Call us now on

0800 201 4811

10 Small Changes to Make in 2019 for a Big Impact on Your Retirement

Gina Narramore

Gina Narramore



Rather than being a time to slow down, retirement can be a chance to try new experiences and become the best version of yourself. 

Retirement can come in many forms. It may be the end to a long and loved career, a natural close to a working life or an unexpected or unplanned end to a current job. And whether your retirement is planned or not, it can be an exciting yet daunting prospect for everyone. 

Instead of falling into old habits or monotonous routines, the new-found time that retirement provides is a fantastic way to reimagine your life. In this article, we take a look at 10 small changes that anyone can make in their retirement, that could transform life for the better.

1. Keep a Diary

You may be surprised, but keeping a diary can cause a significant change in your outlook on life. As little as a simple sentence, each day will be enough to keep track of important changes. Keeping a journal or diary is an excellent way to keep track and document new hobbies, friends and behaviours, it will give you the chance to get to know yourself a little better and stick to resolutions. You’ll may also notice that you can commit to new ideas and initiatives better, after all, if it is written down, and diarised, you feel more obliged to follow it through. Read your diary back each week and spot any changes that you can make to enable you to live the life you want in your retirement.  

2. Pick and Book One Experience That You Would Never Usually Do

You know that thing you’ve always wanted to do but never tried? Retirement is the perfect time to do it! It doesn’t have to be quite as ambitious as sky-diving or climbing Ben Nevis, but whatever you choose needs to be something that you would usually say no to. Perhaps your experience could be seeing a film, trying a cocktail making class or going to an art gallery?

Whatever you choose to do, it could be the start of a new outlook on life and you may see new personality traits appear that you didn’t realise you had. Don’t be afraid to use this time to try new thing. You never know, next year you may be parachuting from a plane!

3. Say Yes!

Like trying new experiences, saying yes can give you a new perspective on many things. You’ll find yourself in new situations, new places and you’ll have exciting discoveries about what you do and don’t like. Whether it’s food, a place, clothing or activities, you’ll soon find out new things about yourself.

Saying yes is a wonderful way to meet new people and make friends. It’s also an excellent way for more introverted people to step out of their comfort zone, often placing them in more group and social surroundings.

4. Get Rid of Five Things You Don’t Need

Letting go of items from the past can be difficult, but holding on to too much can be unhealthy and impact your mindset. Declutter your mind and home by getting rid of five things that you no longer use, and give yourself the opportunity to replace them with something that reflects your new lease of life. 

You may choose an item of clothing, a book or an old TV or radio that no longer gets any use. You can either donate to charity, take it to your local recycling centre or even pass on to someone else who may make use of the item. Whatever you decide on removing, opt for something that has had no use for at least six months.

5. Buy an Item of Clothing You’ve Always Been Too Scared to Wear

Let your personality shine with a new piece of clothing that you’ve never felt confident enough to wear. When it comes to retirement, it’s time to throw many of your social anxieties and worries out of the window… you’ve spent long enough having to worry about them! 

Again, take small steps with this one, unless you’re feeling extra brave! Test the water with a new accessory or small item of clothing - perhaps a hat, scarf or pair of shoes in a colour which maybe weren’t suitable the workplace. You’ll notice this small gesture of change can make a big difference in your mindset, and you may start applying new found confidence to other areas in your life.

6. Create a Monthly Challenge

Creating a monthly challenge is an excellent way to break-down an overall goal and reach it in smaller steps. Alternately, you can use it to set yourself smaller, more regular goals that could impact the way you live your life. 

Monthly challenges can include those to improve your social interactions, health, intelligence or mental strength. Once you have decided on your challenge, set yourself small, easy-to-achieve tasks throughout the month. For example, if you plan to increase your social interactions, you could choose to write a thank you note on week one, say hello to three new people on week two and compliment someone on week three!

7. Start a New Club

Try your hand at something new, and discover a hidden talent, passion or social group that you adore. Starting a new club in retirement is particularly helpful for those who have passed their retirement ‘honeymoon’ phase, and are possibly struggling to fill their time. A club will give you a weekly routine, social group and additional tasks and things you can do at home too. 
You could try an artistic club such as life drawing, painting or pottery, or you could volunteer at your local community group or gardens. When deciding on your club, think back to trying new experiences and stepping out of your usual comfort zone - it’s an excellent way to test something new!

8. Eliminate One Thing From Your Diet

Instead of starting a strict diet or fad food trend, keep it simple and eliminate one thing from your diet that you may overindulge in, or that gives your body negative effects. It could be saying goodbye to two sugar cups-of-tea, milk chocolate, or eliminating custard creams with your afternoon tea. Alternately, it could be getting rid of alcohol or milk! 

