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When preparing for, or moving into retirement there is a lot to think about, but the secret to a successful retirement might just lie in the way we think. In this guest blog, Neil Williams, accredited coach looks at the different types of mind-set we can adopt, and explores whether a change of mind-set as we leave the workplace is required for a happy retirement.’ Happy reading Darren Berry Retirement is probably the biggest transition we make in our lifetimes and hopefully one of the happiest. So why is the divorce rate at its highest in this age group? If you are spending much greater periods of time with a partner who just isn’t on the same page as you it can be a real energy sapper. In extreme examples one might think, can I afford to spend the next 30 years with this person? Planning a retirement means there is a far better chance of making it work if each partner has the space to do the things they want to do and hopefully find time to enjoy doing things together too. But getting this to work effectively will require a greater understanding of each other’s visions and might well need a change in mind-set too. Where does a mind-set come from, most experts say it is not nature or nurture, genes or environment but more likely to be experience, training and personal effort. The following definitions and sentences in italics are by Dr Carol S Dweck THE FIXED MINDSET – creates an urgency to prove oneself over and over. If you have only a certain amount of intelligence, a certain amount of personality, and a certain moral character – well, then you better prove that you will have a healthy dose of them. It wouldn’t do to look or feel deficient in these most basic characteristics. THE GROWTH MINDSET – is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts, your strategies, and help from others. Although people may differ in every which way – in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments – everyone can change and grow their application and experience. What’s this to do with retirement I hear you say? When, you enter a mind-set, you enter a new world. In one world-the world of fixed traits-success is about proving you’re smart or talented. Validating yourself. In the other-the world of changing qualities-it’s about stretching yourself to learn something new. To maximise your retirement learning something new or doing something you have always wanted to do means having a positive mind-set! Mind-sets are an important part of your personality, but you can change them. Just by knowing about the two mind-sets, you can start to catch yourselves when you are in the throes of a fixed mind-set-passing up a chance for learning, feeling labelled by failure, or getting discouraged when something seems a lot of effort. What is a successful retirement? – With a growth mind-set Taking time to reflect, plan and then act – doing your best in learning and improving and of course enjoying yourself! How does a retiring CEO define themselves in the future, what do they do with their previous experience to benefit others, how do they enjoy the remaining third of their life? People with a growth mind-set are also constantly monitoring what’s going on, but their internal mind-set is not about judging themselves and others in this way. Certainly, they’re sensitive to positive and negative information, but they are attuned to its implications for learning and constructive action:” What can I learn from this?” How can I change my work mind-set to a successful retirement mind-set?” What is my partner’s dominant mind-set and how can I help my partner to adapt to this new set of circumstances? As an accredited coach and as a person who has been through the retirement process and supported my wife to do the same (I have not attempted to coach her as it is essential to have a detached and impartial role as a coach) I might be able to support you through this major transition. I can help you make sense and be more aware of your mind-set and how this can improve your situation, transition into retirement and maybe your relationships in retirement too? If you want to work on your mind-set getting ready for a meaningful retirement or to plan an enjoyable retirement get in touch with me, neil@nvwsolutions.co.uk or have a look at my website www.nvwsolutions.co.uk


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