When planning for retirement, people generally think about things like estate and financial planning, downsizing, choosing a senior living community, determining what future care may look like and so on. They will also probably think about what they want to do with all their time now that they’re carefree. But while endless rounds of golf, visits with the grandkids and strolling throughout the neighborhood are all wonderful things, the true key to enjoying your time – and your retirement – is finding opportunities that enrich your life, help you grow personally and provide fulfillment.
“Most people know what their passions are, but they may not have taken the time to thoroughly explore exactly what it is about their passions that fills them up and fulfills them,” says Jake Quigley, Executive Director of Waterstone at the Circle, a luxury independent living community. “Up until this point, retirees have been focused on other things like building a career, raising a family and planning for retirement, so it’s common for new retirees to feel a little adrift after they’ve settled into their post-work years. By identifying opportunities for personal growth and finding fulfilling activities, you’ll not just have things to ‘do,’ but you’ll also discover new purpose and meaning that bring joy to life.”
First Step: Identifying Your Passions
So how does one go about creating opportunities for personal growth and fulfillment in retirement? Jake says the first thing is to identify things you’re passionate about. What is it that you love to do? What inspires you? What “fills you up” and makes you feel like you’re part of something bigger? Here are some questions to ask yourself in order to help identify opportunities:
- Take stock of your talents.“Talent” is a broad word that can encompass everything from job-related skills to having a knack for making people laugh. So, what are the things that people have said you're good at, or that you know are strengths of yours? For example, you could be good at public speaking, an excellent gardener or a great listener. Feel free to ask family and friends what their thoughts are – you may learn something about yourself that you didn’t know before!
- Think about what makes time fly for you. Have you ever been so engrossed in something that you look up at the clock and are shocked at how much time has passed? When this occurs, it’s a good sign that whatever you’re doing is something you really, really enjoy. Think about activities that have made you actually lose track of time, and then consider how you can parlay those activities into something that can help you grow as a person. For example, if you enjoy playing with animals, does the idea of volunteering at an animal shelter sound interesting to you? Or perhaps starting a dog-walking service?
- Know what things you absolutely don’t want to do. We all have things we don’t like to do. Guess what? In retirement, this is your time to say “no way” to the things that you dread doing. Perhaps you enjoy interacting with the public but definitely don’t like taking care of customers. It doesn’t have to all be things you hate, either. If there are things you’re lukewarm about, you can put them on this list, too – this is your time to make your opportunities as perfect as possible.
- Think about the types of people you like to be around. We draw energy from being around other people with similar passions and interests. For many people, that is family members and friends, but you can think beyond that to come up with ideas of how to grow personally. Do you like being around people who make you laugh? Or people who are naturally enthusiastic? Make a list of the types of people you like to be around, and then think about activities and hobbies where you might be able to interact with them.
- Look for things you’ve never tried but have always wanted to do. Have you always wanted to become a yoga teacher? Or write a book? Or learn a new language? Retirement is a time to grab a hold of those dreams you’ve had and try them out. By opening yourself to new experiences, you’ll have the opportunity to discover new things that make your heart race, excite you and help you grow as a person.
Second Step: Start Exploring Opportunities
Now that you have a clearer picture of what your passions are, it’s time to find ways to pursue them. If your passions include flower arranging, for example, you could make plans to start your own flower arranging class at a local center, or work part-time at a floral shop. If football is your passion, consider joining an amateur league, volunteering as a coach or organizing outings to away games with like-minded friends. The best part is that you don’t have to be tied down to anything you try. If you attempt to learn needlepoint but realize you actually can’t stand the tedious work, that’s great! You have something new to put on your “don’t want to do” list and can instead seek out something that you’re passionate about.
Third Step: Make Short- and Long-Term Goals
Personal growth doesn’t always happen immediately. While there are some opportunities you can explore right away, many times it’s planting the seeds for something larger that can grow into lifelong fulfillment. You’ll discover that your hobbies may come and go, but the things you’re really passionate about – the things that give you the most joy and enrichment – will remain with you forever, although they may evolve over time. Look for those, recognize them and encourage them, while enjoying the shorter-term interests for what they are.
“We understand that this is the time of your life to spend as you wish, so Waterstone at the Circle is designed to provide active, independent seniors with endless opportunities for enjoyment, fulfillment and personal growth,” says Jake. “Not only do we plan a full schedule of daily activities, but we also provide access and opportunities for our residents to pursue their interests, passions and hobbies.”
At Waterstone at the Circle, there are numerous opportunities on- and off-campus for residents to discover what fills them up. On campus, retirees may join with friends and family in our outdoor spaces, participate in art exhibitions, learn something new at a class taught by one of our staff or attend guest lectures. Off-campus, the vibrant community of Boston beckons, with sporting events, performances, golf outings, boutique shopping and restaurants, day trips and community events – among others!
“At our luxury independent living community, retirees will discover a world of service that will compliment your active lifestyle,” says Jake. “Simply put, Waterstone at the Circle has everything you need and want to make your dream retirement a reality.”
If you’d like to learn more about discovering opportunities for personal growth in retirement, or if you’re wondering how a luxury retirement community like Waterstone at the Circle can help you live a vibrant, active and fulfilled life, contact us today at 617.431.1880.
Luxury Senior Living in Boston
Waterstone at the Circle, located in Boston’s historic Cleveland Circle neighborhood, is more than just independent living in Boston … it’s a sophisticated urban setting for today’s active seniors. Enjoy best-in-class service and a vibrant lifestyle with arts and cultural, and historical attractions right outside your front door. From high-end amenities to gourmet dining and more, experience the best of city and suburban life at our upscale senior living community located on the crossroads of Brookline and Chestnut Hill.
Elegant Independent Living Apartments
Each of our 92 independent living apartments is the height of luxury and modernity, with sophisticated design, upscale features and stunning views of the city. Create the urban senior living experience you want with one- or two-bedroom apartments, a variety of floor plans and monthly rentals.
Senior Living Supportive Services
As an over-62 community, residents may require support from time to time. That’s why we’ve developed an on-site coordinated care program, in cooperation with our premier community partners, that allows our independent living residents to receive the assistance they need.
The best part? Residents don’t have to leave our senior living community – or even their apartment – to receive high-quality support. They can receive the services they need, when they need it, in the comfort of their own homes or in our on-site therapy gym.
Waterstone at the Circle is the opposite of retiring. . . it’s a place to enhance your active, on-the-go lifestyle. Call 617.431.1880 for more information or to schedule a visit to our vibrant Boston independent living community and discover The Circle lifestyle today!