Weekend Reading: So You Accomplished Your Goals. Now What?

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
Weekend reading goal achievement malaise Weekend reading goal achievement malaise
Weekend Reading

When you finally achieve a long-awaited dream, whether it's financial independence, retirement or in the author’s case here, reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, you might notice a feeling of "Now what?" sets in after your elation fades.


The hedonic treadmill effect: Experiencing a sense of loss or emptiness after accomplishing a significant goal is common. Happiness guru Sonja Lyubomirsky notes that achieving one goal often leads to the desire for even higher goals, and the tendency for you to continue moving your goal post forward, forever in search of happiness.

How to cope: One way to move past that post-achievement malaise is to plan another adventure. Anticipating and looking forward to future experiences, even on a smaller scale, can boost your happiness. The author here emphasizes that the pursuit of a goal, with its associated challenges and milestones, brings happiness; perhaps even more than the achievement itself.

There are benefits to keeping a full calendar in retirement even though you may no longer need to do so. Continue to seek challenges and exciting opportunities no matter where you may find yourself in life.