What Is the ROI of Your Time?

Clock for the encore stage of lifeWhen fully immersed in their full time work world, Baby Boomers’ personal and professional lives can be filled to overflowing with a myriad of activities every day. When you leave your work world, and all of the related activities, life can seem to move in slow motion. The empty spaces in your calendar may loom ominously. How will you spend your time?

Fill your calendar with new activities. You may now feel overjoyed to have the freedom of your encore years to do the many things you have longed to do and yet never made the time to do them.

Fill your calendar with action steps to achieve new and existing goals to make your retirement lifestyle fulfilling.

Leave open spaces in your calendar to allow yourself to be drawn to new inspiration for renewing and reinventing yourself in the encore stage of your life.

I suggest you closely observe how you actually spend your time during one full week to see where your intuition leads you and what activities draw your interest.

Witness your actions

  1. Print a one-week calendar that shows hourly increments for each day. Or, use a calendar journal with hourly increments.
  2. Record on your calendar how you spend your time during each hour of each day throughout the week.
  3. When the week has ended, take some time to reflect on what activities filled the hours of each day of your week. What activities were related, were repeated, were random? What activities inspired or energized you? What do you want to do more of, do less of?
  4. Ask yourself whether or not your actions support your values and the achievement of your retirement lifestyle goals. What changes in how you spend your time during the week would help you upgrade the quality of your life and give you a better return on your investment of time and energy?
  5. Print another one-week calendar that shows hourly increments for each day. Schedule time for those activities that you want to make sure you include each day and/or week to ensure that you live your encore stage of life to the fullest.

Know that your calendar can change again and again as you take action to continually upgrade the quality of your life. As you grow, you will experience new inspiration and interests on your journey through your retirement lifestyle.

What is the return you are currently receiving on the investment of your time?

Janice Williams, Retirement Coach, www.welcomingretirement.com

 

How to Get What You Want in Your Encore Years

Lifestyle in encore stage of lifeEnvisioning the lifestyle for the encore stage of life can feel very overwhelming to Baby Boomers as they leave their full time work world. It’s a stage of life that you have not lived before and the traditional retirement lifestyle may not fit what you want for yourself.

But, what do you want? How easy is it for you to clarify in your own mind what you want? How easy is it for you to articulate what you want so that you can clearly envision it and experience it in your encore stage of life?

Depending upon your early conditioning, it may be easy for you to envision what you want and to ask for it for your retirement lifestyle. What conditioning did you receive when you were growing up about getting what you want? Were you able to ask for what you wanted and frequently rewarded by receiving it? Or, were your wants often denied to the point that you no longer believed that your desires were worthwhile? You may have stopped allowing yourself to want anything. You may even have permitted others to tell you what to want.

No matter what your early conditioning was, your encore stage of life is a new chapter for you and you have the opportunity to make it be what you want. You do have a toolkit of inner resources which you can use to create your vision for the third phase of your life.

Visioning Toolkit

Values – reflecting back over your entire life, what have been your core values by which you have lived your life? These same values can guide you as you design your vision for the next stage of your life.

Inner strengths – what unique strengths have others recognized in you and sought you out because of these strengths? Numerous personal assessment surveys exist to help you understand your inner strengths. One such free assessment is the VIA Survey of Character Strengths at http://bit.ly/a6MN

Interests – what have you been interested in, both personally and professionally, that you want to carry forward into the encore stage of your life? How willing are you to try new experiences? What vision do you hold for what interests will manifest in this new chapter?

Mindset – what is your prevailing mindset as you design your retirement lifestyle? Is it positive and proactive, or is it negative and discouraged? You can discover your own mindset with the free assessment by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. at http://www.mindsetonline.com

Whatever vision you create for any or all aspects of your encore stage of life, know that it will be subject to change as time goes on. Trust the use of your inner resources to upgrade and alter your vision for every aspect of your life with clarity and confidence.

Janice Williams, Retirement Coach, www.welcomingretirement.com

10 Tips to Transition with Ease into Your Encore Years

Transition into encore stageNavigating the transition from the full time work world to the encore stage of life can disrupt Baby Boomer’s identity. The transition period between their previous professional focused identities to their retirement lifestyle identities can feel very unsettling. What will you consider your identity to be during this period of in-between knowing?

