Focus is My Word for 2020

Focus is My Word for 2020

It may seem odd that since I retired recently, I would choose FOCUS as my word for 2020.  It happened kind of organically since I realized about 3 weeks into my retirement, I needed more structure.  I created a schedule for myself something like this:

5:30 am – Wake up, coffee time

7:00 – 8:00 am – housework

8:00 – 10:00 am – online learning/research (some classes, some plain research

10:00 – 10:30 am – work out

11:00 am – lunch

Afternoon – errands, laundry, free time.

This worked for about a month but my workouts were just making me feel like crap.  I realized that this schedule wasn’t optimal for me since I do intermittent fasting which typically means that I don’t eat before 11 and finish eating by 4.  By getting up so early, by 10 am I was starving and my workouts were sucking.

I decided it was time to regroup and look at my retirement as a “career” but instead of working for someone else, I am working for me.  This led me to look at what exactly do I want to accomplish.  I came up with the following goals, not in any specific order except the order that I thought of them.

  • Be in the best health I can be.
  • Improve in some way as a human.
  • Give back
  • Improve my skill level at something.
  • Create the best home I can for my husband and me.

Next, I decided to approach this like I used to at my job and make SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound).

Goal:  Achieve size 10 by 31 Dec 2020.

  1. Intermittent fast minimum of 16/8 five days per week.
  2. Eat within calorie range 6 days per week or 86% of the time.
  3. Exercise 5 days a week minimum.
  4. Weigh every week.  (What gets measured, gets managed.)

I moved my workout to 7:30 am Monday through Friday and I have done MUCH better.  I calculate my calorie level using, which needs to be recalculated as you lose weight.   I use the MyFitnessPal app for logging my food and weight.  I use the ZERO app to keep track of my fasting.  I log all my workouts in an excel spreadsheet.  Both apps are available on iPhone and Android.

During pool season, I spend lots of time outside as I have flowers to tend and weeds to pull.   We use our pool for exercise so I swim laps and do exercises in the pool so my workouts will change soon.

Goal:  Complete 3 online courses on by 31 Dec 2020. 

Note:  I’ve completed 5 this year so far so I’m taking a break for spring/summer or as I call it, swimming pool season.  I purchase over  10 courses on Black Friday so I got most of my classes for $9.99 each.

  1. Complete 1 course by 30 Jun 2020.
  2. Complete 1 course by 30 Sept 2020.
  3. Complete 1 course by 31 Dec 2020.

Goal:  Complete 3 Volunteer activities by 31 Dec 2020.  Depending on how well this goes, I will add more for next year.

  1. Complete 1 volunteer activity by 31 Oct 2020.
  2. Complete 1 volunteer activity by 30 Nov 2020.
  3. Complete 1 volunteer activity by 31 Dec 2020.

Goal:  Practice learning drums 1 -2 hours per week each Sunday beginning at 1 pm after church.

This isn’t broken down into steps as this in an ongoing goal with no end in sight.

Goal:  Create an optimal home life for my husband and me.

  1. Organize every closet, drawer, nook, and cranny in the house by 30 Mar 2020.
  2. Document a cleaning schedule (daily, weekly, monthly, and spring/fall) by 30 Mar 2020.
  3. Learn a new recipe every month through Dec 2020. 
  4. Cook 3 meals every week at a minimum through Dec 2020.

Retirement is good.

The organization of my home is almost complete.  I purchased lots of trays for drawers from and it thrills me to say (seriously, it does) that I know where every single thing in my home is located now!  Retirement has been enjoyable so far. My newly rediscovered joy in domestic life including cooking is rewarding.  I used to joke that I did all my cooking in the bedroom but I can’t say that anymore!

We have a couple of trips planned this summer, one for graduation and one for a wedding so given the current Coronavirus situation, we’ll have to see how that works out.   Regardless, I have my goals to FOCUS on and I’m excited to see how it all works out!

