How To

Greg Bishop, Attorney in Utah, Suggests Direction is More Important than Location During Retirement

By Joseph West , Jan 08, 2020 02:12 AM EST
Happy smiling retired couple using laptop at home. Cheerful elderly man and old woman using computer while sitting at table. Smiling pensioner showing woman notebook at home. (Photo : Bigstock)

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:

●        Building your cardiovascular endurance

●        Increasing your physical strength

●        Cultivating better nutritional habits

●        Improving your balance, flexibility, and posture

●        Enhancing your mental clarity and focus

●        Developing deeper and more meaningful relationships

●        Providing more meaningful service

●        Nurturing a more restful sleep

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: 

●        If your morning habit is to grab a bagel and wash it down with a cup of coffee, then develop a more nutritious breakfast routine;

●        If your go-to-source of intellectual stimulation is the television, then sign up for an online class or study a foreign language;

●        If you haven't found a post-career purpose, then volunteer someplace where you can leverage your life experiences and training to help others;

●        If years of hunching over a computer screen have left you with rounded shoulders, then work on your posture and flexibility;

●        If the demands of your career put a strain on your relationships, then invest time and energy to nurture and repair them; and

●        If you had dreams that you put on the back burner while you focused on your career and family, then move them to the front burner.

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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