Why Some Retirees Can’t Get Out of Bed (Part 3)
by Jeanne Savelle
In part one and part two, we looked at why some retirees can’t get out of bed and the secret for what to do about it.
The Secret: Learn to watch your brain.
Step One: Awareness - Find out what’s going on in your brain, what you are thinking.
Step Two: Examination – Be curious when looking at your thoughts. Look at them without judgment. Distinguish between facts and stories.
Step Three: Questioning – Ask yourself how your thoughts make you feel. For each statement, find a specific feeling. One thought = one feeling. Is this how you want to feel?
Step Four: Possibility - Consider other ways of thinking, be open to different perspectives. You have the option to decide which thoughts and feelings you want to drive your life.
Let’s look at the remaining steps to take you forward and choose the results you want.
Step Five: Empowerment – Understanding that you, and only you, are in control of your thoughts and feelings. If you wake up and think:
“I just can’t get out of bed today.”
You may feel unmotivated or lazy, but you will not get out of bed. Feeling unmotivated will reinforce your thought, and you’ll stay there, accomplishing nothing.
If you choose a different thought:
“I might not want to get out of bed, but I want to play music, so I will.”
Then you might feel anticipation, for example. Choosing what you want to think will allow you to take a different action if you want.
While this might seem simplistic, we all have many thousands of thoughts every day, some of which are beliefs we have held for a long time. And these thoughts drive our feelings and actions.
Uncovering the underlying thoughts stopping us from doing what we genuinely want is critical and takes time. Coaching and self-coaching are processes for examining and questioning our beliefs.
Let me tell you a story. I built a house almost 20 years ago on a beach in Florida, custom-built for my retirement. I had no doubt I would live there for the rest of my life once I retired. Well, it didn’t work out that way, and I sold the house after retirement.
Getting over that disappointment took a couple of years, and sometimes I still think about it. But with coaching, I was able to choose a different perspective. I had 15 mostly wonderful years in that house, and my time there simply came to an end. It was time to move on.
Selling the house gave me the freedom (financial and otherwise) to continue exploring coaching, travel more, and spend time with far-flung friends and family.
I could have been disappointed for the rest of my life, but that was not how I wanted to live.
Step Six: Decision – People struggle with decision-making all the time. We fear making decisions because we think they can be good or bad.
But every decision we make is the best one at the time. Later, with new information and experience, we may make choose something different, but whatever we decide is right at the moment.
Don’t indulge in indecision. Make a decision and move on.
When I decided to sell my beach house, I made one of the most difficult and impactful decisions of my life. Many times, I questioned my choice, but thinking about it made me crazy. I wanted to move on, so I decided to. Period.
Step Seven: Action - Take action steps based on your decision so you can create the results you want. Without action, results never arrive.
Note: This series of articles is a general introduction and we are scratching the surface in this series.
Keep up the good work. As the late, great John Lewis said: “Get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”
What we do here is good work, necessary work: the work of your life.