After years of hard work, we look forward to that land of abundance known as retirement.
Unfortunately, once we get there, that feeling of euphoria slowly begins to wear off. This leaves retirees with a sense of loss or lack of fulfillment.
Human beings were made to have a purpose. For many people, this sense of purpose derives from their jobs or work. So the question they’re often left with, come retirement, is “how can I feel a sense of purpose now?”.
Here are just some of the ways you can make your retirement more purposeful, and your life more fulfilling:
5 Beautiful Ways to Make Your Retirement Purposeful
1. Make your retirement purposeful by seeing the world
With no more constraints and no having to take time off work, retirees are in the perfect position to pack their bags and explore the world!
Traveling to new places, new countries, and exploring new cultures makes you realize that the world is far bigger than what you know. From meeting new people to seeing how other communities live and work, you realize that there is no single right way to live life. It’s a wonderful opportunity to look at life with a fresh pair of eyes and to obtain a wider world view.
What’s more, retirees can make use of their senior benefits and get better deals on travel and accommodation packages!
2. Make your retirement purposeful by volunteering.
Going through self-isolation over the course of the pandemic had many reflecting on what they wanted to do post-lockdown. Over half of retirees (54.8%) say 2020 has made them consider what they want out of life a bit more, and just under half (47.5%) have been considering their life’s purpose more.
Feelings of isolation and loneliness are common among retirees. Social connectedness is one of the most important sources of fulfillment and is vital to maintaining one’s overall wellbeing and happiness.
One of the best ways retirees can connect with other people is through volunteer work. Not only is there the possibility of establishing new friendships, but the simple act of giving back to the community is enough to make anyone feel more purposeful in their life.
3. Make your retirement purposeful by learning something new.
Children often look at their older adult mentors and assume they know everything there is to know about the world! But learning never ceases once a person reaches a certain age!
You would be surprised at the things still left to discover. Become curious and pick up a new hobby, learn how to play an instrument, study a foreign language, or research a period of time in history. Challenging yourself to pick up a new skill helps to maintain healthy brain function and gives you something to look forward to each day.
4. Make your retirement purposeful by setting goals.
“The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.” – Benjamin E Mays.
Even after retirement, you should still continue setting goals. They might look a bit different now than in your working years, but having goals to reach for helps give your life direction.
This could be as simple as having the goal to make a healthy well-rounded breakfast each morning, or to exercise every day, or to write that book you always dreamt of writing but couldn’t while you were working and taking care of a family. Once you’ve reached your goal, take time to celebrate it before setting your next one!
5. Make your retirement purposeful by making plans.
Complacency generally leads to boredom. In retirement, it’s easy to become complacent and to get used to the comfortable confines of home. But without a break in routine, there’s no room for growth and expansion.
So continue making plans!
Call your closest friend and organize a coffee catch-up. Get the family together for a night of trivia. Arrange a weekend getaway with your spouse. Continually making plans for the future gives you something to anticipate, and is a great way to reduce stress and be happier.
Creating a sense of purpose in retirement is one way to experience life in all its glorious pleasures. Just because you’re no longer working doesn’t mean you’re unable to enjoy a sense of fulfillment. On the contrary! Retirement is the best time to chase your life’s purpose or to discover it if you haven’t found it yet!
You can use this downtime to really think about what makes your heart sing and what it is that you want to achieve. Use this time to learn new skills, entertain new hobbies, and set more goals for the future. You will find that basking in life’s simple joys is a shortcut to feeling more purposeful in your life, your community, and within your identity.