Some people fear retirement, envisioning it as a time when they’ll be too old, sickly, and feeble to pursue any of their interests. But, as New York Times bestselling author Ilchi Lee discusses in his book, I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years: The Ancient Secret to Longevity, Vitality, and Life Transformation, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Half of the battle to getting exactly what you want out of your second act is envisioning what you’d like to see happen and pursuing it with a laser-like focus. Here are some of the tips Lee offers in his book to make more out of your retirement years than you ever dreamed possible.
Make a Decision
Some of what happens to us is out of our control. But, as Lee points out, a lot of where we end up in life is a result of our own actions or inactions. Sometimes all it takes when it comes to reaching our goals and revolutionizing our lives is deciding it’s going to happen and figuring out how to get from Point A to Point B.
Design Your Second Half
Sometimes accidents do happen and things just fall into place with no work or effort on your part whatsoever. But who wants to gamble that things will magically fall into place? A better bet is to make a plan.
The best way to do that is by reflecting on your past and what you’ve learned from the experiences you’ve had so far in your life. One method of doing that which Lee suggests is looking at your life in ten-year increments. Think back to what happened during each decade and reflect upon each big event from that time.
By looking at regrets, achievements, sources of happiness, goals and core values, you can get a better grip on what you want your second act to be like. Try to look objectively at that event’s meaning—both in your past and potentially in your future—and find the lesson it offers you.
Make Your Physical Self a Priority Too
Exercise is as crucial in your second half as it should have been in your first half. But even if you’ve reached middle age without putting much work into your body, this should be the year you change all that. It’s never too late, even if you have to start small. Whether it’s going for a slow walk around the block, lifting a few light weights, or playing a leisurely game of tennis with friends, look for a way to start moving, at least a little every day. Try moving, as Lee suggests, for one minute every hour at least ten times a day.
Staying strong physically in your second half can improve every aspect of it—your health, your mood, your finances, and even your relationships with other people. The more you find ways to move, the better off your life will be, Lee advises. You’ll potentially live longer and you’ll be happier as well.
Find New Ways to Be Happy
Aging can make you lose your happiness, and you may even find what once made you happy no longer does. If your whole identity was your job or the prestige that came with it, you might find yourself struggling with feelings of depression or unhappiness. An illness could also make you feel that way.
To remain as happy as possible, Lee recommends letting go of negativity instead of dwelling on it. Changing the way you look at a situation can be enough to stop any bad feelings from outweighing the good ones. Find your bliss and follow it—make it a part of your everyday life.
To learn more about how to make sure your gray phase is as good as the first half of your life, consider reading I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years. This book can give you all the tips you’ll need to live the life you’ve always envisioned.