This phase of transition allows you the opportunity of deep self-exploration and transformation. You may experience it as a major struggle or a time of wonder.

What identity do you want to take on for your encore years? What aspects of your previous identity will you carry forward that will serve you in new ways? What aspects will no longer be useful and should be released?

10 tips to transition with ease into your encore years:

  1. Have the courage to recognize that you are experiencing a major life transition.
  2. Believe in yourself and whatever higher power supports you.
  3. Be gentle and patient with yourself as you explore new ways of doing and being.
  4. Allow yourself to not have all of the answers, or be in control.
  5. Observe your habits and routines to determine which ones serve you now.
  6. Notice what you are pretending to not know.
  7. Trust that you will always have everything that you need.
  8. Practice gratitude for what you do have.
  9. Seek good company that supports and inspires you.
  10. Show up in the present moment and give your very best.

As you enter your encore stage of life, you can create whatever identity that you desire. It will include both who you are being in the world and how you spend your time during your retirement lifestyle. What are your strengths and values to tap into now to build your new identity? What strengths and value do you have to offer others as you make new contributions to society? Now is the time to create your best life yet.

My story

Whenever I experience myself going through transitions – major or minor, I refer to these ten ways to restore my sense of ease. There will be moments when I feel stuck and have no idea what to do next. Other times I will feel like I am lost in space, drifting through the unknown. When I pause and remember to consider these ten tips, my confidence and clarity are restored. I know I will make it to my next new beginning with ease.

How will you transition with ease into your encore years?

Janice Williams, Retirement Coach, www.welcomingretirement.com

 

How to Lose 25 lbs in One Week

The transition that Baby Boomers make when they leave their full time work world and enter their encore stage of life can seem chaotic. During your work world you may have experienced a certain amount of order. Your new retirement lifestyle may not seem so orderly because it is a new experience for you.

One successful way to navigate your transition into retirement is to create space and order in your life by getting rid of all of the items in your environment that no longer serve you. By decluttering, you can lose 25 lbs or more in just one week.

The idea of sorting through all of your accumulated stuff may seem daunting at first. Start with a small project that you can complete in a short time and see significant results, such as cleaning a desk or a closet. Your encore years open a new era for you, and letting go of the past will create space for what new is to come.

Your underlying motivation for decluttering can serve as the fuel to accomplish creating new space and order in your environment. What benefits will you receive from decluttering in preparation for your retirement?

  • Eliminate items that no longer serve you, and can suck your energy.
  • Offer your items that you no longer use to others who can benefit from them.
  • You may receive money from reselling your reusable items.
  • Imagine what it would be like for someone else to deal with your belongings if you should be unable to do so in the future.
  • What does your clutter say about you, and what would it tell others?
  • Allow your values to guide your decisions of what to keep to support your new retirement lifestyle, and what to eliminate.
  • If you had a major life change, like the opportunity to relocate, how long would it take you to pack?
  • What can you learn about yourself as you sort through items you may not have touched for a long time?
  • What treasures might be unearthed from your clutter?

Navigating the transition into retirement can feel unsettling. The process of sorting through your belongings and eliminating those items that you no longer use can give you a sense of purpose and accomplishment at a time when you may feel lost.

Design a plan for your project to create order and space in your environment and move forward at a pace that is appropriate for you. And, remember to ask for help. Invite friends and family to join with you in your process. Or, challenge each other to complete your own decluttering projects. Lastly, there are many talented professional organizers who have a passion to help people dispose of their unwanted belongings. To find an organizer in your area, see http://www.napo.net

What 25 lbs can you lose this week?

Janice Williams, Retirement Coach, www.welcomingretirement.com

 

How Comfortable Are You with Ambiguity?

Ambiguity for Baby BoomerThe major life change for Baby Boomers when they leave their full time work world is an external event that happens. How will you experience your transition through your change into your encore stage of life? You will go through endings and new beginnings, bridged together with periods of unknowing which can feel very unsettling in your retirement lifestyle.

If you have been deeply immersed in your full time work world, you may have felt very comfortable and confident with your responsibilities and your relationships. When you move into your retirement, you may feel overwhelmed by your unknown future. It may seem so ambiguous to you.

