People who find fulfillment in their retirement years usually adopt these 6 daily habits

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Retirement is your time to finally get some much-deserved, much-needed rest. 

But there’s a fine line between resting and living without a concrete purpose. 

When you live without purpose or direction indefinitely, you can become bored, lonely, empty–even depressed. 

Nobody is saying you have to start working 40-hour weeks again but having a conceivable reason to get out of bed, retired or not, will do you wonders. 

With the proper strategy, retirement can be just as meaningful and purposeful a time in life as any. 

In this article, I’ll take you through the daily habits of people who find fulfillment in their retirement years. 

Once you get a clearer picture of things, you can start moving accordingly. 

Let’s dive in! 

1) They engage in continuous learning 

Now that you don’t have a full-time job to worry about, chances are, you have ample time and mental energy to dedicate to other intellectual pursuits. 

The adage is true, an idle mind is indeed a devil’s playground. 

You don’t want to wither away mentally as you grow older. You want to stay sharp and perceptive. 

Like any muscle, to keep your brain sharp, you have to seek constructive ways to keep it occupied.

Picking up life skills, reading, and pursuing hobbies both new and old, will surely promote that cause. 

I remember when my workaholic grandfather retired decades ago. 

While he certainly took some time to relax, he was hardly content with aimlessly sitting at home all day for the rest of his days. 

Among other things, he decided to learn Italian. He enrolled in a class with far younger peers, attending several times a week. 

Now decades later, he speaks fluently; he’s able to converse with Italians, with barely a trace of an accent. 

The moral of the anecdote is that it never is too late to learn and become good at something new; be it a language, musical instrument, or whatever else interests you. 

2) They maintain a positive mindset 

Personally, when I have too much time to myself, I get neurotic and cynical.

I overthink, occasionally conjuring up far-fetched, unrealistic scenarios in my head. 

Retired or not, for many of us, it’s easy to fall into the trap of having a toxic mindset; something particularly true these days, with so much negativity and hostility going on in the world. 

Thus, with all this free time at your disposal, cultivating optimism should be a pursuit that is consistently top of mind. 

Focus on the good of each day, rather than dwell on the bad. 

Nobody is perfect, we all have flaws; spending an inordinate time ruminating on your flaws and shortcomings will cause unnecessary stress. 

Stress is the last thing you need. So shift your approach. 

Practice gratitude. 

Be mindful of maintaining a positive attitude through the ups and downs of your life. 

Doing so can fundamentally change your retirement experience, setting the tone for the rest of your life.

3) They stay socially connected

Don’t stay isolated

Make a conscious effort to get out there and maintain and build friendships with family, friends, and people in your community. 

Prolonged loneliness is unhealthy–and for obvious reasons, many in their retirement years can easily succumb to it. 

Don’t let this happen to you. You need to fill the daily void that no longer having to work has left. 

Be proactive. Go out to lunches and dinners with friends or family, or both. 

Make new connections. 

Participate in community events or festivals. Join a book club or a walking group. Do volunteer or charity work. 

When it comes to staying socially connected, the possibilities are literally quite endless.

4) They appreciate the simple joys of life 

With all the noise and distraction that comes with the grind now gone, you have the time and energy to enjoy life’s simple pleasures–the things most of us take for granted. 

Be mindful. 

A brisk walk on a nice day at the park, reading a stimulating novel, a delicious plate of food, or spending time with your loved ones… all these seemingly mundane things can bring you genuine happiness if you want them to.  

This quote by legendary cartoonist Bill Watterson has always stood out to me: “If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I’ll bet they’d live a lot differently.”

Touche, Bill. 

5) They embrace change and adaptability 

For many, keeping an open mind during retirement is a tough assignment. 

After a certain age, people tend to get stuck in their ways of thinking or doing things. 

As standard as that may be, we should strive to be better. 

As long as you’re breathing and healthy, personal growth and education should never truly stop. 

For all the flak the world gets, it is still an incredibly vast and stimulating place, with new lessons on every corner. 

So be open to fresh experiences and changes in your life. 

Being adaptable to new situations can make retirement a proper adventure instead of a period of stagnation​​.

Set goals. 

By its very nature, retirement is the ideal time to fulfill the dreams you may have forgotten about during your career. 

Whether it’s traveling to exotic places, learning new culinary techniques, writing a book, or learning how to play the acoustic guitar, vigorously pursuing goals will almost always provide direction and fulfillment​​.

6) They establish a healthy routine

You may no longer have to clock in at the office every morning, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a routine. 

From maintaining physical and mental health to structuring time effectively, the benefits of having a routine in retirement are boundless. 

You don’t want to be just coasting through the days with little to no purpose. 

Once the latter becomes a pattern, you become far more susceptible to stagnating–which will almost certainly negatively affect your mental health, if you’re not careful. 

So incorporate activities like regular exercise, meditation, getting together with friends, or even journaling to start your days off right

Once you get over the initial hump, you won’t look back. 

Final words 

To recap, we shouldn’t consider retirement as purely a period of rest and inactivity. 

Your retirement years can be as fulfilling and exciting a time as any in life if you have the right perspective. 

Think of it as a new and exciting chapter, one where you have far more freedom and autonomy to do what you want. 

So don’t waste your time resting to excess levels. 

Use this stretch to rediscover yourself and your potential in this world. 

You being a retiree need to understand that your life as a productive member of society is far from over. 

In many ways, it’s just getting started. 

Clifton Kopp

Welcome to my writings on Hack Spirit! I'm a bit of a "polymath" in that I like writing about many different things. Often I'm learning from the process of writing. I hope you enjoy, and please leave a comment on one of my articles.

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