By: Sue Mintz
Have you ever thought about how many hours a year you have devoted to your career?
Based on a 40-hour work week, the average individual devotes 2080 hours each year to a career — at least!
When working, your time was defined by daily plans, goals, projects, deadlines, meetings, travel, training, conference calls, and more. You knew what was expected by others, for others.
Time! Upon retirement you have gifted yourself 2080 unplanned hours a year to fill up with things you want to do.
Transitioning into retirement can be both exciting and anxiety-inducing as you figure out how to spend this well-deserved gift of time. Below are some suggestions to help you enjoy your second chapter.
While researching my own transition into retirement, one message I kept hearing was the importance of planning for a structured retirement lifestyle. This doesn’t mean planning every hour of every day. It means planning with intention to stay healthy and vibrant.
Follow a consistent morning routine. This makes a positive difference in your mood and energy level for the day.
Take care of “stuff.” Personal business, household chores, errands, and whatever else.
Pursue your passion and purpose. What will light you up?
Enjoy a hobby. Do something that makes a difference in your life or someone else’s.
Give back. Volunteer to support a cause important to you.
Honor yourself. Practice relaxation techniques and self-care.
Include at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise twice a week. This is recommended by the CDC.
Plan something fun to look forward to. This can be whatever brings you joy.
Get good rest. Our bodies find a natural rhythm when following the same sleeping pattern. This will keep you healthier and feeling more energetic during waking hours!
Spend time with others. Loneliness can be detrimental to one’s health. One silver lining during Covid was learning how to socialize in different ways.
Bring what you enjoyed in your career into retirement. Mentor others, share your expertise as a consultant, or even serve as a leader in your community or on a board.
Reinvent yourself. Is there something that you have always wanted to do? Go for it!
Stay curious. Continuing to learn and challenging your mind may stave off different forms of dementia.
Schedule “blank” chunks of time. Allow yourself the free time for spontaneity, or simply nothing at all.
Anticipating your work structure will collapse, you can now structure how to best utilize your gift of time. By designing with intention and purpose, you will be on your way to a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle in retirement.