You certainly didn’t plan your retirement with boredom as a main feature. You’re supposed to be living the life of your dreams, right? Why are you bored? All of the advice you sought from friends and books on how to retire; yet, none really highlighted boredom.
One thing retirees may fight against is a change of lifestyle. Yet, a change in lifestyle is exactly what you need to keep boredom away. Retirement shouldn’t look exactly like your career life, minus the 9-5; otherwise, why retire? This is one aspect of retirement that is often overlooked. You just figured it would all work out.
Here’s what’s truly missing from most retirement plans: An acknowledgement and acceptance that boredom will occur and how you’ll deal with it. Remember, with most of your social interaction gone, you’ll now be a person with a lot of extra time. How will you fill the void when retirement reality comes to roost?
Start with an assessment of what you’ll look like in retirement. Retirement needs to be more than intentions. It needs to be a vivid mental picture of your future as a retiree. Keeping your vision front and center will help you stay connected to your retirement dreams.
Know and understand what will anchor you to what you planned and what may disconnect you. How do you keep the retirement you prepared for the sudden shifts and reality checks?
How will you continue to feel productive, creative, and energized? How will you continue to be engaged when all the big retirement plans are completed or if your knee gives out? No, this isn’t negative forecasting—this is positive planning.
Have a self-conversation about how you’ll sustain yourself in retirement mentally, physically, emotionally, creatively, financially, socially. You say you’re going to do this and that, but how will you maintain that attitude, determination, momentum, and most important, mindset.
Your best laid plans can all fade away when boredom pays you a visit. Boredom is a fierce competitor for your time and it often wins the battle. Make sure you have a retirement contingency that addresses boredom.
Pat Landaker is a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) and owner of Living La Vida Senior. She serves on the ASA’s Innovation and Social Impact Council, the CSA’s Certification Council, the City of Henderson’s Senior Citizens Advisory Commission and she teaches Positive Aging at UNLV/OLLI. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.