How To Stay Motivated In Retirement | 20 Helpful Tips

How do you stay motivated after retirement? Many retirees are struggling with the same question. It’s normal to ask yourself this because retirement is a life-changing event. 

To make sure you keep your motivation after retirement, I created this list with 20 helpful tips. Ready to find your motivation again? Let’s check it out!

Did you know that one of the best ways to find your motivation is by learning new things? I’ll tell you later all about it. But if you can’t wait, I recommend visiting the Masterclass platform. On this unique platform, you can follow different video courses from the most famous and successful people in the world.

It’s one of the best ways to explore and learn new things when you’re looking for some new motivation in retirement. Make sure to visit the website of Masterclass, and get your annual membership for Masterclass today!

#1 Start A Daily Routing

Let’s start with something as simple as a daily routine. Having a daily routine where you get up early every morning, doing some exercises, or other activities helps you stay motivated. 

However, it is one of the hardest things many retirees struggle with daily. When you just got retired, you don’t have to get up for work anymore. You’re free to do whatever you like doing, and thus it can be tempting to sleep in every day and just chill. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great idea to take it easy and relax! But you will stay much more motivated when you have a daily schedule. 

Creating a daily schedule doesn’t have to be complicated. Your schedule can be something like; 

08:00 – Getting Up 
08:15 – Workout / Exercise 
09:00 – Breakfast 
10:00 – Coffee with Friends
12:00 – Lunch

You can plan activities like grocery shopping, social activities, sports, spending time on your hobby, or learning new things for the afternoon and evenings. 

When you find it challenging to create a daily schedule, I recommend reading my article, How To Structure Your Retirement Day? You’ll find some helpful tips in this article that helps you create a daily schedule effortlessly!

#2 Keep Learning New Things

When you keep challenging yourself, you will stay motivated to reach your goals. One of the most easiest ways to challenge yourself is by learning new things every day. 

The online course platform Masterclass is one of the best and most accessible tools to learn new things. The most famous and successful people in the world teach classes in their disciplines. For example, Gordon Ramsey teaches how to make restaurant-style recipes at home, and Ron Finley teaches everything about gardening. These are just two examples of different Masterclass courses. There are more than 80 classes available on the platform! 

You can find the online Masterclass platform here. I’ll tell you later more about how it works, but first, let’s look at why it’s helpful to learn new things when you’re retired. 

The Benefits Of Learning New Things

Learning new things is important for everyone, but especially when we get older, it can be beneficial for our health. According to this article on Harvard Health Publishing, learning new things leads to sharper thinking and stimulates brain activity. 

Many retirees are afraid they don’t get enough stimulation when they’re retired. Which can result in loss of motivation at first and even more serious health issues later. As stated in the article on Harvard Health Publishing, the solution is just that simple that if you keep challenging yourself with learning new things, the chances are that you’re staying much more motivated in life. And thus can enjoy your retirement even more. 

You can find more information in my article, How Can I Keep My Brain Active After Retirement?

Masterclass: The Best Online Platform To Learn New Things

So, back to Masterclass. I genuinely feel it is the best online platform to learn new things. The Masterclass platform is easily accessible from home or anywhere you like. They offer over 80 different classes. It is the only online platform where you can follow a course and get inspired by the world’s most famous and successful people. 

Each class contains different video lessons that you can follow at your own pace. And they keep adding more classes each month! You can get your annual pass for Masterclass now by clicking on this link.

With over 80 different classes available in all kinds of categories, I’m sure you’ll find a course that motivates you to learn new things. Get your annual membership for Masterclass here;

#3 Create A Retirement Bucket List

Have you ever had the thought; ‘When I’m retired, I’m going to travel, and maybe learn how to write a book. Visit some old friends, and start with my own vegetable garden.’ 

Of course, you can change the activities in the example above with the things that suit you the most. The point is, many people have a long list of things they want to do when they’re retired. Somehow they never get to it. I always recommend not to wait to make your dreams come true. However, retirement is a perfect moment to (re)create your bucket list. 

When I talk to people about creating their bucket list, they often find it hard to come up with ideas. But it is actually straightforward. The trick is to not overthink the things you want to do. Just sit down for a moment with a pen and paper, or your smartphone, and write down all the activities you want to do in life. 

