There is a temptation during retirement to go with the flow, to not rock the boat, to stick with what works, to stay in your lane, to leave well enough alone. While the attraction may be understandable, it can sometimes lead to unhealthy assumptions. For example, you may wrongly assume that it is too late to take better care of yourself; that you are too old to start a meaningful exercise program; that it’s too hard to form better eating habits; that some of your relationships are beyond repair; that you’ve peaked and the best is behind you. The truth is that it is never too late to take steps to extend and improve the quality of your life.
Direction Not Location
Greg Bishop, an attorney in Park City, Utah, suggests that during retirement, direction is more important than location. He recommends paying less attention to where you’ve come from and where you are, and more attention to where you are headed. Specifically, he advises:
Your current location on the spectrum of any of these life areas is less important than being deliberate about improving each. For example, if you have led a fairly sedentary lifestyle, then start increasing your physical strength and cardiovascular endurance by going for a walk. Over time, increase the frequency of your walks, then the duration, and eventually the intensity. Once vigorous walking becomes easy for you, it’s time to move to jogging and then running using the three basic steps of physical conditioning – increase frequency, then duration, and finally, intensity.
If walking isn’t your thing, then find something else that is – pump iron, ride a bike, play tennis, hike, swim laps, dance, do yoga, take tai chi, or join a Crossfit box. If exercising by yourself is difficult, then find someone else to exercise with to help motivate you and hold you accountable. If goals motivate you, then sign up for a 10-K or a marathon, or train for a triathlon. Frankly, what you do doesn’t matter as much as doing something purposeful to improve your physical well-being. Greg Glassman, the founder of Crossfit, once observed that “the needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree, not kind.”
Although improving your body is important, it is not sufficient to change in and of itself. It would be best if you also were resolute about improving other areas of your life. For example:
In short, although retirement marks the end of your career, it also marks the beginning of a life where you have enough time to extend and improve the quality of your life.
About Greg Bishop, Attorney
Greg Bishop is a Utah-based attorney, business executive, HR specialist, outdoors lover, and above all, a volunteer. He has extensive experience working with both domestic and international companies. He also spent seven years working very closely with the largest organization helping the homeless in Washington, D.C. He also has volunteered for an international organization that rescues child sex-trafficking victims.
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