Healthy Habits

My newest vision board for my retirement lifestyle has a big “Healthy Habits” component. So I started to think about how to be healthy in real, everyday life. What have I created habitually for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing? And where do I need more focus?

  • I start almost every day with positive affirmations and a few points about gratitude in my journal. My journaling has become an active meditation on practicing positivity and is a key element of my mental wellbeing. I’m also continuing to explore spirituality – with new moon rituals, tarot cards, meditation experiences, an Intuitive session, etc.
  • I move more that I used to. Whether it is walking, shopping, cleaning the house, walking the dog, or doing yoga, I am moving more. But using my FitBit to measure, I’ve learned I need consistency. I’ve been averaging 7000 steps/day each week, but some days it is 15,000+ and others less than 3000!
  • I do find quiet ways to relax, unwind, and BREATHE – journaling, yoga, crosswords, and quiet time. I need to accept that it doesn’t need to be check-the-box meditation – that’s a should that just doesn’t seem to connect with me. (And yes, I know — no shoulds allowed!)
  • I’m keeping up with the regular check-ups including periodontics, dermatologist, and oncologist. Plus a flu shot. And physical therapy at the moment, as well.
  • I do try and eat real food, in moderation. When I have fruit available on the counter and chips hidden away in the pantry, it’s much better.
  • My relationship with hubby is strong. I try and respect his need for non-planning days and yet, we have great (planned) date nights and have even a few mini-adventures recently. 
  • I’m continuing to work on IRL friend–relationships with planning friend-based activates. When I share a lovely meal with friends, it is not about the food. Okay, maybe a little bit about the food, but it’s MORE about the love, the sharing, the connecting, the nurturing, and the experience.
  • I need to re-learn how to play! While I enjoy laughter in a good conversation or theater production, I don’t have a lot of playtime in my life.  
  • I need to continue to explore new hobbies. I love my blogging hobby and have completed my book. I regularly plan activities with friends.   I enjoy reading and need to explore a book club. And I do need to find a new hobby, preferable in a creative space.


There’s a Humana advertisement targeting retirement that has a “start with” list that I’ve pulled and added to my vision board multiple times. (Of course I love it – it’s a list!) On my newest vision board, I created my own list and was very excited to see a number of healthy habits:

Start with…..

               Positive Thinking                  Yoga & Zumba

        Daily Journaling                    Taking the Stairs

        Flossing                                     More Leafy Greens               

       A Walking Buddy                      Regular Checkups

       A Good Breakfast                      Getting Outside

        Being Grateful                           Mindfulness

        New Recipes                              Being Active                        

        Mini-Adventures                       Less Sugar; More H20

What are you starting with on your retirement journey?

What healthy habits are you building into your every day life?


Picture Credit: Pixabay

40 thoughts on “Healthy Habits

  1. Great tips that we should all follow and work on! I’ve found that telling myself how much I enjoy healthy activities like exercising or eating fresh food makes me want to do them more often.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pat, I feel like I’m starting over on some of the things you’ve listed. I’m on my way to full recovery from a heart ablation and was amazed how stopping exercise for that time can set you back. I’m back to the fitness center and planning to also attend the yoga classes. Wonderful post that i’ll be sharing on FB and Twitter for #MLSTL. Thank you!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. A “Start With” list… I love this idea and will plan to journal about it tomorrow 🙂
    It sounds like you have a great handle on retirement. Playtime will come.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pat I love how intentional you are with all you do. I seem to be gradually drifting into retirement – and probably won’t be there full time for another few years. I’m finding that my days fill themselves nicely and I have a few little things on my “things to fill spare time with” list that I haven’t even touched yet. I do enjoy reading how balanced your life is – a little bit of everything – and I think that’s great.
    MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Leanne, I think your drifting into retirement is a brilliant way to do it! I wish my days “filled nicely” but for me it’s still a lot of planning and intention. Thanks for sharing!


  5. Yoga has been a HUGE part of my health/self-care. I have been practicing consistently for about 2 1/2 years, and have been lucky to find an amazing teacher who has helped me learn to compensate for my severe lack of flexibility. Yoga has completely transformed my life in every way. At this point, if I miss more than 2 days of class in a week (I go to class 6 days!), I start to feel anxious. And shortly after that, I start to have pain. It’s definitely a practice worth continuing!


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bethany, You’re the second person within days who’s mentioned daily yoga and how much they love it. I’m only doing it once a week now (my second class was cancelled) and feel the need for more. I need to look into finding another class, or getting better at using an on-line program. I did find my body feelt better when I was doing yoga 3 times a week last year.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Pat, your retirement journey sounds very balanced. I like the idea of working on habits for all different areas of our lives. I also need to play more and reconnect with the hobbies that give me joy. It has been quite a while since I allowed myself time for hobbies, and other than reading, I haven’t done much. It is fun to explore those again. I might even get out the guitar I haven’t played in 20 years!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Michele, Oh my, I also have a guitar… that I’ve moved now 8 times and still wonder if I’ll ever learn to play it! I’m not sure that’s my next hobby, but it is fun to explore different things. I keep wonder if any hobby will become a passion… perhaps one will someday!


