One of the most difficult and surprising aspects of retirement life is the shift in momentum. One day, you’re working, active and overly busy. The next you’re at a complete standstill. That is one reason many new seniors fill their days with retirement activities, for fear of hitting that brick wall of nothing to do. Filling your days with meaningless hobbies, activities or chores around the house is not the same as creating a fulfilling life. Taking the time to think about what you want and then moving to create that in your life takes forethought.
At 60 miles per hour a diesel locomotive will smash through a 3-foot thick wall of concrete like a knife through butter. But sitting in the station, that same locomotive with 4500 horsepower can be paralyzed by a block of wood under one wheel.
A body in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. Did you ever notice that “momentum” and “inertia” are opposite names for the same physical phenomenon?
-Momentum: A body in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by some outside force.
-Inertia: A body at rest tends to stay at rest unless acted upon by some outside force.
How do you change from Inertia to Momentum when you treasure every moment? Here are four momentum-maintaining principles: Vision, Support, Plan, and Measure.
VISION: The aging theory of the past is gone. Establish a vision in your new retirement. Select a goal that inspires and energizes you and that is worthy of your energy, time and effort. It may push you out of your comfort zone. With age, activities need nurturing like a fine wine. Make sure it is something you can be passionate about.
SUPPORT: If you try to fulfill your dreams all by yourself, you’ll get stuck and lose momentum. Get empowerment from people, not projects. Find support at senior organizations. Talk about your ideas and problems while setting challenging, measurable, achievable goals. Contributing to the dreams of others will enhance your senior experience. Minimally, find one or two other partners whom you meet (even by teleconference) once a month or more. You’ll find these described in the classic “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. He calls it your Mastermind Group.
PLAN: Without a plan, you’ll ride a roller coaster of momentum feast or famine. Make a plan you can stick with. How many and what kind of activities will you do every month? Start with small baby steps where you can feel accomplishment
MEASURE: There’s an old management philosophy that goes: if you want more of something, measure it. By having check-off lists, records of your activities you’ll be able to see progress — or lack of it — in black and white. So keep track of the numbers. The boomers have an opportunity to change the idea of retirement and aging.