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Find Purpose & Meaning in Retirement
Written By : Cynthia Barnett 
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As you may know, people react differently to retirement. For some folks, it is the best time of their lives, a time for adventure, fun and excitement. A time when they can kick up their heels, relax, and enjoy the free time on their hands. For others, retirement is a period of boredom and insecurity. This is because they aren't used to the flexible schedule and miss meeting and socializing with others in work related activities. They also miss the predictability of their days and nights. That said, everyone can find joy and happiness in retirement and beat the retirement blues. In fact, you can have a retirement filled with meaning by simply following these 5 tips:

1. Refocus your life - Do not consider yourself retired in the traditional sense. Yes, you no longer work for your past employer but you are certainly not at the end of your rope. You are refocusing your life, pursuing other options you're at a more positive turning point. This is a time for celebrating a new beginning!

2. Increase your Social Circle - Stay connected to those events and people that you previously enjoyed during your working career. Don't be afraid to have a social life. Join clubs and associations that interest you and get to know new people with similar interests.

3. Plan Events - Get to know people of diverse interests. Become an extrovert. Plan a dinner party or other event and invite people. Don't be afraid to reach out to new people to strengthen other positive relationships. Not only will you increase acquaintances but you'll gain a feeling of connectedness to familiar and unfamiliar group members.

4. Prioritize Health - Maintaining good health is paramount to your success as a retiree. Therefore, you must take a preventive approach to good health. Do not wait until something is wrong to seek help. Examine your health and health habits now. Continue with your regular annual health checkups. Hire a personal trainer. Look into techniques for improving your overall well being, such as swimming, walking, weight training, yoga and meditation.

5. Stay in Shape - Stay in shape with exercise and a healthy diet. Choose an exercise activity that you enjoy and one that you can stick to. For instance, you might try Pilates, Jazzercise or even Karate. If you prefer to work out solo, there are many appropriate books as well as videos that you can utilize in your health quest right from the comforts of your own home. Just don't be afraid to try. In addition, you can also join a gym or take exercise classes with others. The better you feel, the more you will enjoy your retirement.

6. Join a Cause - After retirement, you may decide to join a worthwhile cause. Not only will this improve your self esteem but you will also make the world a better place and enrich a lot of lives, including your own.

7. Increase your Knowledge - Learning is a lifelong and exciting process. In this age of technology, take time to brush up on your knowledge or take that class that you've always dreamt of taking such as a cooking, painting, sewing, or computers. Do whatever you can to become a more educated and knowledgeable person.

8. Update your Looks - Yes, you're retired and now is the time to let your fashion sense shine. Find a great hairstylist and get good hair stylist. Get a manicure, facial or pedicure. Change your wardrobe to reflect the new and improved you.

9. Explore your Dreams - Now that you have extra time on your hands, do what you've always wanted to do. Retirement is a perfect time to fulfill your dreams. Now is the time to accomplish all the things that you only dreamt about in the past. Do it now!

10. Maintain a Youthful Attitude - Be energetic and enjoy the time you now have on your hands. Retiring from a job does not mean you have to give up everything. Just because you may be older, you can still be youthful and vibrant. Age is an attitude. If you act although you're old- you are. If you act like you're young, you'll be young. Be proud of your veteran. Attitude is everything; let others be inspired by yours.

There are many things that you can do to find your purpose and meaning in retirement. By maintaining a positive attitude and zest for life, exploring your dreams, updating your looks, increasing your knowledge, joining a worthy cause, staying in shape, prioritizing your health, planning events, increasing your social circle and refocusing your life, you can do it!

Dr. Cynthia Barnett is a “re-fired” educator who has reinvented her life, moving from the schoolhouse to an entrepreneurial venue. Dr. Barnett 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 Powerful Strategies for an Extraordinary Life Now and in Retirement.(http://www.stopsingingtheblues.com/). She was featured in Time magazine for their article about women in mid-life who have reinvented themselves.

Find out more about: retirement
 
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