By getting rid of something small and less-daunting, you’ll find it easier to say no to the bigger things, and you may even notice that you’re picking healthier options more regularly. Always make sure to update your doctor of any diet changes or concerns, first.

9. Create a One-Page Bucket List

Creating a bucket list can make many retirees feel more inclined to step out of their shell, try new things and make the most of their life. However, if we take notes from films and TV, bucket lists can often be filled with extravagant and overly expensive or difficult things to do. Rather than overwhelming yourself, create a list of 10 experiences. The more refined it is, the easier it is for you to hit your target and the less likely it will feel unachievable. 

Speak to your family and friends about things that you’d like to do together, and think back to things you always said you’d do but never got round to. Don’t worry whether these may feel like simple or smaller tasks, or even whether they feel self-centred; your bucket list is about you – making sure you do exactly what you want.

10. Book a Holiday for May

Give yourself something to look forward to by booking a holiday halfway through the year. Not only will it provide you with a focus, but also a break from your usual routine and the opportunity to try new experiences, meet new people and do something different.

Your holiday doesn’t need to be a lavish one overseas however, it could be a trip to the heart of British countryside or coast instead.

Related Articles


VE Day 75

On 8th May, 75 years ago, the guns fell silent marking the end of the war in Europe. Millions of people took to the streets to celebrate peace and remember their loved ones.  ...Read more


Hurry to Surrey

A small commute south of London but a million miles from the hustle and bustle of the capital sits rolling countryside, vast woodlands and quaint English villages ...Read more


Beautiful Bistros

Our in-house catering team have been working behind the scenes to bring new services into our Retirement Living PLUS developments for our customers to enjoy ...Read more


Couple Forge New Friendships in Retirement

Leslie and Ann Harpin, 87 and 81 recently made the decision to move to McCarthy and Stone’s Isabella House Retirement Living development in Hertford. The couple are not only enjoying spending more time together, they also have a new group of friends who they refer to as their extended family.  ...Read more


Your Resale Questions Answered

McCarthy & Stone’s Resales Director, David Gabriel has over 20 years’ experience selling preowned retirement properties and heads up our dedicated in-house resales service. ...Read more


Your Retirement Move is Safe in Our Hands 

The loss of a loved one is such an emotional experience for the family without the added stress of them being faced with selling their home. But if you need to sell your property, McCarthy & Stone Resales can take care of everything. ...Read more


McCarthy and Stone Resales Success

McCarthy & Stone Resales is having a positive impact when it comes to supporting those who wish to resell their retirement properties, as well as helping new customers experience what a retirement living lifestyle is all about. ...Read more


Tuning in To Singing in Later Life 

A singing group comprised of retirees from McCarthy & Stone’s Chinnerys Court Retirement Living development in Braintree, is showing how singing lifts the spirits and can be good for your health.  ...Read more


A Tale of Happily Ever After

Good communication, consideration for each other and never going to bed without making up – are the secrets to a long, loving and successful marriage, says homeowners Mr and Mrs Bowhill. ...Read more


£130,000 and Counting

Thanks to your generosity, we have smashed our target for this year’s charity partner Beanstalk. Here's a round up of some of the activities we have been getting up to across the UK. ...Read more


Our Ultimate Christmas Recipes 

We've spoken to our Catering Manager who provides us with his ultimate Christmas recipes for you to try this season. They’re great for putting you in the Christmas spirit, and your friends and family members will love them. ...Read more


Christmas Events – Roundup

We’re hosting a series of ‘At Home’ Christmas events for our residents and their families. Find out more about what’s happening in our roundup blog post.  ...Read more


DIY Christmas Gifts you Still Have Time to Make 

With the countdown to Christmas now on, it’s time to start thinking about Christmas gifts. There are those people who buy and wrap everything by October, and then there’s the rest of us, who possibly leave things till the last minute. Well, why not get organised this year? ...Read more


Christmas Decorating Tips 

To help make your home full of Christmas cheer, we’ve spoken to Clare Gibson, Head of Interior Design at McCarthy & Stone who’s provided her top Christmas decorating tips. ...Read more


Tips for Successfully Downsizing

Many people find that later in life that their home is far bigger than they need. Downsizing can bring a variety of benefits, including both financial and practical ones. That said, it can often be an emotional or difficult time.  ...Read more


Remarkable UK Gardens for Autumn Colour 

Another season has flown by and now the summer heat has faded with the turn of autumn. With the cooler days and longer nights, our gardens are transforming into a rich tapestry of colour, from fiery reds and oranges to majestic golds. ...Read more