  7. One of the goals on my Vision Board is a healthy lifestyle, which my husband and I adopted after it was on the board first. We decided to call it a lifestyle and not a diet because there’s so much negativity surrounding the word diet.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I like your list. I’m trying to eat more moderately – and cook healthy but tasty meals during the week so we can “break out” a little more on the weekend…my version of 5:2 eating perhaps. Consistently inconsistent perhaps.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I have a range of things I do to try to maintain my health. First, I make sure that I have annual check-ups/physicals with the appropriate docs and get my teeth cleaned three times per year.

    We try to eat real food and minimize grains and sugar, though we have not eliminated them entirely.

    I work out twice a week with a trainer doing cardio and strength training. I am stronger now than I’ve ever been because of this consistency, but I really need to add at least one more session per week on my own. I also track my weight every single day (which can be ugly at times) but it’s better to be aware of what’s happening. High BMI is strongly correlated to many bad health outcomes.

    I drink Bulletproof coffee every morning to help brain health. It consists of my own home-roasted Leebrook Blend coffee with collagen hydrolysate, grass-fed butter and C8 coconut oil. I also take a glucosamine-chondroitin-MSM-hyaluronic acid to complement the collagen for joints.

    Because gut health is so crucial to overall health, I also take a gut health “tonic” every day. This consists of lemon juice, fermented beet kvass, inulin, psyllium and unmodified potato starch along with a probiotic.

    I also take a variety of targetted supplements to help bolster my biochemical shortcomings. I do not take a multivitamin because these are too generic and probably have things you don’t need as well as not enough of the things you do need based on your biochemical individuality. These supplements include:

    Calcium citrate-malate
    Magnesium malate
    Gamma E tocopherol
    Fish oil
    Oxaloacetate (mitochondrial function)
    Vitamin K2
    Vitamin B6
    Methylated folate (because I am a bad methylator)
    Methylated B12
    Baby aspirin
    Vitamin D3 (+ weekly Vitamin D2)
    Tart cherry extract
    Alpha lipoic acid
    Hydroxycitric acid (helps prevent kidney stones)

    These are not random selections. They are all based on extensive reading and/or testing of my own biochemistry. You’ll notice for example that I don’t take big doses of Vitamin C. That’s because Vit C can be metabolized to oxalate which a main component of many kidney stones, which I have had. I also have to watch my consumption of leafy green vegetables because they are high in oxalate.

    I also know that, on the unhealthy side, I do drink too much wine, so I have to work on moderating that habit. I also do not consistently drink enough water. I am good on some days, not so good on others.

    I continue to read and learn about nutrition and it’s impact on health (massive) and I will continue to test and modify my regimen as needed. I also recently invested in testing my telomere length, but I don’t have those results yet.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bob, I always learn so much from you. I take a few supplements (based on research and things I wanted to impact), but your list is beyond impressive. It’s a whole meal in itself. Tim is the better water drinker but I’m trying to increase water intake myself. He’s also going to have a long consult on kidney stone prevention…so we will see what they recommend both diet-wise and supplementally. I personally struggle with supplements because so often I can’t tell the impact in taking them. Like when I started with the glucosamine. And then I worry about stopping it because maybe it is helping! How do you test and modify?

      You do know wine has resveratrol in it…. just saying.


      1. Ha ha, yes, but it also has alcohol in it which is the rub. There’s no way around it; alcohol is not good for you. Dave Asprey (Bulletproof) has a supplement regimen he uses when he drinks wine, but that seems too much like work!

        With regard to testing, consumers in most states (Ohio included) are allowed to order their own lab tests without a doctor’s prescription. I do mine through a web site called Walk-in-Labs which is a division of LabCorp. You choose your tests online and then go into a LabCorp office and they draw your blood. You get results in a couple of days. I have paid for them out of my own pocket so far. It may be possible to get insurance to pay, but I have not investigated.

        For example, I did something called an inflammation panel which includes A1C, homocysteine and another marker. I was already taking folate, but my homocysteine was high. So, I switched over to methylated folate which helped, but still didn’t bring the homocysteine level down to where it should be, so I added another 50% to my dose. This is the type of thing you can do.

        The caution is that you have to be willing to educate yourself about the tests and what they mean. If you are one of those people who Googles a symptom and immediately has the disease, you may want to back away from self-testing.

        Speaking of which, I just had my telomere length measured and I have some work to do. I am chronologically 63, but my telomere age is a few years higher. Wahhh, wahhhh! However, you can affect telomere length through lifestyle changes, so I will be evaluating what to do to try to narrow that differential, including moderating my wine drinking, dammit!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Deb, Oh I have loads of charts too. Not as many spreadsheets unless numbers are involved, but lots of charts. At work, folks would call them “Pat Charts” when I coached and mentored because I could very often find the framework for their ideas and sketch it out. I do miss that stuff.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. If there is one thing that defines my retirement I’d probably say it was inconsistency. On good days I decide that I just need to roll with it, but on bad days I think it’s a sign of continued immaturity … and then I wonder if that’s so bad.

