Updated: Oct. 8, 2021

Identifying New Directions

Retirement offers exciting opportunities and infinite possibilities. When one thinks about their “next chapter,” often it includes crafting the legacy you wish to leave or how to pursue a life-long dream. For others, it could mean just enjoying a more relaxing pace of life, spending more time with friends or family, and exploring new hobbies, interests or activities.

After years spent meeting the demanding obligations and expectations of a legal career, it may now be up to you to decide and plan for your continued vitality. For some attorneys, it is a time of working less and/or at a more reduced level. For others, retirement means an opportunity to engage in volunteer work, take classes, explore a long-neglected hobby (or new interest) or join a club. Crucial questions to ask oneself around this topic are:

  • What will I do with my time if I retire and am no longer working?
  • How do I remain challenged and engaged without my work? 
  • How do I maintain healthy, vital and energetic life as I age? 
  • How can I make a difference in my community, or in the world? 
  • How can I create the right balance in my life?

It is reasonable to expect that your most significant relationships will be impacted in some way in retirement. And it's helpful to have a sense of how these relationships will play out in your life when your work priorities change. The Relationships in Retirement Assessment can help you further explore this topic.

Perhaps one of the most meaningful ways to identify new goals at this (or any) stage in life is to explore your values. While goals are things we strive to achieve, and upon succeeding, we move on to the next one, values represent strongly and consistently held principles and beliefs about what we feel is most important in life, relationships and how we function in the world.

Ideally, a clear sense of values are deeply rooted in whatever goals we set for ourselves in life, no matter what stage we find ourselves. As you enter this next chapter, it’s as important as ever to be considering what you truly care most about when it comes to decisions about how you spend your precious time and energy each day, and who you are choosing to spend it with. Exploring your own personal values with the Values Worksheet can be a helpful process in getting clear about what really matters to you and who you want to be with respect to the various domains of life, in order to set meaningful and relevant goals for yourself.