What Does It Mean to Live Purposefully After Retirement?

What Does It Mean to Live Purposefully After Retirement?

What Does It Mean to Live Purposefully After Retirement?

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What Does It Mean to Live Purposefully After Retirement?

Most people desire to live a purposeful life. For some, “purposeful living” might look like pursuing a career they can be proud of at the end of each day. Others might view it as building a family and a legacy to surround them. But for everyone, purposeful living lasts well beyond our working years. 

Many seniors have the life experience needed to dig deeper and live even more purposefully than their younger counterparts. Plus, those who choose to live in an independent living community have the freedom to live life on their terms and focus on their passions.

What exactly is “purpose,” though? Purposeful living means creating a life that has meaning and makes a difference. It doesn’t necessarily mean making a difference in someone else’s life. Making a difference in your own is plenty purposeful in and of itself. 

Purposeful living means having goals, dreams, and plans. When you know what you’re doing each day and why you’re doing it, you are living purposefully.

How to Live Purposefully

These definitions may feel kind of vague, and that’s okay. Everyone defines “purpose” differently. To clarify this point, let’s look at some practical steps you can take to live purposefully. 

First of all, think about your favorite activities. These could be hobbies you enjoy, places you like to visit, or anything else you want  to do. For some people, volunteering might be at the top of their list. For others, perhaps spending time in the kitchen and trying out new recipes brings them great joy.

Once you have identified your favorite activities, create a plan so you can live them out each day. You don’t have to do every activity each day, but try to plan it to  have at least one purposeful, meaningful activity or task each day. These shouldn’t feel like chores but rather a way to live your calling, explore your passions, and stay engaged.

Then, continue exploring. Just because you’ve identified things you know you love doesn’t mean you shouldn’t mix in some additional activities you’ve never tried. Perhaps you have a great passion for dancing inside you, and you don’t even know it yet! Whatever the case may be, build in time to try new things and have fun experiences. 

Finally, communicate your joy with those you love. Share with friends, family members, or anyone else you can think of to chat with about your activities. When you share your sense of purpose and the happiness you’re feeling with those you love, you can help brighten their days and remember why you’re doing what you’re doing in the first place.

Retirement Communities Can Help You Live Purposefully

Moving into an independent living community can significantly increase your ability to live purposefully. First of all, many of these retirement communities offer events and activities that allow you to spend quality time with fellow residents, explore the surrounding area, and try new things. For example, exercise classes are a great way to keep your brain and body active and lean into the idea of purposeful living.

When you move to a retirement community, you’ll also have more time to spend on your passions. How many times do you get sidetracked when you’re at home? You’re about to dig into a new book, but then you realize you forgot to do the dishes or mow the lawn. Or maybe you don’t even have time to pursue your passions in the first place because you’re so caught up with housework.

In a retirement community, these stressors and worries disappear. You no longer need to be concerned with home maintenance or other tasks that keep you from doing what you love. Instead, spend your time wisely by following your passions and leaning into the very definition of purposeful living.

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Kristin Davenport

Kristin Davenport

Kristin Davenport is the Director of Communications for Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS). Kristin leads ERS’s efforts to share stories that delight and inspire through social media, online content, annual reports, magazines, newsletters, public re... Read More >

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