Retirement:How can I take charge of my activities

change up
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Life slips into a routine

If you are like me, you enjoy routines and familiarity. Routines are especially appealing after you leave a job or career where you couldn’t control your daily activities. After chaos, it feels good to relax into a regular schedule- any schedule. Before you know it you have created a big routine for yourself. I used the term ‘rut’ when I first wrote the last sentence but that really isn’t fair. Routines can be good or bad and sometimes a good routine can turn into a rut over time. The trouble is that it is difficult to notice the difference. Because anything you do for a long time becomes something you stop appreciating.

Even things you like can become boring.

Say you love to play golf. Or maybe that you used to love playing golf when your work schedule didn’t let you play very often. Now that you are retired, you play several times a week. Is it still fun. Do you get excited each day when you drive to the golf course. Or is it just a routine? What do you do if you can’t tell?

Do a change up.

Bill who blogs at Adventure Retirement is a great resource for new retirement ideas.  He suggests that you make a small change once in a while. Maybe you won’t like it but when you go back to your old routine, you have a reason to explain why you like what you are doing. You no longer have to struggle to justify your routine. You know that you like it.  Bill has some other suggestions about retirement lifestyles and I recommend that you read him regularly but for now let’s stick to the thought of trying something new from time to time. Take a new route when you drive to your regular destinations. Play a new golf course. Find some new partners. Shift your schedule. It’s not as if you don’t have complete control. You can change back any time you like but take the opportunity to open your mind to something new.

Small Steps can be big.

You don’t need to come up with a whole new retirement lifestyle. You don’t need to worry about many complicated, unanticipated impacts of the changes because you change one thing at a time and the change is small. If you like it then you can open up to more changes – or not. If you don’t then go back to normal.

What I am suggesting is that you make sure that your routine is one that you like and not a rut that you slipped into and which has numbed you to enjoyment. You may have the perfect retirement lifestyle but you won’t know it until you make a small change and learn how much you appreciate it. On the other hand you may have drifted into a serious and deadly rut and are just too numb to know the difference. Try a change up and find out.

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Bob Lowry December 27, 2010, 2:58 pm

    I agree completely with the problem of falling into a rut without even being aware of it. In my post today I refer to retreading, or taking something you once did and changing it to fit your lifestyle now. It can be a “baby step,” a small thing, but important.

    It doesn’t really matter if someone is retired or not. We are creatures of habit and routine. But, that isn’t really living, it is existing.
    Bob Lowry’s last Blog Post ..Blogging during dry spells – Any different from Retirement

  • Ralph December 27, 2010, 4:23 pm

    Bob,
    Thanks for the reinforcement. Readers need to check you out as well. You can’t be reminded too much about being open. And you are right, it is pertinent to any one.

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