Your encore stage of life is a time for exploring yourself in new ways. You may feel bewildered by all of the questions you ask yourself about how to spend your time and what your identity will be. Instead of trying to take control of your life as you may have been used to doing in your work world, I suggest that you give yourself time and space to allow new understanding and new opportunities to arise. You’ve never been in your encore stage of life before. It is a new time to ask yourself new questions and make new choices for yourself.

The poem below by Rainer Maria Rilke beautifully states how to understand this time of unknowing.

Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the question now. Perhaps then, some day far in the future, you will gradually without even noticing it, live your way into the answer. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Approach your encore stage of life with humility and patience, feeling gratitude for your capacity to expand your own self awareness. This exploration will strengthen your ability to live a retirement lifestyle of fulfillment and contribution, leaving a legacy of your choice.

What questions are you living right now?

Janice Williams, Retirement Coach, www.welcomingretirement.com

How to Upgrade Your Life in 2013

The New Year has begun! This is a time of year when many people commit to new goals and resolutions for the year ahead. As a Baby Boomer, what will you do to thrive in your encore stage of life this year? The choice is yours.

When you are on the threshold of retirement, you may feel overwhelmed about your unknown future. I recommend that you hold the intention that you will upgrade the quality of your life as you plan your retirement lifestyle. Use that intention as your guiding light to make your transition with ease.

One effective way to upgrade the quality of your life is to survey what is working and what is not working for you in your current lifestyle. What do you want to be doing this time next year, and what will it take to get you there?

You may feel perfectly content with your current retirement lifestyle. If so, allow yourself to be open to explore any unsought opportunities that may present themselves to you during the months ahead. By holding the intention to always focus on upgrading the quality of your life, you will make beneficial choices for yourself when such opportunities arise.

No matter where you are in your transition into your retirement lifestyle, you can upgrade the quality of your life by creating new habits. The dictionary defines the word HABIT as an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary.

Looking at your own life, what new habit or habits would you like to create that would upgrade the quality of your encore lifestyle? Areas such as your health and well being, relationships, finances, etc. Pick just one or two habits to create at a time so that you will avoid feeling overwhelmed. It takes about a month for a habit to become almost involuntary when it is practiced consistently and regularly, such as working out at the gym at a specific time on specific days each week.

When you successfully achieve your new habit, celebrate the ways in which you have upgraded the quality of your life. Your achievement can inspire you to make other new habits. You will have the confidence that you have the power to make changes in your retirement life.

What new habits will upgrade the quality of your life this year?

Janice Williams, Retirement Coach, www.welcomingretirement.com

 

Your Year End Checklist

Reflections for Baby BoomersNo matter where Baby Boomers are on the threshold of their retirement, it can be very beneficial to track their transition into their encore stage of life. Before creating visions and goals for your next year, I recommend taking time at the end of this year to reflect back on what you experienced during the current year.

10 Questions for Review and Reflection

Read through your calendar, journal, and any other documentation you may have used to record the events of this year. Give yourself uninterrupted time to do your review and reflections. Ask yourself these 10 questions:

  1. What overall pattern or trend did you discover for the year?
  2. What is one achievement that you are most proud of?
  3. What helped you to make that achievement happen?
  4. What stood in the way of achieving what you had planned?
  5. What do you want to work more on in the coming year?
  6. What will be different next year?
  7. What unexpected gifts or challenges did you experience this year?
  8. What do you wish you had known at the first of this year that you know now?
  9. If you could wave a magic wand, what would you make happen right now?
  10. What title would you give this year to fully describe it? – The year of ____________.

When you take the time to thoroughly review and reflect upon what you experienced in the current year, you honor your time, your energy, and your effort. It can be viewed as the stepping stone for what is to come next and can serve as a guide for you when you create your vision and goals for the upcoming year.

What did you learn from your review and reflection of this year?

Janice Williams Retirement Coach, www.welcomingretirement.com

 

 

Gun violence clues lie in early childhood nurturance and neglect

So long as we dwell on red herring surface issues such as gun control, the underlying issues can never be addressed.

Has anyone noticed that none of the shooters are female?

Rather than rehash old arguments regarding gun control and mental health availability, maybe we should look into how we raise and nurture our sons, our male children in this country such that some of them explode into violence.

A late teacher of mine, Charlie Kreiner, once asked us a question I will never ever forget,

“What do you have to do to a male child such that he will agree to kill and be killed in the name of masculinity?”

