Retirement is an exciting time of life for most people. The options are endless, but sometimes it’s exactly that sense of overwhelming choice that can create problems in adjusting to your new life. Do you pick up a new hobby or sport? Do you learn a new language? Do you travel? Do you write that book you’ve always had in mind? Fortunately, if you choose a Florida retirement community like Lake Ashton, you have plenty of focused options right on your doorstep. However, here are a few other ways to help you adjust to the changes that come with retirement.

One of the first things to consider are the actual changes you want to see in your life now that you’re retired. Make a list of the kinds of things you would like to do. Write down everything from reading War and Peace to making an Antarctic cruise and expedition. This doesn’t have to be a bucket list, just some things that you’d like to do now that you have the time. Some may not be feasible, but others may inspire you and give you something to aim for and start seriously considering.

Another change you may need to adjust to is a shift in friendships and social circles. Perhaps you moved a few times for work and over time you lost any strong circle of friends. Or perhaps you’ve decided to move and are saying goodbye to neighbors, workmates, and other friends and acquaintances. Making new friends takes effort, but the benefit of living in a retirement community is the proximity to people who probably share similar interests, experiences and goals. Take advantage of community gatherings and classes to get to know people and you’ll likely make some strong friendships. Give it time, though, and don’t get disheartened if you don’t have a new best friend right away. However, the more people you meet, the more likely you are to find that person or people with whom you truly connect.

You may have images of daily exercise, learning to water ski, writing that book, but you also need to be willing to make the changes that are necessary to achieve some of these ideas and goals. It’s far too easy to fall back on old habits that see you sitting in front of the TV for hours on end or not working up the nerve to sign up for something new. You need to prepare yourself mentally for some challenges, especially with new projects. However, you also need to make sure these are things you really want to do. If you are a homebody, you may find that travel, even short trips, just isn’t for you. Make sure you’re doing something you want to do, not something you feel expected to do. That said, don’t be afraid to try new things. If you like it, great! If not, move on.

Retirement brings changes and it’s up to you to think about the kinds of changes you want and the ones you are comfortable with making. Don’t just move into your Florida retirement community. Think about what you want to get out of it and make the most of the advantages a place like Lake Ashton can offer you.