According to Dr. Richard Johnson, the founder of Retirement Options, there are ten descriptors of retirees who live life with vitality:
1. Has a high self-regard: They seem to think favorable about themselves even in the face of trial and tribulation. They harbor an internal sense of “all rightness” at their core that appears undisturbed by outside pressures. Certainly they can become upset and irritable at times, but they regain composure rather quickly and emerge without damage to their self.
2. Value their physical health: They monitor their body and are aware of its needs. They are kind to their body in the sense that they don’t overtax it, they give it proper rest, grooming, exercise, medical attention, etc. They have realistic expectations about what is appropriate for them at their stage of life.
3. Have a high sense of personal worth: They see themselves as valuable; they recognize their accomplishments as successes, and can easily understand how useful their work is to the overall project. They enjoy a high sense of utility; they believe that what they are doing is worthwhile.
4. Have faith in themselves: They understand at deep levels that they are capable, resourceful, and enduring. They enjoy an appropriate sense of personal confidence, which is seldom, if ever, overstated. They seem to possess an aura of stability and security.
5. Expect success: They have a hard time believing in failure. What other people might call failure, they seem to recognize as just another learning experience. They expect good things to happen right from the outset of a project or task.
6. Enjoy productive and supportive relationships: Perhaps because of their internal confidence, they enjoy people. They don’t fear that they will be unfairly criticized, and if someone does become upset with them, they can handle the situation with appropriate social skill.
7. Take optimal care of their body: They like the feeling of knowing that they are doing what is necessary to keep the marvelous machine of their body in top running condition. They feed it correctly, get proper rest, maintain a regular exercise program, and perform other health maintenance and promotion activities, which allow them to perform maximally.
8. Engage in stress reduction techniques: Whether it’s regular exercise, mindfulness meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, a power nap, prayer, soothing music, appropriate “self-talk,” or any of a number of other stress reduction techniques; they know several and use them regularly.
9. Take good care of all their gifts: They know their gifts and talents as an individual, and maintain an active interest in the development and growth of their talents. They seem to appreciate what they have been given and are not particularly envious of the talents and gifts of others.
10. Make continuous adjustments to their attitudes and behaviors: They seem to know innately that their attitudes are the bedrock of their personality and that they need to keep on top of which ones need modification and in what ways these modifications can be made. Attitudes can become antiques, useful yesterday, but quite out of function today. Sometimes we neglect to trade-in our antique attitudes for newer, more functional models.