I ask: “How do we engage with our adorable, delicious, joyous, and loving male children such that they grow up to perpetrate domestic violence and become killers?”

I suggest that there is a clear connection between gender-related nurturance neglect, developing emotional numbness, and the capacity of any individual to perpetrate violence.

Evidence is emerging in neuroscience literature. Watch and listen to neuroscientist VS Ramachandran speak in the TED Talk The Neurons that Shaped Civilization.

The roots of our capacity to empathize lie in early childhood and in the manner we as young children are treated, or not.

We learn that young children are born with an enormous capacity to mimic, mirror, and to reliably reproduce the world they experience. But the number of mirror motor neurons shrinks by about four years of age and their capacity to learn shrinks as well.

Emotionally neglected children do not develop into adults who have the capacity to feel the consequences of their actions.

It is impossible to feel the pain of another if your capacity to feel at all is stunted or missing altogether. Sometimes it looks like the violence perpetrated on elementary school children; other times it looks like domestic violence in the home.

Gun control is a red herring. The clues to the origins of gun violence lie in early childhood nurturance and neglect of children.

Do You Practice Life-Long Learning?

Learning in encore yearsWhat will your identity be when you leave your full time work world and enter into the encore stage of your life? This stage of life gives baby boomers an opportunity to branch out and explore new ways of being and doing during their retirement years.

One support for clarifying your new identity is life-long learning. If you were totally immersed in your professional world, the learning you experienced over the years may have been focused on acquiring work-related knowledge, skills and abilities. How will learning manifest in your retirement lifestyle?

Expand your expertise

You can build on the expertise that you already have, as well as explore new learning topics, resulting in numerous benefits. Should you want to take another form of employment or volunteerism, you may need to update your skills in order to be relevant and successful. Perhaps you have always wanted to learn about a particular subject and never took the time to do so while you were working. If you plan to travel, you may want to learn a new language that could make your travel experience richer.

There are other benefits you can receive from learning new subjects. Brain science is learning more and more about how learning stimulates the brain cells and can slow the aging process. When you learn about new subjects, you can also become a more interesting conversationalist. And, in the learning process, you will meet new, like-minded people.

Share your expertise

Your encore stage of life is a prime time to share your existing expertise, as well as your newly acquired knowledge. You can teach the subject matter to others, either in the form of employment or as a volunteer. As you teach, you continue to learn more about the subject as well as yourself and interacting with others. Lastly, you will leave a legacy of the value of your expertise with others who learn from you.

How to enhance your expertise

There are numerous ways to refine what you already know and learn about new subjects that fit your retirement lifestyle, such as:

  • Online learning
  • Universities, colleges, community colleges
  • Professional associations
  • Centers for life-long learning
  • Government agencies

How will life-long learning enrich your retirement lifestyle?

Janice Williams, Retirement Coach, www.welcomingretirement.com

 

Discover Your Family Treasure

Stories of familyThe encore years of life offer Baby Boomers a time for reflection and conversations to discover valuable family stories. When you uncover the stories you hold for your own life you create greater awareness of how you fit into your family. And, when you share your stories with others in your family, you expand their perspective of their own lives, as well as of the family as a whole.

Reflections on your own life stories can help you design your retirement lifestyle. What do you remember as the most important? Are there any repetitive themes? How can they inform your choices for the next stage of your life?

Discovery Process

There are many ways you can discover your family treasures, including:

  • Journals and diaries that you and others have kept, or currently write.
  • Asking other relatives what they remember about events that you remember – their memories may be illuminating.
  • Allow other relatives to interview you with their own questions which you may never have thought of.
  • Record your discoveries to share in the future by writing them down, or by making audio or video recordings.

Sharing Your Stories

Family members may think they know each other well when they have grown up together. Other relatives may know each other superficially because they see each one another infrequently. Instead of keeping conversations on a mundane level, I encourage you to share the wisdom you have accumulated throughout your life when you reach your retirement years. Your stories will allow others of all generations to know and appreciate you more. Your perspectives on life can inform family members of new ways of experiencing life.

Throughout the ages, and in other cultures, the wisdom of the elders has been highly regarded. I recommend that you gather your own stories and the stories of your family and actively keep them alive by sharing them with one another often.

What family treasures will you discover in your encore years?

Janice Williams, Retirement Coach, www.welcomingretirement.com