    There is however one thing I MUST get better with and that’s healthy eating. I’m blessed to have a deep love of vegetables but at some point I have to acknowledge that I have way too much sugar in my life.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Joanne, I might start a new mantra… My retirement is about inconsistency. And that’s OK.

      I was doing really good on sugar until hubby bough 2 huge bags of Halloween candy and then we had 4 (yes four) trick-or-treaters. Hubby is diabetic… and I just can’t throw away the candy – that would be sinful. So who is eating it all? Ack. I’m missing the summer fruit already also. Having that fresh berries or peaches around was so good for my snacking. Fall veggies are harder for me to deal with as well – I need to find some better recipes. Start with new recipes… on my list!


  11. G-d, I hate moderation. It symbolically becomes that strict third grade teacher we all had who reminds you that one can never become a human being until you learn those blasted multiplication tables. Ultimately it is what saves us all; one helping of pasta, not too; two glasses of wine, not three. And as much as I’m more like you rather than hubby’s spontaneity, there is something for unplanned activities. Just give me five minutes to plan it all out in my head first. 🙂 Love this one, Pat. – Marty

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes Marty, one big helping of pasta and 2 glasses of wine IS moderation. And more than that just makes you feel sick anyway. (Hmm.. personal experience?) But keep in mind, the pasta must be fresh and the wine a good one. Life is too short to eat bad pasta or drink bad wine. OK, now I’m in the mood for pasta tonight. Is it spontaneous if I’m thinking that at 11AM?


  12. Hi Pat what a great list and one that I can draw inspiration from. I’ve been do 30 days of Yoga and I just love it. I find I’m looking forward to the practice each day and my body is feeling much more flexible and alive. It is also helping my mental attitude as life is hectic at the moment with preparing the sale of my MIL’s home. Well done with your vision board created around health and well-being and thank you for motivating me. Have a beautiful week. xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sue, I’ve not gotten into daily yoga. I love my morning routine of journaling and coffee followed by breakfast. Not sure where to fit in yoga. Maybe a nighttime routine pre-bed for tension release. I’ll think on that.

      I was responsible for my MIL’s house sale after she passed. Technically hubby was the executor, but I’m the organized one. She had lived in that 6 bedroom (10 kids) home for 40+ years and kept everything. And she was a collector – there were over 800 dolls, over 350 collectable statues, and thousands of photos (FIL was a picture taker). Yes, every bedroom was full. As I dug through and sorted I found over 30 handmade quilts, some very expensive collectibles buried in among things, and tons of just junk. She saved every box and bag anything ever came in. It took 6 months to just sort through it all and work with the right folks to sell things/donate things. Besides working through which kids wanted what….and keeping track of it all as part of their inheritance. So yeah, I get the stress. It was a bad period in my life (we also took on responsibility for my SIL and needed to move us all into one house)…but I can tell you, you WILL get through this and it WILL get better.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Pat, I’m really enjoying my morning yoga ritual to start my day but if for some reason I can’t do it I find that later in the afternoon is also good for me. I think you had a harder job of decluttering than I’m having but I do find it overwhelming. I have been taking faith in the fact that it won’t be forever and it will soon pass. Thanks for being with us at #MLSTL and enjoy the rest of your week. xx

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Pat – a great list indeed! I see how you caught yourself on the ‘should’ but here’s a thought — “I need to” is just another way to say “should”. You are making great progress in your desired lifestyle — so maybe the “I need to” can become an “I still want/hope to”. Just a thought…and if you’d like a great brussel sprouts recipe, let me know.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Janet, I hate to admit it, but my regular editor (hubby) caught it and made that parenthetical comment. 🙂 It’s intriguing that I am actually shifting to “I will” in my morning journal, versus “I need to”. Perhaps I’m also feeling the “need to” as a should. When I write I will, I get a very different feeling.

      And while I’d love the brussels sprout recipe…. if it will it be able to go for one! Hubby dislikes them. So hard to make veggies for one. I have with sweet potatoes and roasted squash this fall…but I really did get “squashed/potatoed” out by the time I finished the whole dish myself.


      1. Pat — the brussel sprout recipe is simple. Just pick a few bulbs. Slice thin (they will fall apart a bit). Saute with thin sliced onions. Then mix a bit of spicy brown mustard and maple syrup (about 1-to-1) to pour over at the end of cooking. Don’t cook too long – for me they taste best a bit crispy. Hope you enjoy it.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Molly, Cruciferous veggies? I had to look that up! Guess I will change that to more veggies….there was no salad stuff in the stores all weekend. I think the folks at our local stores couldn’t figure out what was romaine and what wasn’t.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love the word cruciferous almost as much as I love broccoli! And it is scary to think that our food handlers don’t know the difference between lettuce varieties. Also, I wonder if it is a matter of time before Romaine is not the sole carrier of e. coli. Waiting for next year’s local farmer’s market to eat a salad!

        Liked by 1 person

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