spirit a voice like nothing else has or will.
If you’ve already learned the skills for your creative venue choice, reconnect with what you know, then learn more, and then move on with passion. If you have always dreamed of creating, but never learned to do it, take the path of study, then develop your art or craft and then enjoy what you can make a reality with your own mind and hands.
You have the considerable luxury of setting your own goals
Yes, now that you are retired, you have the luxury of setting goals that are meaningful to you. you, conducted by your definition of “a life well lived”. Experts agree that we all do better when we have a purpose in life and that lack of goals can put our lives at risk after retirement.
Whether your retirement goals revolve around family, personal self-development, giving to others, travel, “work,” creating, or some combination of these, they promise to keep you in good stead as you enter. at the end of his life and, hopefully, better deed.