An incoming president focuses on using his political capital to make his mark in the first 100 days of his administration. An executive in a new leadership role tries to gain traction in the first 90 days to add the value she was hired for. A good start can make or break a career.

In Michael Watkins’s book “Your First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter,” he explains how a new position, particularly one involving a promotion, often requires different skills than the ones that got you there.

For example, a manager with great attention to detail may falter in a director position where his team feels micromanaged. Transitions can be uncomfortable, since those involved are navigating uncharted territory.

Finding happiness in retirement is no different. The concepts Watkins outlines on managing transitions can be applied to the ultimate transition – leaving the workforce and entering retirement.

You may not be building a team or setting up a good working relationship with a new boss, but retirement can be a challenging transition nonetheless. Understanding that you may need a new outlook – as well as new skills or to dust off some old ones – may help you transition to a happier retirement sooner.

Many people plan their trip of a lifetime after they retire. They may take a cruise to Alaska, a trip to Europe or road trip on Route 66 to see America. When they return from their adventures, they may wake up and look in the mirror and say, “Now what?”

Set in place a 100-day plan to gain early traction to make your retirement transition smoother. Think of it as developing your own onboarding schedule for the first few months of retirement so you can get into the swing of your golden years right off the bat.

Here are some suggestions:

Focus On Five Areas Of Happiness

San Francisco psychologist Yvette Guerrero, Ph.D. outlines five keys to happiness for retirees in her presentation on Psychological and Emotional Aspects of Retirement: Planning for a Successful Transition:

Satisfying relationships

Mind/body fitness

Being as financially secure as possible

Staying young at heart

Acts of kindness

Assess where you stand in each of these five areas and brainstorm things you’d like to do to improve and find balance.

 

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