Creating New Rituals and Habits in Retirement


Happy New Year! Many of us make resolutions for healthy habits this time of year, but really any time you make a life change – such as getting a new job, having a baby or retiring – is the perfect opportunity to reassess not just your daily routine, but also your regular habits and rituals.

What changes do you want to make in your life? What has worked well for you and what might you like to be different? Now is the time to decide: Do you want to sleep in until 7am? Do you want to cook healthy meals? Work out before lunch instead of 5:15am? Do you want to buy tickets to the theater for a Wednesday night because you don’t have to worry about the alarm clock waking you on Thursday morning? Do you want to take a class at the community college that meets from 2pm to 4pm on Mondays?  Or do you want to create a habit for reading, journaling, walking, biking, coffee with friends?

Decide what habits and rituals you want and then set up a place to do it. Ensure your tools of the trade are handy and then build the time into your schedule using a trigger that indicates when it’s time to do it. For instance, if you want to read your Bible every day, create a place to read, put your bible and any other tools in that space (reading glasses, a pointer, a coaster for your cup of coffee), and then build the trigger into your schedule. If you want to read right after you make your morning cup of joe, that’s your trigger. This year, as my schedule changed, I set a resolution to write in my journal every day. I created a space at a table in my home office, placed my journal, reading glasses and pen on the table, and my trigger alerts me to journal right before I head downstairs for breakfast. If you want to eat healthy meals, where will you find or create those meals? What tools do you need to do it well? What will trigger you to create or find those meals instead of the traditional fast food you’ve been relying upon?

You don’t need a life change to create healthy good habits. Pick something small and get started today.

Good luck!