Over 50 & Thriving Series Over 50s Lifestyle

7 Ways to Thrive Living a Lifestyle by Design

May 18, 2018


My guest this week for the Over 50 & Thriving Series, is Patricia Doyle from Retirement Transition.  I haven’t known Pat for very long, but we clicked immediately.  I love her inspirational blog and knew I wanted her as a guest.  Pat, like many of us is going through the transition from working life into Retirement and as we all know that is not necessarily an easy task.  Today she discusses living life by design, creating a vision and living with intention.  Please also, take the time at the end to visit her website and social media.

7 Ways to Thrive Living a Lifestyle by Design

7 Ways to Thrive Living a Lifestyle by Design


Thriving for me is summed up in my 2018 word-of-the-year choice: SOAR.  While it can stand alone, it also an added meaning: Savoring, Optimistic, Activating, and Resilient – two things I want to be and two things I want to do this year.   And a big part of the activating element is putting into place the lifestyle I want to live at this stage of my life.  I call this Lifestyle by Design… because life will happen by design or by default.   By Design required a combination of creating the vision and them living it with intention.

Creating my authentic lifestyle vision required honesty and courage to identify My vision, based on My values.  Not the socially acceptable ones.  Not the expectations of others.  It was about listening to my true inner voice (the creative one, the kind one), and not the critical one (which tells me I’m not enough or I’m incompetent).   My lifestyle vision came to life (no pun intended) in many ways: vision board, multi-year action plans, and affirmations.

Living with intention is a choice I (attempt to) make everydayI choose activities to engage in, where to spend time and energy, and who to spend time with based on what matches my vision-based action plan and expresses who I want to be.  I need to continue to retrain my brain to break old habits and choose the things that support my life vision!

Living with intention has also been about structuring the environment to support my lifestyle vision.  We recently right-sized to create the space that fits the life we wanted to live.  This included giving me an “office” sanctuary plus the space to cook healthy meals.  And it gives hubby his toy-shed.

Living with intention requires me to break many old, self-sabotaging habits.  I need to remind myself to not play comparative inferiority where I compare myself to others and despair.  I can admire them without needing to make it my own!   I need to also let go of what’s toxic in my life, fight inertia, and be more mindful in eating (one of my worst habits).

My Daily Lifestyle Choices are ways I am trying to live the life of my dreams.

1. Practice Positivity – journal gratitude, use affirmations & emotional awareness tools, find joy in each day to heighten awareness of the now, create positive spaces (even a feng shui review of our new house).

2. Nourish My Body – mindful eating, eat more greens & fruit, move it (almost) every day, hydrate, sleep when needed, and the occasional massage!

3. Mini Adventures (physical or mental) – learn new things (explore, discover, try), plan Out & About activities, read blogs, get off the couch, cook more, eat out (explore new places, great conversations with friends), do crosswords.

4. Friendship Investment – plan intentional, regular connections; continue to create circle of friends who have mutual interests.

5. Know Thyself – self acceptance that I need more structure versus spontaneity, my expression of love is time spent, and I find enjoyment in synthesis & organization.  Acceptance of me.

6. Let Go of the Negative (a true work in progress) – Unshackled from “bad” space, continue comparative inferiority awareness, release of societal (and family) expectations, and practicing self-kindness.

7. Self-expression through blogging/writing – Continue to explore if is this my purpose, my passion?

I am meant to Soar.  Not live in chains. Not just meeting others expectations.  Not just living on paper. But being my own true, authentic self, day in and day out.

Lifestyle By Design. To Soar.  To Thrive.


Meet Pat

In July 2014, I retired from a 30+ year corporate career with one company.   This timing was a few years earlier than planned, as a highly attractive, early retirement package was offered.  Given the timing and my work-focused life style, I did not have a plan in place for what came next.   I am a planner by nature, so the days after the retirement moment became a journey of transition which I am still in. Yes, I’m a slow starter on many things!

Part of the transition was discovering an enjoyment in writing and a realization that I liked to advise/teach others.  This all merged into creation of my blog… Retirement Transition.  With this blog, what I have found is inspiration from connecting with others on similar retirement transition journeys, from new to a few years into the wonderful world of retirement.

I currently live in the Mid-west (Cincinnati) with my also-recently retired husband and our lab-mix dog, Taylor.

