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Redefine Yourself for Retirement
Written By : Cynthia Barnett 
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If you're like most folks, you have your doubts about retiring. On one hand you may be elated. On the other hand, you may be a bit frustrated because you have no idea what the future entails. We'll, we're here to tell you that shifting gears from a working professional to a successful retiree can be easy. In fact, we consider it like simply shifting gears to a different lifestyle and being open to redefining yourselves. It is not about giving up. It is about undergoing a career transformation, maintaining your professional and personal identity and taking control of your life. It is about being productive, not losing touch with that inner you that makes you special.

In this article, we'll discuss ten proven ways that you can use to redefine yourself and transition into the initial phase of retirement. These ten tips will help you adapt positively to your post-retirement years and are as follows:

1. Partial disengagement - In order to transition smoothly, you must partially disengage yourself from your full time working life. This isn't to say that you must go cold turkey. Instead, you have to develop a different mindset that retirement, although a time for change, is a period of new growth and a time for self fulfillment. At this point, many go from full time to part time and some go from full time to no work at all. Trust your instincts and go with what you feel works for you.

2. Changing our image - You must change your internal image about what your career means. After all, don't focus on 'What am I to do now that I'm retired?" instead think "What will I become once I'm refocused and retired?" Therefore, you have to change your perception and realize that you can succeed as a retiree if you believe that you can.

3. Appreciating ourselves - Remember that you're a unique individual and you need to celebrate this fact, every single day! Your personal worth is far beyond the work you did in the past. You have so much to give and contribute to the world and retirement is the perfect time to let your "inner light shine" and let this light shine as far as you can see.

4. Staying connected - You should be committed to interacting with people with whom you have a common interest. Finding such people can be done by improving your social life to include more people, places and things. Make it a point to get to know people with similar interests as yours. Join clubs and groups, participate in activities, and have a great time.

5. Remain active - Do not think of retirement as only a period of rest and relaxation. Times have changed, and so has the concept of retirement. Being inactive is "OK" if this is all that you want to do. This is about you. Some people take a period of a few months to a year to just cool out and relax before moving on into a more active life. Whether you decide to be "active" or "inactive" and how long, it is totally up to you. You know yourself better than anyone else and you must do whatever makes you happy.

6. Consider your options- Consider your many available options. Whether you 'ease' into retirement, take a course at a college, or work some part time job or pursue a volunteer position, do what you want to do and let no one tell you what you need to do while in retirement. This is your personal time and you are in control of your life.

7. Increase our knowledge - There is no end to educating yourselves. As long as you've got breath in your body, you should increase your knowledge base. After all, learning is a lifelong process and there are many things that you can do to increase your knowledge and in the process share your knowledge with others. For instance, you can learn computers. You can learn how they operate, how to fix them, and many other things. The possibilities are endless.

8. Explore Your Dreams - Retirement is a perfect time to fulfill your dreams, especially now that you have some time to devote primarily to your needs. Take some time and really think about what you want to accomplish in life and then make those dreams a reality!

9. Join a Cause - Retirement does not mean that you are worthless. To derive a feeling of self worth and fulfillment, commit yourself to a worthy cause that you truly believe in. For instance, you might chose to help people become aware of the devastation of HIV or breast cancer.

10. Maintaining youthful attitude - Retirement from a job does not mean that you give up everything and retire to 'watering plants'. Just because you are s0 does not mean you have to act your age! It is the attitude that counts.

Redefining yourself after retirement is not as difficult as you might imagine. By maintaining a youthful attitude, joining a cause, exploring your dreams, increasing your knowledge, considering your options, remaining active, staying connected, appreciating ourselves, changing your image and partially disengaging from work force, you can redefine yourself.

Dr. Cynthia Barnett is a ”refired” educator who had reinvented her life moving from the school house to an entrepreneurial venue.. She is the author of “Stop Singing the Blues: 10 Powerful Strategies for Hitting the high Notes in Your Life, and RE-FIRE, Don’t Retire: 7 Secrets of Highly Successful Retirees She was featured by Time magazine for their article on women in mid-life who have reinvented themselves.

If you are ready to “RE-FIRE” your life sign up for my free 7 day audio mini course on the 7 biggest mistakes retires make and how to avoid them for an extraordinary life at

Find out more about: cancer, retirement
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