Caring for House Plants 

From succulents to spider plants, the demand for indoor foliage is showing no signs of slowing down. No matter what the season, low maintenance house plants are ideal for brightening up the look and feel of a room. ...Read more


Foraging Favourites

For many people, collecting and eating wild plants and fungi has been part of life since childhood, filling punnets with wild edibles from ripening berries to sweet chestnuts. ...Read more


Spotlight on York

A city of extraordinary cultural and historical wealth woven into  every  brick and beam, York seeps history at every turn. ...Read more


Summer Events in 2019 To Look Out For

The summer season is packed with a variety of events to appeal to a range of interests and ages. Savour the delights of new and exciting cuisine, enjoy the thrill of world-class horse racing and discover the latest super cars, at events taking place across the summer months.  ...Read more


It's All Greek To Us

Sparkling white beaches, deep blue seas, sugar-cube villages and venerable ancient sites make the
Greek islands an idyllic holiday destination for many. Tourists can immerse in the Greek cuisine,
century-old sites and local culture each island has to offer, while enjoy luxurious accommodation
and the locals’ warm and welcoming hospitality. ...Read more


Fishing for Fun

Looking for an exhilarating and challenging activity that brings a sense of serenity and calmness? We think we’ve found the perfect catch. ...Read more


It’s time to start living life to the full again

A McCarthy & Stone Retirement Living Plus apartment is about getting more from life for the over 70s. It’s the perfect combination really - company when you want it, help when you could use it, care when you need it. And all in the comfort of your own stylish new home. ...Read more


Staying Cool and Well During A Heatwave

Although warmer weather can be a welcome sight for many, the increased temperatures can lead to
added risks for some, particularly those with health issues or those that are more vulnerable. Stay well with these tips.  ...Read more


The History of Father's Day

Father’s Day is the perfect time to thank fathers and father figures for their help and support. In this post, McCarthy & Stone look at the history of Father’s Day. ...Read more


A New Adventure 

Colin and Pat Mackay are looking forward to making the most of their retirement following their move to North Berwick.

...Read more


The Benefits of Downsizing in Retirement

There are many benefits of downsizing and if this is something you are considering, here, we share our knowledge about downsizing, and explain why it could be one of the best things you can do for your retirement.   ...Read more


Blooming Marvellous: The Chelsea Flower Show

The world-famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show. It’s the most glamorous day out in the gardening calendar.

The grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea are once again blooming with flora as the Royal Horticultural Society prepares to welcome 157,000 spectators to their annual five-day flower festival in May. ...Read more


Working After Retirement – Is It For You?

More and more people are choosing to put off their retirement and continue working. Plus, in many other cases, those who have already retired are looking to return to work. Here, we weigh up the pros and cons of each situation. ...Read more


How To Manage Your Diet In Retirement

There are many extra demands placed on our bodies as we progress through life and because of this our nutritional needs also change as a result. It is never too late to revamp your nutrition and nurture your body with a healthier diet.   ...Read more


Tackling loneliness among older people with Pen Pals

We understand the problem of loneliness amongst older people and we want to do something to combat it. That’s why we have created our latest Pen Pals programme, an outlet to connect older people with other older people in communities by the writing and exchanging of letters. Click to find out more. ...Read more


How To Make New Friends In Retirement

Friendship is hugely important at every stage in life, and retirement is no exception. What’s more, in retirement you could make the most of the extra free time you have to discover different experiences and meet new people – leading to new friendships and relationships.  ...Read more


Sheffield – The Steel Centre of the World

Famed for its industry and innovation, the green, modern cityscape now replaces the smoking chimneys from the industrial revolution. There’s a friendly, independent and alternative spirit that can be hard to find in other cities alongside a thriving cultural scene. ...Read more


Wally & The Flying Scotsman

Popular North Gate Court customer Wally Blazey moved into their McCarthy & Stone apartment with his wife Gladys seven months ago, and the couple have just celebrated their 72nd anniversary. At 92, Wally is one of the two last surviving drivers of the Flying Scotsman, the most famous steam locomotive in the world. ...Read more


The Top 11 British Hidden Gems

Where are the best locations in the UK to visit... that you've probably not heard of? We've ranked the best hidden gems around Britain, that are easy to access, and offer a great weekend away with the family. ...Read more


Do Pets Make You Happier?

Whether you're a pet owner or have a pet free home, animals of all kinds have been proven to improve the happiness of their human counterparts. To find out more McCarthy & Stone conducted a survey to see how pets enrich their owners lives. Here are the results! ...Read more