GUEST BLOG: What have you got planned for the rest of your life? – Becky Craig, Blu Lake

By Kieran Drew
In December 6, 2016
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Becky-Craig-10-BWBy Becky Craig – Blu Lake

“I don’t want to retire. Or die.” These are just two of the comments I hear regularly! 

I mentioned last month that retirement doesn’t mean stopping, it’s a transition to a new, exciting phase of life. You may spend more time in retirement than in your traditional working life so you’re looking for ways to live your dreams…ways to achieve Bold Age.

So if it’s not about stopping, what does it mean then? This is exactly where I advise clients to start from when they are considering their retirement phase; design a retirement that positively excites you! 

“I don’t want to be labelled as retired, so what do I call it?”

When I start a coaching relationship with a client one of the first things we do is establish what they want to call this phase of life if the connotations conjured by ‘retirement’ irks them. Some words or phrases I have come across so far are ‘repurposing’, ‘my time’, ‘reinvention’, ‘renewal’ and ‘next career’.

Putting it into your own words means you are already more engaged in and excited about what this period could hold for you, you have started to set a vision for what you want from this phase in life. So, you are already in control of what initially seemed like an unknown abyss!

“So far my life has been driven by others such as my job and kids, so how do I work out what’s important to me once that structure has changed?”

I work from the basis that all of our thoughts, feelings and actions in life come as a result of the values and beliefs we hold. Unfortunately, in the busy-ness of life we can lose sight of what values we hold dear and also what inner beliefs help or hinder us, which means we aren’t living our lives by our own standards anymore.

The impact of this can be, at best, leading a mediocre life with a niggling feeling that something is missing or, at worst, being completely unfulfilled in life and possibly depressed.

Through my Bold Age retirement coaching programme I help clients to press the reset button on what’s important to them; what drives them, what lights their fire, so that the plan they create is in accordance with this. This is incredibly liberating and enlightening for people.

“I hear horror stories about people dying within months of their retirement because they stopped, how do I stay alive?!” 

Obviously every case is different because there are so many variables involved in death, and I don’t offer a magic pill for a longer life! What I do work on with clients is helping them establish what their new purpose, identity and routine looks like in this phase of life.

Studies have shown that people who believe their life has meaning live for longer than those with a lower sense of wellbeing. For example, about 9,000 people over age 65 were followed for eight and half years as part of a study published in the Lancet.

Happier people tended to outlive their less fulfilled peers. Over the eight years, just 9% of people in the highest wellbeing category died, compared to 29% in the lowest category. To thrive in this next phase, you will need a reason to jump out of bed in the morning. It doesn’t matter what it is, it just has to resonate with you and your values.

“This is big stuff, when do I start planning?”

With all of this, starting earlier rather than later means it becomes much easier and you are shaping your whole life by what’s important to you and your family, small step by small step – I work with people from mid 40s onwards.

BluLakeBlu Lake provides coaching for people in Hampshire and Dorset who are seeking clarity and focus during times of big transition in life, such as retirement.

Some of Becky’s core values are freedom, vitality and inner strength so she thrives on helping others to achieve these things in life, especially when they face the stormy waters of change. She believes that we are all capable of more so her coaching approach works from this starting point.

She has spent over 20 years in large corporate businesses helping people at all levels of the organisation to achieve more and feel confident during change.

If you aren’t sure if coaching is for you, Becky offers a free 30-minute no obligation consultation for you to find out more about how it can benefit you during a big change in life.

Contact Becky via the website www.blulake.co.uk

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