Connect with Pat

Website:  https://retirementtransition.wordpress.com



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  • Reply Retirement Reflections May 18, 2018 at 04:44

    Hooray! Two of my favorite bloggers in one place. So nice to see you here, Pat. I love your new photo. I also love your advice to enjoy the inspiration and success of others…without comparing or forcing those expectations on yourself. That’s very wise!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 18, 2018 at 05:53

      Hi Donna, isn’t Pat great! I’ve learned much from her and also found we have a lot in common. Have a great day! xx

    • Reply Leanne Le Cras May 20, 2018 at 10:16

      hi Sue and Donna

  • Reply christine blundell May 18, 2018 at 16:29

    I love this post and feel like you are describing exactly where I am at ! I especially love that phrase that life will happen by design or by default and how true it is! I also used to enter into the comparison trap, thankfully I think that as we grow in years we also grow in wisdom and confidence in our own skin. I am looking forward to many more years of living with intention, which is a subject I have been studying about a lot lately.
    Pat I think you and I would be very good friends! I’m so pleased to “meet you” and will check out your blog and website. Thank you Sue for inviting Pat to share with us.x

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 19, 2018 at 11:48

      Hi Christine, Pat is having difficulty commenting but I certainly agree you would both ‘hit it off’ and become good friends. Glad that you enjoyed her post and have a great weekend!

      • Reply kathymarris May 20, 2018 at 07:51

        Hi Sue I really enjoyed this post too and as you know I’m a strong advocate of making the most of our lives in our 60s and beyond.

  • Reply leannelc May 18, 2018 at 17:45

    Hi Pat and Sue – this is the third of fourth go I’ve had at commenting on this – the cyber gods are really messing with me! I just wanted to say how much I loved this post – it really resonates with the lessons I’ve been learning about it being okay to invest in myself – after all the years of giving my all to everyone else. As my self-worth has improved, my ability to give back has improved too – so it’s been a win/win for everyone. And BTW Pat – I didn’t recognize you in that last pic – you don’t have your hat and sunglasses!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 19, 2018 at 11:58

      Hi Leanne, Pat has also experienced difficulty trying to reply to comments so the gremlins are everywhere. I didn’t recognise Pat either without her had and sunglasses!

  • Reply patwdoyle11 May 18, 2018 at 23:11

    Hi Donna. I had to laugh at the photo comment. I searched high and low to find a picture of me that didn’t have me in a ball cap and sunglasses – that’s my normal look. And then, I have a wine glass! (It was the after-hike glass of wine and I had literally let my hair down!) Anyway, I’m working on that Comparative Monster voice a lot these days, trying to be inspired and not despaired. It is definitely a hard thing to do!

  • Reply patwdoyle11 May 18, 2018 at 23:12

    Hi Donna. I had to laugh at the photo comment. I searched high and low to find a picture of me that didn’t have me in a ball cap and sunglasses – that’s my normal look. And then, I have a wine glass! (It was the after-hike glass of wine and I had literally let my hair down!) Anyway, I’m working on that Comparative Monster voice a lot these days, trying to be inspired and not despaired. It is definitely a hard thing to do!

  • Reply patwdoyle11 May 18, 2018 at 23:13

    Hey Sue… working on a new format and some of my reply’s are going bonkers. if you can fix, please feel free and …. sorry…. I’ll hopefully figure it out.

  • Reply Karen Hume May 18, 2018 at 23:14

    Hi Pat,
    What a terrific photo – such a different look from the African adventurer in the safari gear! Now I have to readjust my image of you, although the genuine warm smile is just exactly as I had always pictured you.

    A great post, Pat. You absolutely are meant to SOAR and I am so appreciative that you bring the rest of us along with you as you map out your journey and walk/zumba/stand up paddleboard your path 🙂

    Sue, thanks for asking Pat to guest post. I just love all of these connections that are happening.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 19, 2018 at 12:01

      I didn’t recognise Pat either Karen and love the photo she supplied with that gorgeous smile of hers. I’m loving everyone who has been my guest in the series and it has been great to connect with so many women who are truly Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond 🙂

  • Reply patwdoyle11 May 18, 2018 at 23:17

    Christine – By Design or By Default is one of my fave quotes. I usually follow that with… and it’s your own fault if you haven’t made the choice to design it. That said, living with intention isn’t the easiest thing and I often slide into inertia and procrastination. I’m a work in progress for sure! And I thank Sue as well to allow me to meet more folks who are working and learning about the same life challenges.

  • Reply patwdoyle11 May 18, 2018 at 23:22

    LOL Leanne… yes, it was a challenge to find a pic without hat and sunglasses. Seriously! And understand cyber gods (I’m hoping my comment shows up in right spot…).

