Not Sure Where We Are Headed…But We Are Making Good Time
...this was a saying my Mother and her friend used to say often – at age 84 and 87 – and they would laugh because often times they would get lost or lose their sense of direction – while driving! Fortunately they lived in a small town in central Illinois – not much traffic – and not too far from home.
As I continue to do research and spend time coaching retiring women I find somewhat the same thing; “Not sure where we’re headed but we are making good time.” You see what I have found is the older you get the faster time seems to slip away. All of a sudden the day is over and as I lay my head on the pillow I often think, what happened to the day again? What did I accomplish today?
You see I am a doer, so I have to be bust with a project or two (or three)…..but busy doing what? Without taking the time to determine direction for your life, you may end up 10 years into your retirement and although you are making good time you still are not sure where you are headed.
It is never too late to start adding direction to your life but much better if you start thinking about it even “before” you retire. What’s important is not just wat you retire “from” but what you retire “to”.
Remember this is the longest vacation you will ever have and the sad truth is there is a dark side to retirement.
All too often what was supposed to be the best days of your life have become too sedentary, too much time on your hands with no direction and nothing much to do. Research shows that that can lead to drug or alcohol addiction and even depression. Research also shows suicide is on the rise in older retirees thinking they have nothing to live for. How sad, indeed.
That’s why retirement coaching is gaining in popularity. It is not just about money, but how will you spend your time. Many companies are now offering coaching programs for their employees and their spouses so that they can begin to make the transition “with direction”. All too often couples do not even talk about what life will be like in retirement. And when one has a much different idea than the other it can lead to unhappy relationships. Research also shows that “gray divorce” is on the rise.
A retirement coach will help clarify your vision, values, passion and purpose and get you headed in the right direction. Retirement is so much more than just having your finances in order. Strip the dollars and cents away and you will have a “naked retirement”. Don’t let that happen to you. Here are some steps to consider finding a coach to work with.
First, most coaches offer a dream session or discovery call. It is usually a 30-45 minute session to determine if the coach and the client are “a match”. Your coach should, from the initial contact make you feel comfortable. He or she should be skilled in asking the right questions and/or using basic assessments to get to know you. At the end of the free session both you and the coach will know if it is a match. You, the client, should come to the table after having checked out the coach’s blog, website, testimonials, etc. to be sure you somewhat share the same values before the initial meeting.
The most difficult part of the session is knowing when to walk away both for the client and the coach. The most inspiring and motivating part of the session is when it is a match and you both are excited to continue to meet to establish direction and meaning to your life in retirement.
During the session, here are a couple things to consider:
- Who talked the most? You should have.
- How comfortable were you with the types of questions that were asked?
- Did you get the feeling, he or she “gets me”?
- Did you find value in any of the tools or assessments that were used?
- Were there different coaching packages and pricing offered to meet your needs or was it more of a “one size fits all”?
- Will there be any type of follow up after the sessions are over? If so, what and when?
Follow up on the part of the coach is critical as we all have good intentions but knowing someone who cares is going to hold you accountable in 3 months, 6 months or even a year. It places much more value on your sessions so that you have time to take the appropriate action.
So where do you find a coach? Start with a google search or Facebook search. Check out the www.retirementcoachesassoc.org for a list of certified coaches. But do not get too concerned about credentials as the main thing is that you feel that person as been there done that and can relate to you!
To summarize, your coach needs to “hear you”, offer the tools and strategies to help “discover you” and professionally hold “you accountable”. It will then turn into the best decision you ever made and promises to get you going in the right direction in less time than it would take wandering around “making good time but not knowing where you are headed”.
This post was contributed by Jan Elliott, of Faith Full Retirement. You can book your discovery call with her at www.faithfulretirement.com
Sources: Blue River Coaching