As a Baby Boomer, you are probably thinking about your retirement. Whether you plan to take early retirement (or you have already done so), or you are planning for retirement from your current career at age 65 or 70, you are probably actively planning for your financial future. You should also be cultivating the 10 habits of highly effective Baby Boomers to make the rest of your life the best of your life. Mastering these ten habits will help you prepare for retirement and enjoy it more when you decide to take that step.
1. Take 100% responsibility for your life. We all need to recognize that we, alone, are responsible for our past, our present, and our future. We need to take responsibility for the past and make peace with it; live responsibly in the present; and recognize that no one will plan our retirement for us. It is up to us to plan and prepare for the kind of life we want to have after we “retire. "
2. Take your dreams off the back burner - put them on the front burner. Most of us have found it necessary to put a dream or two on the back burner because other things were more important or even urgent at the time. Preparation for retirement offers the prime opportunity to move those dreams to the front burner and start planning and working to make them your retirement reality.
3. Nurture your relationships - remain connected. The day after retirement, many people think their workplace relationships are over; but this doesn't need to be the case. If you have workplace relationships you value, you should continue to nurture and enjoy them. Ending a career doesn't mean you have to become a hermit. Remaining connected to the people who are important in your life will bring great joy into your life after the big day.
4. Develop happiness habits. Make a conscious inventory of the things that bring you happiness in life and make plans to continue to do those things. Think about other things that would bring happiness to your life after retirement and start developing habits that will sustain those connections and activities. Make being happy an intentional part of your retirement lifestyle.
5. Simplify and de-clutter. Retirement is the perfect time to shift gears into a simpler, less cluttered and less stressful lifestyle. Simplifying our lives both internally and externally is the perfect activity for the immediate post-retirement days. While you're at it, get rid of the clutter inside and around you. I think you will find the simpler and de-cluttered lifestyle very pleasing.
6. Enjoy the present moment NOW. It is easy to become overwhelmed by responsibilities, goals and things we simply need to do. After all, most of us have spent our lives preparing, planning and working for the next thing or the next step, whether a raise, a promotion, paying for college, etc. It is easy to become so focused on planning and preparing for the future that we forget to enjoy today. Retirement gives us the chance to stop and enjoy the present moment in the NOW instead of partially enjoying it when we look back at old photos. Retirement offers enjoyment and fulfillment in the present moment if we will just grasp it.
7. Discover and cultivate your strengths. Retirement brings freedom from supervisors and bosses telling you what they think your weaknesses are and how you should work on fixing them. I have a better idea: cultivate and play to your strengths. If a weakness gets in the way, then just figure out how to work around it!
8. Leave a legacy - Make a difference. One thing that seems consistent among Baby Boomers is the desire to leave behind a legacy of making a difference in the world. There are thousands of ways to do this. Just figure out how you can focus your interests and strengths on making some kind of difference somewhere for others.
9. Let go of the past. Most unhappy retirees are living in the past in their minds. They are reliving moments of joy or glory. They are rethinking and getting mired in guilt or regret over mistakes or missed opportunities. Recognize that the past is the past, including your last job, and live in the present, making things to look back on later in your life.
10. Renew your self physically, mentally and spiritually. The happiest retirees I encounter are those who are physically fit, mentally challenged and spiritually at peace.
All of the preceding nine habits will help you on your way to renewal.
If you are a Baby Boomer anticipating retirement and planning for your exciting life after retirement, I encourage you to practice these ten habits to enjoy a lifestyle that is fulfilling, passionate, and joyous.
Dr. Cynthia Barnett is a Retirement Lifestyle Expert. Through her coaching, keynotes, workshops and seminars, she inspires people to “re-fire" their lives to live happier, satisfying and more meaningful lives. Learn more about her latest book, Prime Time Makeover, by visiting http://www.primetimemakeover.com