When you feel you’ve written down all the activities, for now, you can decide what you want to do first. Talk it through with your spouse, and create a bucket list together. Maybe you need to save money for different activities, and some activities require a bit of planning. But that’s all there is. 

Remember, you can always alter your bucket list. It’s your list, so you decide which activities you want to do or add some new activities in a later stadium. It is all possible! 

If you need some help finding ideas for your retirement bucket list, make sure to read my article, 101+ Ideas For Your Retirement Bucket List

#4 Set Goals For Your Retirement

Having goals in life is important to stay motivated. So when you’re retired, you must have goals in life you want to reach. You don’t have to focus on career goals anymore. You can, if you want to, but retirement is all about having the best time in your life. You probably spent enough time on your career, that’s the reason why you can retire in the first place! 

Having goals is different than having a bucket list for your retirement. However, the two can complement each other. If you created a retirement bucket list of things you want to do in your retirement, it’s probably easier to set goals.

I recommend that you focus on one or two goals in your retired life at once. This way, you’ll have enough time to focus on other things that cross your path. Working towards a goal helps you also to create a daily schedule. 

If you have trouble setting goals, you might want to take a look at your bucket list. Just pick one thing that you want to do, and make that your goal. 

It can be as simple as ‘learn to play the guitar‘ or ‘improve my tennis skills.’ For both examples, you can also find helpful Masterclasses to reach those goals. Carlos Santana learns the basics about guitar playing, and Serena Williams teaches how to improve your tennis skills on the Masterclass platform.   

#5 Find Your Passion In Retirement

Many retirees have trouble to find their (renewed) passion in life. Some people even get stressed about not knowing what they want to do in retirement. But there’s nothing to worry about. Knowing your passion in retirement means having more joy, happiness, and motivation in retirement. 

If you’re having trouble finding your passion, you’re not alone. There’s a good chance that you were so busy with your career over the last years, you forgot about the things you really like to do. However, if you want to stay motivated in retirement, it is recommended to find your passion. 

I wrote an article about finding your passion in retirement, with 14 helpful tips. It’s a step-by-step guide to find your passion. You can find the article here

#6 Be Thankful

Staying motivated in life and as a retiree has a lot to do with your ability to stay in the present moment. I learned that performing regular meditation exercises help to stay in the present moment. And when you’re not distracted by all kinds of thoughts and other things, it’s easier to be thankful for those moments. 

Being thankful for life as it is. Enjoying the things as they are. It’s such a powerful tool to stay motivated. It helps you with focusing and keep happy thoughts. When you’re thankful for the moments and life as it is, staying motivated is straightforward. You will be much more mindful, which is beneficial to stay motivated. 

#7 Stay Mindful 

So being thankful is important to keep your motivation, and meditation exercises can help with that. But being mindful is more important. Meditation or mindfulness, it’s the exercise of being in the present moment without distractions. And much easier said than done. 

Many people practice meditation or similar exercises to be more mindful, but I feel you can try to be mindful, or have a mindful mindset with everything you do. My boyfriend and I practice meditation almost daily, but we also try to lower our distractions and focus on the things we’re doing at specific moments. This way, we can be more mindful, which helps to keep your motivation. 

Practicing meditation is something that everyone can do. A great and helpful app you can use for meditation Headspace. You can follow different guided meditations via this app

We’re talking about being in the present moment as much as possible. And what I mean by that is trying to lower your distractions and focus on what you’re doing. If you want to stay motivated after retirement, it’s important that you create a scene where you can enjoy every moment as a retiree. 

#8 Enjoy Every Moment In Your Retirement

We get a lot of distractions throughout the day. There’s so much going on that we often forget to mindfully enjoy the things we’re doing. Sometimes we aren’t even aware of what we’re doing, and we’re doing things on our ‘automatic pilot.’

I often talk to people when they tell me that they aren’t really motivated to do things. When I ask them why, almost always, they have busy lives, but they’re distracted by the many things they do, that they forget to enjoy the moments. It’s in that situation that you often lose your motivation. 

