Your ideal day

Alan Spector is the author of five books and is working on books six and seven. His latest is “Body Not Recovered: A Vietnam War/Protest Movement Novel.” Spector also writes the blog “Retirement According to … Alan Spector.”

By Alan Spector

If you were to design your ideal retirement day, what would it be?  There’s value in this exercise, whether you are already retired or still working but thinking about retirement.  Try this.  Create a table with two columns.  In the first column, list times in half-hour increments, starting with when you would ideally wake up and ending when you would ideally go to sleep. 

The second column is where you enter how you would ideally be spending those half-hour time slots.  You can adjust timing by combining table rows.  For example, if part of your Ideal Day is working out from 8:30 to 10:00, merge the 8:30, 9:00, and 9:30 rows.  Got it?  Simple?  Go for it. 

Wait!  What?  It’s not that simple?  You don’t know what you’d ideally be doing in each time slot?  Well start by filling in what you know.  It might be pursuing a passion, like spending 1:00 to 2:00 gardening or bike riding or playing the piano or writing or whatever.  It might include spending time with grandchildren or friends.  It might be volunteering. 

If you still have gaps, visit and learn about the “10 key elements of a fulfilling retirement.”  These can give you clues on what would be meaningful and ideal for you. 

As you’re completing your Ideal Day table, start asking yourself the next logical question, “Am I living my Ideal Day?”  If your days are different from ideal, you should begin to gain some insight about what you can do to enhance your retirement life—making changes to move from your current day to your Ideal Day.  Will every day be ideal?  No.  Is working toward making your days ideal worthwhile?  You betcha!


In future blog posts, we’ll take this Ideal Day concept a step or two further by thinking about Ideal Week and Ideal Year. 


About Alan Spector 

Alan Spector is an author, business consultant, baseball player, traveler, and grandfather.  He has authored five published books, including, with coauthor Keith Lawrence, Your Retirement Quest: 10 Secrets for Creating and Living a Fulfilling Retirement (  Alan and Keith conduct workshops across the country helping prospective and current retirees plan the non-financial aspects of their retirement—to make the rest of their lives the best of their lives.  Alan’s latest book, Body Not Recovered, is a work of historical fiction from the Vietnam War/Protest Movement era, and it has deep St. Louis roots.