There are many reasons to enjoy your freedom with leisure time. Often you plan financially for retirement, ensuring your stocks, retirement pensions are all in place to provide you with the assurance of enough money to live month to month. It often includes creating an income stream to replace your paycheck, reducing expenses, and saving for medical expenses.
The key is to start thinking about your financial future by preparing for the aftermath of working life. It means thinking about what one’s life will look like during retirement and making decisions that will be best for this phase of one’s life.
Financial planning is essential, but what about the benefits of leisure planning?
The Benefits of Leisure Planning
There are many benefits to leisure planning.
- It helps us understand the limitations we have
- Knowing our limits helps us plan out what we need to do to reach specific goals.
- Planning helps us figure out what is holding us back from our goals
- Helps us create a plan to create and reach goals
- Improves our quality of life
Why Should I Plan My Leisure?
By gathering information about yourself and planning for your leisure, you can maximize the quality of life you will have when you retire.
Having plans in place will help you enjoy life now and later on.
Planning can be beneficial to your mental health and your financial situation. In addition, having a plan may make you feel more confident about yourself the action you take currently and help bring more joy into your life.
Take the Am I Satisfied With My Leisure Quiz to know where you are at and to help with your leisure planning
Steps to Leisure Planning
You can break leisure planning into five main areas visualize, list, identify your feelings, prioritize, create a pland
1. Visualize your ideal retirement
Take five to ten minutes, and with your eyes closed, see yourself in the future. Look at what you are doing and what you are not doing. At this point, try not to let any current circumstances such as financial challenges interfere. Think big and write down what you see; the more detail, the better. What you visualize may have positive and negative aspects, so embrace both.
2. Write down in list form what you visualize
An excellent way to begin leisure planning is by writing things down. Writing will give you somewhere to start from and allow for extra space if additional ideas come along during the process. In addition, by writing down what you want, you become aligned with the vision; you create space within yourself to begin working towards what you dream of.
Questions to start your writing process may include:
What country do you live in?
How is the weather?
Are you close to the water or the mountains?
Are you married?
How many children/grandchildren/nieces/nephews do you have?
Who is with you?
Who is not with you?
Do you laugh often?
It is usual for your visions to include positive and negative aspects. When you visualize anything, your current feelings will play a role. Feelings that arise during your visualization are not bad or good; it just is. Your feelings are there to protect you, guide you. When it comes to leisure planning and retirement, noting all emotions is a gift, as it will show you what you may need to work on to have the retirement you envisioned. For instance, perhaps you visualized living on an island but then saw a spider in the scene, and fear kicked in as you do not like spiders. This fear does not mean your visualization is flawed but instead shows you that you need to deal with your fear. Perhaps learning more about spiders will lessen this fear, or knowing an excellent exterminator on your dream island will help.
Review the list you wrote from your visualization.
Beside each item, write down one of the feelings below associated with each item.
No dream, big or small, happens all at once. By prioritizing your list by feelings, you can begin creating a plan to see your ideas come to life. You will be motivated daily to do what needs to be done to reach your dream.
Highlight the top 3 to 5 visions you felt the most joy in and write what about the vision was joyful.
Highlight the top 3 to 5 visions you felt the most fear and write why.
Highlight the top 3 to 5 visions you felt the most anger and write why.
Highlight the top 3 to 5 visions in which you felt the most sadness and write why.
5. Create a Plan
The best way to create a leisure plan will depend on your priority list. First, review the list and determine what you need to do. For some people, this may mean finding ways to make money from their interests to support themselves later in life, while others will benefit more from spending time outdoors to lessen their fear of being outside. Others may need to try out various things to determine their passions, interests, skills, and abilities, either by joining a community group or taking a class, or winging it on their own. Then use the information obtained to tune up your retirement plan.
Below is a few examples.
=My dream is to live in a sunny place with people around me. However, I am afraid to be alone, and I fear cooking. Therefore, I plan to join the 3-week cooking class at Del Mon community center in January to practice meeting others and how to cook for one person.
=My dream is to travel and golf around the world. However, I get angry on the golf course as my skills are not great. So, I plan to join the Fairmo Golf course and work with the golf pro for three lessons, practice on my own at three different courses for four months, then work with the golf pro again for three lessons to improve my swing. I commit to this process yearly until I retire.
=My dream is to purchase my own home on an acreage and have a upick garden. I am sad as I financially do not have the income for the dream or to begin anything now. So I plan on starting small by planting vegetables in my yard to begin to understand what plants need and sell them.
Leisure planning can be a daunting task. There are so many possibilities and also many considerations to take into account. To plan your leisure more effectively, you need to understand what you want from it. Do you want to do something social or spend some time on your own? Do you want it to be an active experience or a passive one? Should your activity be challenging, or should it be relaxing? The more you understand what you want in leisure time, the more you fully begin to know who you are.