Let’s set the scene, so you’ll better understand what I mean. You’re probably reading this article on your smartphone, while there are also push messages popping up your screen, and you’re playing a song on Spotify. And maybe while reading this, you also have some other thoughts popping up, ‘I still need to buy groceries!’ or something similar. 

When there are so many distractions while you’re just reading an article, are you truly able to enjoy the moment then? I don’t think so. We switch on ‘auto-pilot’ and just do these things because our brains are used doing multiple things at once. The geniuses we are! Or are we? 

This interesting article on Harvard Health Publishing describes the downside of multitasking. It’s better to focus entirely on one task before doing something different. 

If you have your complete attention set to one thing, it helps you do it better and enjoy it much more. You will get much more satisfaction out of it, and thus be more motivated. 

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#9 Keep An Active Lifestyle

Being active often results in having more energy. And if you’re more energetic, it’s easier to stay motivated. So, an active lifestyle helps you to stay motivated after retirement. But what is an active lifestyle? That depends on the person. 

The concept of being active is different for everyone, but there are basically three forms of activity we can describe. Having a Physically active, mentally active, and socially active lifestyle. You can find helpful tips in my article, How Can I Stay Active In Retirement?

I will also describe the different activity forms in the next part of this article to just easily read on. Let’s start with staying mentally active in retirement. We actually already covered that one at the beginning of the article. 

Staying mentally active, similar to keep your brain active, is best by challenging yourself and learning new things. As we described at the beginning of this article, one of the best platforms to learn new things is by following a Masterclass course. You can get your annual pass for Masterclass here

#10 Be Socially Active

Did you know that having many social activities are linked to a more active lifestyle? According to this article on Harvard Health Publishing, having a socially active lifestyle is related to many health benefits. 

However, many retirees struggle to keep up with their social activities once they’re retired. If you’re like many other retirees and your social life was closely related to work relationships, don’t worry! There’s a lot you can do to improve your social life after you’re retired. 

Finding new contacts or getting in touch with old friends and family is one of them. It’s a great way to find motivation after retirement. Improving your social life helps with motivation, but it also keeps you active, which is an important factor if you want to enjoy your retirement. 

You can find more helpful tips about a social lifestyle in retirement in my article, How Can I Stay Social After Retirement?

#11 Exercise Daily

You don’t have to become a top athlete, but daily exercise is essential for healthy aging. It can be just as simple as walking through the park for one hour a day. 

Of course, you can join a sports club in the area and start exercise in a group. This is a great idea actually because you’re both being physically and socially active! 

According to the CDC, as an older adult, you need to get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week. Do you feel that sounds like a lot? It’s actually only 30 minutes a day! 

Being active gives you just more energy throughout the day, and when you feel energetic, it’s easier to stay motivated in your retirement. So why wait? Time to get some action (after you finished reading this article, of course!)

#12 Learn About New Cultures

I already mentioned that keep learning new things is a great way to stay motivated after retirement. But what if when you combine it with some social activities? I think it’s even better! 

A great way to do that is to learn more about new cultures. In the United States alone, you can find many different cultural groups in other states. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn about their lifestyle and how they stay motivated in life and when they’re retired. 

Check out our documentary about the Maoris in New Zealand for some inspiration:

#13 Start Traveling

Traveling is also a great way to stay motivated and learn more about new cultures and places. In recent times with all the development around Covid-19, it’s much harder to travel worldwide. However, I’m sure that there will be a moment in the near future where it’s all possible again. 

Travel is always a good idea, exploring the world, learning about cultures, getting to know new people and different ways of life. It’s what motivates us to keep traveling. We love to explore and find new adventures! 

I’m sure you’ll find motivation when you’re traveling. If you’re looking for inspiration on how to travel around as a retiree, I recommend reading my article How To Travel The World After Retirement?

#14 Find A New Hobby

When you’re feeling lost and don’t know what to do as a retiree, it’s time to try out new things. Retirement is all about enjoying your life in the best way possible. So why limit yourself? 

To stay motivated after retirement, it helps when you have an active lifestyle. People with an active lifestyle often have several hobbies. But some people are struggling to find a (new) hobby once they’re retired. If that’s you, don’t worry! There’s a lot you can do to find a hobby you like.

