Failing Retirement 101: Finding a Passion

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Was I scared? I was passionate about helping people take control of their financial lives. Suddenly not being in a full-time working mode was going to be an interesting new life stage. I have more time for family and friends.

I have more time for a passion I discovered in my 60s — fishing! I have more time to just be. I continue to feed my passion to help people, but I do this on a reduced work schedule. But for me, I feel like I have found a tremendous balance in my life. That said, I am not in denial. I know that 70 is not 35 or 45 or even My father was 71 when he died. My mother was Losing my dad so early is a reminder to appreciate and truly live each day. I hope that you, too, are having a great time navigating this next life stage. Yes, there are aches and pains to deal with.

And I have to steel myself to avoid buying into the ageism that courses through so many parts of American society. But at my core — and I hope you also feel this — is the wisdom to celebrate that right now we have the power to live life on our own terms. You are leaving AARP. Please return to AARP. Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive. In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails related to AARP volunteering.

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Share with twitter. Share with linkedin. Self-motivation is driven by a set of skills that are within your control. Read on to learn how to use this to your advantage. The Skills You Need website lists six vital skills that form the foundation of self-motivation, and they are all skills that you can develop through sustained effort:. Students are particularly well-suited to reap the benefits of self-motivation, but it can be hard to be self-motivated in the current educational environment.

Luckily, there are some things you can do as teachers, parents, and adult mentors to help students become self-motivated. In addition, there are plenty of strategies that students can apply themselves.

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You may find it much easier to encourage self-motivation in the workplace than in school. Writers Nick Nanton and J. Dicks at Fast Company offer some further strategies to ensure that both you and your employees stay motivated:. You can also take control of your own self-motivation at work. Some good techniques for becoming more self-motivated at work include:. The research on self-motivation clarifies its vital role in helping us achieve our goals. Check out the findings on two important and related topics below. While self-discipline and self-motivation are two distinct concepts, self-discipline is vital to maintaining self-motivation.


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A study of online learners showed that even though they might all be considered self-motivated since they are all taking a voluntary course with the goal of learning , those with self-discipline were the most likely to succeed. Very often, self-motivation is a key component of weight loss. Research on the connection between the two is quite clear. When we have our own closely held reasons for wanting to lose weight—and these reasons are based on personal fulfillment rather than meeting external standards—we are much more likely to find success.

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Check out the activities, exercises, and worksheets below to find ways to enhance your self-motivation. Or, share these resources with your clients to help them get self-motivated. Some techniques and exercises are more difficult than others. This workbook is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to develop self-motivation. Please note that you will need to register with www. You can find more free motivation tools and worksheets here.

Building self-efficacy is one of the best ways to develop your self-motivation. It might sound difficult or complex, but there are three simple activities you can do that help get you there:. Creating goals for yourself is one of the best things you can do to build a foundation for self-motivation. This worksheet from the Health Fitness Corporation offers a comprehensive experience in thinking about and working toward self-motivation.

For each method, there are several prompts and questions for you to complete that will get you thinking and help you understand how you can implement the techniques you are learning in your own life. Click here to view this worksheet in PDF.

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All four parts contain great resources, but the Art of Self-Motivation section includes some really useful handouts and worksheets, including:. Click here to access this page resource. There are several fun quizzes and questionnaires you can use to explore your level of self-motivation. You can find this quick five-minute quiz from Richard Step at this link. It includes 45 questions rated on a three-point scale with Rarely, Maybe, and A Lot as the three options. You can take it with a focus on your life in general, or you can narrow your focus to one of several areas, including:.

Your results from this quiz will help you determine what makes you tick and what your main motivators are.

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If you want to learn what type of incentives you are most responsive to, this quiz from Martha Beck at Oprah. Scores can range from 1 to 10, with higher scores indicating that something is a greater motivator for you. Anything with a score of 6 or higher can be considered one of your major motivators, while anything below 3 is only minimally important. Your main motivational style is the component with the highest score.

For a slightly more research-backed scale of self-motivation, you might want to consider the Self-Motivation Inventory. It includes 30 items rated on a scale from 1 less true to 5 more true , dependent on how well you feel each item describes you. When you have answered all 30 questions, total your responses for your overall score. Your score will place you within one of the following categories:.

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This inventory was developed by Milana Leshinsky and Larina Kase, and you can find it at this link. Sometimes you just need a quick boost to get self-motivated, and quotes are a great way to get the spike in motivation that you need.