Updated: May 2, 2020
I don't recall consciously setting out to identify my core principles at the start of my mid-life "re-invention". Part of me wishes I had... a big part of me. Maybe the process wouldn't have been as long or as painful as it was.
But the truth is that the principles that would guide my own journey needed to make their way to the surface of my consciousness organically, through trial and error... and there were lots of both.
As a result, the core principles I've identified for my personal life aren't arbitrary goals, like last minute New Year's Resolutions I picked on New Year's Eve that I wanted to meet in the coming year. We all know how those usually work out. Instead, they're principles that have served me well in practice... so well, in fact, that I've incorporated them into the Retirement Divas model.
"Principles serve the role of an anchor for a ship in its journey when confronted with conflicting issues." www.differencebetween.com
Put another way, principles are key to aligning our goals with our values. They allow us to make ndaily choices, both big and small, that are consistent with the path we've chosen to take. I like to think of them as my personal GPS... it's so much easier, and less stressful, to figure out which way I need to go when I know where I'm going.
These are the 6 core principles that form that basis of the Retirement Divas roadmap:
Learn to ask the right questions and be open to receiving the answers. The willingness to ask the right questions is essential to living an authentic and fulfilling life. Sometimes the right questions are difficult to ask, particularly if we don't really want or aren't ready to hear truthful answers, either from from others or ourselves. However, we'll never be able to live our truth if we don't know what it is.
Who you were and what you did before doesn't matter. Now is the time to create a life that honors who you've become. Maybe you were highly successful at something in the past. If so, that's great. Or maybe you haven't been as successful as you'd hoped you would've been. That's OK too. Believe it or not, there's still time, particularly if you carefully re-examine your definition of success as it applies to this phase of your life. The period leading up to retirement is an important time of transformation, of new opportunities and different challenges. Habits, relationships, and ways of thinking that may have worked well for you in the past may not be working for you now. Though it may seem disconcerting at first, that shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. You're not the same person now that you were then. It's perfectly OK... It's a normal part of growing older and wiser and learning valuable lessons from our experiences. Once you acknowledge the fact that you've changed, your life circumstances have changed, and yes, even the world is changing, it's imperative that you figure out who you are or who you want to be now, and then get busy making it so.
Never pay more than you have to... for anything. This one is critical to the Retirement Diva lifestyle. It's precisely because we don't have a few extra million dollars lying around to fund the rest of our lives that we have to make the most of the resources we do have. That means being creative, innovative, and at times unorthodox, and willing to explore out-of-the box solutions. I've made finding the absolutely least expensive way to live a champagne life on a bottled water budget a game that I love to play. I've gotten pretty freaking good at it!
Minimalism is the new black... keep it elegantly simple. If you haven't seriously explored the concept of minimalism, I highly recommend it. You'll find it to be a common thread throughout the various Retirement Diva strategies. The benefits of a minimalist lifestyle go far beyond saving money... it saves time, energy, stress, and so much more. By letting go of the things (and yes, people too) that we no longer need and/or love, our lives are better for it in ways we couldn't have imagined.
It doesn't matter what other people think. Now is YOUR time. I've spent most of my life being concerned about what other people think of me. As a result, I expended an inordinate amount of time, energy, money, and the stress and anxiety that went along with it trying to please other people, often at the expense of my own well-being. My guess is that you've probably experienced some of that too. Well, you've paid your dues, done what was required, and your debts to other people, whether real or imaginary, have been paid (unless of course they loaned you a bunch of money that you haven't paid back yet!). It's time to take re-examine and perhaps re-calibrate YOUR opinion of you and act accordingly.
Start living your best life NOW. So many people work up until the day they retire. They wake up the next morning with a sobering and often fearful thought... "OK, what do I do now?" The Retirement Divas approach involves deciding what you want your retirement life to look like and then starting to make it happen, step-by-step. But that's not all... Why wait until you've retired to live the awesome life you're creating when you can start living it now!
If these core principles resonate with you, you've come to the right place. Join me and other like-minded women who are empowering ourselves and others to start creating our awesome retirement lives now.
Living our best lives,