Are you about to become “Time Affluent”? In other words, are you considering or beginning your retirement?
Many see retirement as a potential for better health, more freedom, more fun and emotional well-being. Others see a chance to make a mark on the world in a way they have only imagined. With the freedom retirement may bring, comes choice. With choice comes decision. Facing decisions, many of us can become uncertain or overwhelmed. As my husband’s friend quips, “People like change but people don’t want to be changed”.
Consider my friend who has mixed feelings about leaving her current employment. On one hand, she could leave behind all the stress and relax with her sound finances. On the other hand, she fears feeling isolated from the action. Staying, for her, is safety from an uncertain future. How would she fill her time?
Another friend envisions a long distance move to be with family, yet all of what it would take to get there looms large. Leaving people behind and starting over can be overwhelming. She wonders, “How do all the moving parts become orchestrated, and what will I do when I get there?”
A third friend, recently retired, finally has the satisfaction of organizing her home and eliminating every dust bunny in sight, while at the same time pressuring herself to be engaged in more meaningful service. What will be her new purpose in life?
Considering retirement or experiencing its newness, are apt times to contemplate what matters most. Try this simple lens to view retirement and perhaps make decisions more easily.
First: Identify your highest values in life. Use an online list such as this one to choose your top 3 or 5.
Think about how these values align with what you imagine about the future, or the steps you are considering.
Next: Be contemplative and write responses to these prompts (courtesy of IPEC coaching).
- List 3 things that, at the core, you really want out of life personally or emotionally.
- List at least 3 things you’d like to see happen globally, locally or in any aspect of your life.
- List 3 things that you believe make you unique. In other words, what are your gifts?
- List at least 3 improvements or positive actions you can undertake during the next two weeks.
While these responses generally open rich conversations with my clients, they may point an initial direction for you now, especially when stringing the answers together into a statement that is true about yourself. What can you do in the next two weeks, using your unique gifts, to affect an aspect of life important to you, and in so doing contribute to the larger picture?
When we choose to act in alignment with our values, and channel our energies in line with our deeper desires for good, we are prospering at a core level. That’s using our time affluently!
To some, having time as one’s own/the opportunity to choose how to spend one’s time can sound like a long awaited and well deserved relief or an opportunity to spend time as imagined. Yet to others it may bring pressure to be useful, we all face the decisions necessary for change. And, while we can usually identify positive changes easily, we really don’t want to do the changing!