To give you some inspiration you can start a Garden Tower Project or start knitting with Knitcrate: a box with new knitting projects and material send to your door monthly. Another cool thing to do in retirement is to create a Legacybox and digitalize all your (old) media to reminisce on the good old times. And if you like a nice cold beer you can make your own beer with a Beer Making Kit from the Brooklyn Brew Shop. You just have to start somewhere and finding your retirement hobby becomes a lot easier.


Start with trying things. It’s just that simple. A great way to explore new things is by following video courses via Masterclass. You’re not only learning new things via that platform, but you can also figure out quickly what you like and what you don’t like to do. Masterclass offers courses with the most famous and successful teachers in the world.

When you’re looking for extra ideas to find a new hobby, make sure to read my article, 30 Best Hobbies In Retirement.

#15 Stay Focused On A Healthy Lifestyle 

I already mentioned it a few times, focusing on your lifestyle helps to stay motivated after retirement. When you make sure you’ll get enough daily exercise, have an active lifestyle, and try to be in the present moment as much as possible, you’re probably getting a long way. 

But let’s not forget that it’s also important that you focus on what you eat and drink. When you’re eating unhealthy most of the time, you probably lose energy very quickly. Which results in a lack of motivation. And that’s just something we want to avoid, right?

Have you ever heard of the Blue Zones in the world? Areas where people live much longer than average. They have the most centenarians (people who reach 100 years or older) in the Blue Zones. I find it very inspirational to look at their lifestyle and stay motivated to follow a healthy lifestyle myself. 

You can read more about the Blue Zones in this book, that you can buy on Amazon; 

#16 Get A Parttime Retirement Job

Many retirees miss their daily routine to go to work once they’re retired. If that’s the case for you, it might be interesting to find a part-time retirement job. Having a retirement job is not only beneficial financially, but it also helps with an active lifestyle. Which is an important factor to stay motivated after retirement. 

When you’re looking for inspiration about retirement jobs, make sure to read my article, 50 Best Jobs For Retirees

#17 Know Your Finances

It might sound like one of the most logical things on this list, to know your finances. However, many retirees have no idea about their current financial situation. 

Knowing your finances is essential because it helps you create the lifestyle you want. It avoids stress and unnecessary surprises when you know your current financial situation. 

When you have any doubts about your retirement finances, make sure to talk to a financial advisor. You can easily find on via this article on Nerdwallet.

#18 Volunteer In Your Community

When you have trouble finding your motivation after retirement, there’s also a good chance that you miss fulfillment in your life as a retiree. One of the best ways to find fulfillment is by helping others. And what better way to do that than by volunteering. 

Volunteering has many benefits. It not only helps to stay active and stay motivated. It’s also a way to interact with younger generations, stay socially active, and for many people to (re)find their purpose in life. 

If you want to start volunteering, I recommend reading my article, Why Do Retirees Volunteer? Where you can find some helpful information. 

#19 Start A Retirement Diary

Retirement is a special time in your life. You probably worked for over 25 years or longer, and now it’s time to enjoy your time not working. Explore life in a new way. 

We already discussed the importance of being consciously in the moment as much as possible. It can help to start a diary so that you’re getting aware of the things you’re doing in your retired life. Writing a diary is also a great way to stay motivated. When you write down all the things you do, you probably learn that you have a busy and fulfilling life. 

It doesn’t have to be challenging to start a diary. You can just start writing down the things you do on a day. But if you need some help with writing, you might want to check out the Masterclass writing courses. Get your annual membership for Masterclass here

#20 Let Go Of Your Grudges

Last but not least, on this list of helpful tips to stay motivated. Let go of your grudges. Having grudges create negative energy. And when you have a lot of negative energy, you’ll lose your motivation. 

So my advice is to focus on the positive things that give you energy. Let go of the grudges you still have. It can help to think for yourself, ‘why am I angry about this?’ or ‘How is this beneficial to me?’ 

Asking yourself these questions helps you quickly focus on the positive things in your life. So that you can stay motivated after retirement! 

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Kirsten Veldman

Since 2017, my husband and I have been location-independent retirees. With hundreds of articles written, I'm passionate about helping other retirees!

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