This Post Has 24 Comments

  1. Wow Rita! That’s a lot of goals and a very specific timetable. I retired last year and I’m viewing retirement as a free wheeling, relaxing, cruisy time. I slot in the things that need doing on certain days, but have no big plans or long term goals that I’ve set down specifically (although there are several floating in the back of my mind).
    I find it really interesting how we each approach this retirement gig – and how different we all are – but yet, we’re all enjoying this second stage of life much more than we expected.

  2. Michele

    Hello Rita, I can tell that you are a woman who likes to get things done. I don’t follow such a strict schedule, but I do keep lists of things I want to do and make sure to cross them off as I do them. I sue a lot of time blocking, and I make myself sit in the chair and follow through. Whatever works for you is right- as long as it makes you happy! #MLSTL

    1. Michele, you are right. I do like to get things done. I am hoping as I get used to not working a regular job, this new way of life will start to feel more organic but I do like having goals and crossing things off lists! #MLSTL

  3. Enda Sheppard

    Sounds like you are doing a lot, and you have tailored it all to suit. Well done, you! #MLSTL

  4. Lydia C. Lee

    It’s a good way to look at retirement – I’d keep the work out and change the fasting. Now is the time for endorphins and strength…#MLSTL

    1. Thank you, Lydia! The fasting has really helped me feel physically better and mentally sharper. I just don’t do breakfast anymore and only eat between 11am and 5pm. On Saturdays, I do not follow any eating schedule but still don’t eat very early.

    1. It does, Serena! I just find it’s so easy to slip into vegetating in front of the TV without a schedule!

  5. Jennifer Jones

    Hi Rita I think focus is a great word for retirement. I’m not retired yet but I know when I do I will be focusing and planning goals to ensure the days don’t just disappear. #MLSTL Shared

  6. Hi Rita – back for #MLSTL and to say I’ve shared this on my social media.
    Also I’m finding my cruisy approach to retirement has been great preparation for being at home so much with so few social outlets – I’m becoming an expert introvert!

    1. Leanne, I’m so wishing I could be an expert introvert. My husband is working from home in his studio and I’m missing even the little interactions of going to the store. I’ve started to make more phone calls to family and friends which has been a good thing.

  7. Jennifer

    First, I love the name of your blog, Researching Rita. So many layers in that name. Great idea to make a plan and set goals. I’m that type of person too, although a few years away from retirement.

    1. Thank you, Jennifer! I thought I was a few years away from my retirement as well but I was downsized and it didn’t take me long to realize that I was going to be more than just fine to be not working. It was been a real period of self-discovery and I so enjoy reading everyone’s blogs!

  8. Debbie Harris

    Hi Rita, I enjoyed visiting your post from #mlstl and understand your new found love of domesticity. It’s a good feeling to know where things are and to learn new ways of doing things and ultimately we learn more about ourselves too! This pandemic is making all our lives change in so many ways. Lovely to meet you here 🙂

  9. Hi Rita, I felt lost after the first few months of an early retirement and so I started the blog. I am someone who likes structure in my day and I’m happy to see that although you set out with a structure in mind, you had the ability to see that it wasn’t working and then come up with something that works for you. I’m a Udemy fan also and am a firm believer in keeping our ‘grey matter’ working by learning and self development. It is lovely to have you join us at #MLSTL and I look forward to reading more of your posts. I’ve shared on social media. Take care xx

  10. Allison

    Your daily life and goals almost seem regimented at first. Some would say to ease up, you’re retired. But I’m with you in creating a schedule and then focusing on that to reach your goals because then you feel great about what you accomplished!

    I work from home and need a schedule. Last year I was all over the place and didn’t really get much done. So, like you, I decided FOCUS would be my word of the year as well (I’ll link my blog post below if you’d like to read it.) I think it’s a great word to help achieve goals!


  11. Like!! I blog quite often and I genuinely thank you for your information. The article has truly peaked my interest.

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