Retiring: 4 Secrets to Make Change Positive

Retiring means making a significant change in your life.

That is a major reason you may have mixed feelings about "retiring." These changes have an impact on six areas of your life:

  1. Career and work
  2. Health and wellness
  3. Income and finances
  4. Family and relationships
  5. Social interaction and leisure
  6. Personal development

Just the idea of beginning to think about if and when you might retire makes many people wonder how they will cope with all of these changes.

As you go through this lifestyle transition, you need to know how to make these changes positive.

For instance, change can be good when you see the benefits and feel in control. When you have a choice or "say" in the change, it usually generates positive feelings. Being able to set the time of your retirement is helpful. This is especially true when you can clearly see the benefits or retiring.

Kathryn Britton, a coach and regular contributing writer for the Positive Psychology News Daily, reminds readers that making changes often means changing habits. This requires keen self-awareness, effort and perseverance. It takes many repetitions of a new behavior to stop behaviors that have become automatic.

Where do you start?

The best place to begin managing the retirement transition is by asking and answering the following four questions:

  1. What do you believe about the upcoming change? Do you believe you can successfully make the change? If your answer is no, try to find a different way of looking at retirement. For instance, what part of the change might be possible for you? Do you know someone who has successfully retired? Are you willing to find out what was helpful to him or her?
  2. What behavior can you change that will make taking another step towards retiring easier? This is especially helpful if you are feeling anxious or depressed. For instance, exercise decreases stress, anxiety and sadness. Calmness opens up neural pathways making it easier to focus and learn new things. Daily meditation helps you have more control over your thoughts. It can also reduce negative emotions and increase self-control.
  3. How can you use your strengths? If you are not sure what your strengths are, take a strengths inventory. List strengths you have that you can use during this transition. Think of specific steps you can take to begin using one or more of your strengths to help you make this time of your life meaningful and rewarding.
  4. How can you be hopeful about your future? Remember, hope is a realistic assessment of a situation. When you are hopeful, you choose to focus on the chance that there will be a positive outcome. You also focus on the small steps needed to be successful. Hope helps open your mind to solutions instead of just focusing on the problems.

Going through the retirement transition with a positive mindset is often easier with social support. Be sure to be in contact with people who support you and show you respect. Having a friend or group to check in with helps establish accountability.

As you consider the lifestyle you want in this next stage of your life, it is important to remember that contemplating and moving into retirement can be a positive change. What you choose to believe about this change affects your choices. Using your strengths helps keep you focused and happier. During your transition, being hopeful is highly correlated with your sense of well-being and having a meaningful life.

I help professionals transform their idea of retirement into an amazing lifestyle so they can tap into their dreams and make informed decisions that lead to a fulfilling and joy-filled life.

Where are you in this process? How will you make sure the changes you are going through are positive? Please leave your comments below.

Until next time,


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