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One of the benefits of retirement is I have a lot of freedom to choose what to do today or tomorrow or throughout the week. One of the detriments of retirement is I have a lot of freedom to choose what to do today or tomorrow or throughout the week.

When my daily to-do list gets out of hand, I return to the basics. I reframe what I need to do each day. It simplifies things, makes it easy to get done my most important tasks, and reignites my motivation to get things done, because I have “less” to do.

My key things are: physical (exercise, eat right, sleep, water), mental (read, write, learn), social (stay in contact with friends, colleagues via phone or social media), and spiritual (journaling, reading, spiritual exercises).

Obviously, things will come up, but my daily to-dos focus on doing something in each of these areas consistently every day. Over time one can get a lot done!

If you have found your motivation waning, it may have to do with stacking your plate too high with too many things. Or it may involve trying to do too much. For those that still work, this is a recipe for disaster. Keep it simple. If you want to read, read a chapter or a few pages, whatever time permits. If you want to write, start a simple journal like a diary, dream journal or gratitude journal, or for those of us here, write something in your blog. I try to keep my blog entries to within a 200-300 word chunk if possible. I also try to keep the volume of my writing in my journal to this amount as well. If you want to exercise, do something simple like walking up and down stairs, some pushups, situps, air squats, or inclined pushups on the stairs. Spiritual things like prayer, meditation, and the like are up to you. Read a spiritual book, meditate, pray at some point in the day. I find this to be most important to schedule. Then I know I’ll get it done and not miss a day of this important aspect of my life. Socially, I stick to family. After retirement and moving back to Michigan, many of my daily contacts have reduced to a facebook posting or quick response here and there. I focus on family first, then others if time allows.

Reframing your to-do list is a simple practice of reducing things down to the basics. Read, write, socialize, and spiritualize. If you can reduce your daily to-dos (habits) down to their core, you’ll find it much easier to tackle the list and get things done.

My exercise this week, will be another change of pace. I’m sticking to home this week, because the weather has turned absolutely brutal (it’s in the single digits outside) and I enjoy staying indoors. So this week, it’ll be a focus on upper body, lower body, and cardio (each of these twice a week). Here is what it looks like:

Lower body (Monday and Thursday)

Upper body (Tuesday and Friday)

Cardio (Wednesday and Saturday)

I hope all of you have a great week!

Until next time…