Non-Crisis Planning For Terrific 2012

Good Morning Relaxing Retirement Member,

We’ve all heard the phrase, “don’t wait for a crisis in your life to motivate you to prioritize and do what you really want to do.”

It would be great if it didn’t take a crisis to get us to think and prioritize differently.

For me, one of those crisis events occurred when my mother got sick and passed away at the very young age of 57 when I was 20 years old.

After dealing with the reality of losing my mother (unfortunately, she was terminally ill for 19 months), the lesson for me was to never wait to do anything because you never know when it can all be taken away from you.

I would certainly have preferred that it didn’t take losing my mother for me to learn that lesson and prioritize a little better.

Progressing Toward Something

One of the great advantages of retirement is that you are free of the pressures you had to face at work.  However, without the deadlines and structure that work provides, some people feel lost.

That’s why it’s so important, whether you’re still working, or if you’ve already stopped, to give significant thought to what you want most out of life and then get busy doing it.

As you objectively look around at all the people in you come into contact with, something becomes obvious: certain individuals are more successful and happy than others.

Not only that, but in stark contrast to most people who’s optimism fades with age, these same individuals are more energetic, enthusiastic, and confident.

There are many explanations for this, but the number one reason for a loss of momentum in retirement is a lack of prioritizing and goal setting.  Without it, everyone loses their sense of direction and confidence.

Instead of being excited about what lies ahead, retirees become increasingly nostalgic about their youthful years, and the “good old days”.

However, those who continuously clarify and act on their goals benefit from the law of compound interest, i.e. just like with money, the more you invest in visualizing and working toward a better future, the better your future automatically becomes.

The most exciting part of life is knowing that you’re progressing toward something.  And, that’s why it’s so important to have written goals in retirement, not just weakly stated ones like new years’ resolutions that quickly turn sour.

My Recommendation To You

As we begin 2012 together, take a moment to step back and think with no distractions.

Clarify and prioritize what’s most important to you without it taking a crisis to motivate you to do so.

Lock the doors, turn off the television, shut off the cell phone and the ringer on your phone, pull out a pad of paper and a pen, and sit in a comfortable chair in your favorite spot in your home.

Tell everyone to give you some ‘quiet’ time.

While you’re in that spot, relax and think ahead 20 years from now, 10 years from now, or even just 3 years from now.

Put yourself out there and look back to today.  Looking back over those years:

  • What would you like to say you did?
  • Who did you spend your time with?
  • Where did you spend your time?

Once you’ve compiled your list, prioritize them in order of importance to you personally.

Ask yourself, “what steps do I have to take right now to make this happen?”

And, “who might be able to help me?”

Keep the list visible to you in your home so you see it on a daily basis.

Share your list with people who are close to you.  Don’t waste your time sharing it with those who don’t truly have your best interests and happiness at heart.

You will be amazed at how much everyone wants to help you get what you want when you ask for help.

Your retirement years provide you with a new lease on life.  You now have the opportunity to clean the slate and spend all of your time doing what you want, when you want, where you want, and with whomever you choose.

However, that doesn’t just fall into place without careful thought and action.  To get what you really want, you have to plan and act constantly.

Life can be short.  Don’t let it have to take a crisis in your life to realize this.

Get out there and soak it all up.  Be busy!  Be exhausted!

Committed To Your Relaxing Retirement,

Jack Phelps

The Retirement Coach

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