How to Make a Fresh Start Brought to you by contemporary retirement coaching

Is your retirement in the doldrums? Do you sometimes wish you'd never retired at all and feel that your life has taken a downward turn since the day you left work? Do you wish you could start your retirement over again - and make a better job of it this time?

Sometimes, you've been looking forward to retiring for so long, that you blow it.

Completely.

Let me explain...

When you looked ahead to your retirement, you probably saw the opportunity to chill out, spending leisurely mornings with coffee and the paper in bed and, finally, doing only the things you really wanted to do (after a lifetime of doing what your bosses wanted you to do).

So, when retirement arrived, you did just that. You chilled, you read the paper and you watched a lot of TV (or played a lot of golf). And, even though a niggling voice somewhere inside yourself was telling you that there must be more to retirement than this, you ignored it in favour of 'just a few more days of relaxation'. Which was followed by 'just a few more days...' until, before you knew it, a couple of years had passed, you'd piled on the pounds from all that sitting around, lost contact with 90% of the people you knew and your world had shrunk to the size of your living room.

Okay, so enough is enough! You’ve thrown your hands up in the air and declared that something must change.

You’re ready for a fresh start.

And, while your current situation may be challenging, the intention of making a fresh start is a good sign. It’s much better than giving up and resigning yourself to watching daytime TV for the rest of your life!

So... what do you need to change?

You can make a fresh start in any area of your life! Is it just one area of your life that you're not satisfied with or do you need a complete makeover?

Home need an overhaul? Consider giving your living arrangements a makeover. You could move to a new home or change your existing home. Move the furniture or purchase new stuff. Paint the walls a new colour. Convert a spare room into a room with a purpose. It could be dedicated to music, arts and crafts, or meditation. Or maybe you just need to have a good clean up... clear the clutter and go for a more minimalist look.

Finances need fixing? Create a budget. Get a retirement job. Talk to a financial advisor. Make sure your investments still meet your needs. Start an online business. Address your debt. Start offering a service that people need. Look at your current financial challenges and finally address them with a detailed, step-by-step plan you can stick to.

Social life need sexing up? It’s time to say goodbye to the people in your life that drag you down and replace them with those that provide a boost to your life. Meet some new friends and try a few new social activities. Work on your dating skills and catch the partner of your dreams. Sign up for a course and meet like-minded people. Volunteer. Get to know your neighbours. Reach out to some old friends. Suggest a catch-up with your former workmates (only the ones you really want to keep in touch with, though!)

Health and body need boosting? Hire a personal trainer or join a gym. Draw up a walking plan. Find a diet that works for you. Address any niggling health issues you might have. Visit the doctor and the dentist. Try a new sport. Try a slower version of a sport you've enjoyed in the past - walking football (soccer) anyone? Play outside with your grandkids. Just get out and move your body!

Beliefs need blitzing?  Take a course. Investigate a new religion or philosophy. Learn how to meditate. Practice mindfulness. Question your beliefs and find a purpose. Visit your local library. Read a good book each month and apply what you learn. Finally get that degree.

These are just a few ideas. You can also address your current relationships, attitude, or fears. It isn’t necessary to change everything at once. In fact, addressing one area at a time will yield better results.

Useful tips for changing your life:

Develop systems that support your desired change. For instance, if you want to meditate daily, create a schedule that ensures that will happen. Use a timer so you won’t worry about spending too much time or falling asleep. If you want to make sure a new exercise regime 'sticks', enlist the help of an exercise buddy. If you want to have a better social life, start issuing invitations - challenge yourself to make (or accept) one invitation per day.

Visualize the change. See yourself with a healthy body or bank account. Allow yourself to feel successful and proud. Project yourself into the future and enjoy the changes you’ve made.

Be willing to fail from time to time. It’s not easy to change. In fact, your brain is highly resistant to change. You’re doing well enough to be alive, and that’s good enough for your brain. It views any change as potentially dangerous, so it’s not going to allow you to change easily. Expect that you’ll struggle during the process. Keep taking the small steps...

Commit to persevering. Make sure that you succeed.

Be kind to yourself. Celebrate each victory, no matter how small. Give yourself a pat on the back when you deserve it. Any progress is great news, so enjoy it.

The decision to make a fresh start can be daunting - especially when we're not as young as we used to be. If you're not happy with the way things are, it's never too late to try something different. Before you do anything irreversible, however, just give careful thought to the changes you want to make. It’s a mistake to believe that any change is a good change. There are many changes you could experience that are worse than your current situation. Make conscious decisions rather than clinging to the first log that floats by.

Making a fresh start can result in a new and exciting experience. Aim high and be diligent. You’ll be glad you did.

This short guide was brought to you by Ann Harrison and Contemporary Retirement Coaching.

Credits:

Created with images by Sharon Mollerus - "Fresh Start" • puresolitude - "starting fresh" • psd - "Breakfast" • Alan O'Rourke - "Fish Bowl Fish Tank Aquarium Goldfish White" • UnitedSoybeanBoard - "Open Soy Paint Cans" • tacit requiem (joanneQEscober ) - "A fresh start..." • pozytywnewnetrza - "the interior of the repair interior" • katerha - "“A beginning is only the start of a journey to another beginning.”" • FirmBee - "office tax business" • David, Bergin, Emmett and Elliott - "DSC04320" • The Miami Story - "Today is a fresh start, make the most of it!" • stevepb - "physiotherapy weight training dumbbell" • Ben_Kerckx - "image buddha meditation" • CherylZ1961 - "perseverance hope daisy" • Nina Stawski - "Meditation" • Yukikazu Photography - "20140511-IMG_9505" • pedroalves44 - "Mind and body healthy" • nordique - "Granite Lakes trailhead" • ccPixs.com - "Crossroads: Success or Failure" • symphonyoflove - "life determination bricks" • geralt - "board blackboard success" • Shad0wfall - "winning motivation succeed" • allistair - "Ostrander Lake Log" • CarbonNYC [in SF!] - "Success"

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