Transforming Your Retirement: 6 Things You Bring to Retirement

Transforming your retirement is a journey of awareness and action. As you look forward to, enter or are in the midst of retirement, it is helpful to look at what you bring to this stage of life.  Identify, examine and decide what to do with things that either can sabotage your dreams or enhance them.  Each of the topics below is covered in more detail in one or more of the posts in the category “What you bring with you to retirement.” Click on that above (right below the title) and they will all be on one page.  To see the infographic most clearly, click on the title or the image.

Transforming Your Retirement: What if Your Positive Expectations Created a Positive Retirement?

The images, beliefs and expectations you have of this “3rd Act” of life will greatly influence the outcomes. What you expect the coming years to be is a powerful factor in determining how it will go. Expectations are both conscious and subconscious. Our conscious expectations can be sabotaged by what is firmly planted in our subconscious as we are transforming our retirement.

By identifying attitudes and beliefs that may contradict and undermine our positive expectations, we can address them. Negative expectations can come from memories, past experiences, messages in advertising, characterizations from television or movies, etc. It is very valuable to unearth some of these, and writing will help in that process.

Take 3-5 minutes to write down responses to the following questions: + What did you think when others retired? + What memories do you have of your parents’ or other relatives’ retirements and the impact on their lives? + What do people say in whispers at retirement parties? + What advice or warnings have people given you about retirement?  + What are the messages on retirement cards? + What older characters from television or movies do you recall? What image of retirement and aging do they provide?

Look at what you have written. Are they mostly positive or negative? The positive messages and images are ones to hang onto, repeat, and develop into specific intentions and plans.

Negative messages and images are pervasive beyond our conscious awareness. What you have written in just a few minutes is an indication of that. The negatives at the conscious level can be changed with your action. As you identify the negatives at the subconscious level on an ongoing basis, you can address them also.

Become hyper-aware of the negatives and resist them, whether they are within you or from external influences. Be aware of the attitudes of the people you spend time with. Be aware of what you expose yourself to in reading, listening and viewing information.

Decide how you are going to deal with the negative people in your life. Often this means figuring out ways to limit your time in close proximity of them. A direct approach is sometimes best: tell them you have decided to be positive and look for the best in everything and invite them to join you in this. Maybe they would like to live more positively and just need the opportunity..

Decide how much negative news, commentary and entertainment you want flowing into your mind and change some listening and viewing habits.

Consistently take these steps, and your attitude and expectations will help you in transforming your retirement into a joyous and fulfilling time of life.

Transforming Your Retirement: The Power of Expectations

As any of us approach a major change in life, there are many questions rumbling around in our minds. Approaching retirement  certainly can raise a bevy of negative questions, concerns, and worries – the tragic “what ifs” and “how will I be able tos” and more. Most of us tend to be very adept at seeing the worst possibilities and worrying about them. I know people in their seventies who are not retiring because they can’t imagine what they would do with their time.  Others are concerned about finances or health.

“Questions provide the key to unlocking our unlimited potential. Quality questions create a quality life. Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.”
–Tony Robbins

I love the above quote from Tony Robbins!  Questions can truly open up possibilities in a variety of ways.  Let’s do a quick experiment.  By asking two questions of yourself, you may unearth some thoughts or beliefs you were not aware of.  These thoughts or beliefs may be leading you in a positive or a negative direction as you look forward into a new part of your life.

Take 2 pieces of paper (it has much more impact if you can look at it in black and white) and answer these questions without lots of deep thinking:
(Note: If you think too much about your answers before you write them down, you probably will allow your inner editor to block some of the things that are there but you don’t want to acknowledge and to add some things you’d like to be true. So just let the responses flow out quickly and write them down.)

1) What words and images come to mind when you hear these words?
“retirement” “65 years old and older” “Social Security” “elders”
“seniors” “senior citizens” “Medicare”

2) What questions come to mind when you think of those same words?

Now really look at what you have written. If someone asked you, “Are you looking forward to retirement?” and you had to base your response on what has just poured out of your head, what would your answer be? Write that down also.

So what does this mean? These associations and questions reveal your expectations, some of which you were quite unaware because they are in your subconscious mind. They’ve been stored there from past experiences and observations, and they are likely to be the blueprint for your reality in the coming years. Nearly all of us have some negatives about retirement years boxed up inside ourselves, even if on the surface we seem positive.

If the majority of your answers to one or both of the questions were negative or full of fears, worries and concerns, you are on your way to a stressful time. If you have a mix of negative and positive words, images and questions, note the negative areas so that you can work with them later. If all of your responses are positive, upbeat and anticipatory, congratulations! You’re on your way to a great stage of life.

Identifying your beliefs, attitudes and expectations for your retirement years is a great first step. It gives you an idea of what is already stored inside of you from the past. The great news is that you can choose to change those beliefs, attitudes and expectations! We will talk more about that in the next post.