Habits

We all have habits that we have developed over the years. Much of what we do is so routine that we do it with little thought or even much effort. This can work for us, or against us.

For those of us embarking on our retirement, it would be reasonable to take a look at our everyday habits and decide which ones to keep, which ones to lose and which ones to create.

We have developed some good habits over the years, many of which would still serve us. Most of us have a morning routine that we follow – get up, make our bed, freshen up – just the basics that help us to prepare for the day ahead and to motivate us to feel ‘ready’. It worked in our working life, it will work in our retirement. There are other habits, that were good, but were tied to our work routine. These we will no doubt have to change to fit our new lifestyle. If we have a physically demanding occupation, that may have covered much of our exercise requirements. Now we will have to create a new workout routine to ensure our health and fitness. If we have a more mentally challenging career, we may have to add more mental stimulation to our daily routine, to keep our minds sharp as our home life rituals may have been more focused on the physical.

We all have habits that have never, and will never, serve us. This is an excellent time to make note of these and rid ourselves of them. These could include indulging in take-out or processed food on a regular basis, watching too much television, smoking – anything that is likewise just unhealthy and a waste of time and/or money.

Finally, this is a great time to focus on building new habits that will serve us during this phase of our lives. These might include starting a new exercise program, reading, cooking, socializing – just creating routines that are mentally. physically and emotionally stimulating and satisfying. Retirement can be some of the best years of our lives, but as always, it is up to us to make that happen.

It can be difficult making or breaking habits. I recently read “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. This book was a complete game changer for me. It is an easy read full of helpful tips and advice that make sense. Personally, I believe anyone preparing to retire should read it. It was certainly worth my time and money.

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