Rethinking Retirement  

Interests Exercise

So you've finally decided to stop working your life away and start having some fun. Whether you're retired, approaching retirement, or simply decided to cut back your work hours, you've decided it's time to get out there and start living. But what is it you like to do? For some the question may seem silly, but for a surprisingly large number of people, answering the question, "What do I do for fun?" is harder than they expect.

In his book, How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free, author Ernie Zelinski talks about creating a "Get-a-Life Tree." The idea is simply to brainstorm about all the things you used to do, currently do, or would like to do, for fun. When listing an activity, branch off all the related activities to see if any of those will stand on their own. For example, if you like to go camping, what is it that you like to do while camping? Do you go hiking, fishing or swimming? Which of these can you do by themselves without having to go camping? According to AARP, you shouldn't even consider retiring until you can identify at least 25 things you like to do that can fill your time. Create your own "Get-a-Life tree" and try to identify as many activities as you can.

An offshoot of the "Get-a-Life Tree" is our Interests and Activities exercise. This exercise will help you to identify interests or activities within each of the six key life arenas. It may not be scientific, but that's what fun is all about!

I am interested in:


"How much time do you spend volunteering in your community or worldwide?"

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