    Thanks for your comments. I’m not surprised it resonates with you….so many of your A to Z resonated with me! Daily choices on so many of these as they are all relatively new “things to do” for the new me.

  • Reply patwdoyle11 May 19, 2018 at 02:12

    Hi Donna, trying again to comment. I was in cyber-lock this morning. This mght be a repeat also…

    I had to laugh at the photo comment. I searched high and low to find a picture of me that didn’t have me in a ball cap and sunglasses – that’s my normal look. And then, I have a wine glass! (It was the after-hike glass of wine and I had literally let my hair down!) Anyway, I’m working on that Comparative Monster voice a lot these days, trying to be inspired and not despaired. It is definitely a hard thing to do!

  • Reply Debbie Harris May 19, 2018 at 03:13

    What an inspiring post by another inspiring blogger! Thanks to you both for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 19, 2018 at 12:02

      The series continues to surprise me Deb with such wonderful new women that I am meeting and sharing with. Have a great weekend!

    • Reply kathymarris May 20, 2018 at 07:55

      Yes I agree totally

      • Reply Sue Loncaric May 20, 2018 at 07:58

        Thanks for your comment Kathy and yes we rock

  • Reply Retirement Reflections May 19, 2018 at 04:32

    You should use that photo more often. I had to look twice to see if it was actually YOU. (You are right, I didn’t recognize you without the hat or sunglasses). 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 19, 2018 at 12:03

      Pat has such a warm smile, doesn’t she Donna!

  • Reply snakesinthegrass2014 May 19, 2018 at 05:40

    Great post, Pat. So that’s who’s under the hat and behind the Foster Grants! I like your mini adventures, but now a nagging curiosity does arise from them, re: crosswords: pen or pencil?! – Marty

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 19, 2018 at 12:06

      Hi Marty, thanks for stopping by to comment on Pat’s post. You obviously know her and her great website. Enjoy your weekend!

  • Reply Christie Hawkes May 19, 2018 at 05:48

    Hello Pat and Sue! I love this post and the idea of intentional living. Thanks for sharing some of the specific daily lifestyle choices you are making. So often we get caught up in these grand goals and forget that it is the numerous daily decisions we make that shape our lives.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 19, 2018 at 12:07

      Thanks Chrisitie, I am loving the series and meeting new friends who blog and have such wonderful ideas and thoughts to share with us all. x

  • Reply RetirementallyChallenged.com May 19, 2018 at 07:23

    Great post, Pat! And, thank you, Sue, for introducing Pat to others who may not have met her yet. I also liked your design vs. default quote… it’s so true, especially now that we are retired and have a greater ability to choose our paths vs. have them chosen for us. And, by the way, I know what you mean about the difficulty of finding a photo of yourself without sunglasses or a hat… most of my pictures of myself have me wearing both too.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 19, 2018 at 12:08

      Hi Janis and thanks for stopping by to leave a comment for Pat and myself. My series has been an overwhelming success for me as I have met some wonderful women to connect with. I need sunglasses even in winter! Have a great weekend xx

  • Reply Terri Webster Schrandt May 19, 2018 at 07:56

    I love your photo, too, Pat, but you do look cute and happy in your blog pic! I love your 7 daily practices for thriving! I really need to work on #4, as I’m sure I have more online friends that F2F friends…eek! Your statements are inspiring and a good path for we women over 50!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 19, 2018 at 12:09

      To me Terri it is all about the quality of friendships and these days that can be online or IRL. I loved Pat’s ideas for thriving and they were inspiring ideas for us all to try. Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend xx

  • Reply Natalie May 19, 2018 at 08:30

    Thanks, Pat, for sharing your daily lifestyle choices and very nice photo of you. Thanks, Sue, for featuring Pat here.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 19, 2018 at 12:10

      My pleasure, Natalie, I loved Pat’s ideas on a living by design! Have a beautiful weekend xx

  • Reply patwdoyle11 May 19, 2018 at 23:04

    Hi Christine. By design of by default is one of my fav quotes. I often follow that with … and it’s your won fault for not doing the work to design what you want. Yes, I talk to myself as well. And sometimes my intentions don’t turn into action, but I am a work in progress for sure!

    I’m please to meet you as well. I kinda knew some of Sue’s blogging friends and I would enjoy meeting. She’s got such a fabulous attitude about life!

    Hoping this comments gets accepted by Sue’s site. It wasn’t like me yesterday. 🙂

  • Reply patwdoyle11 May 19, 2018 at 23:07

    Sue… my comments are now showing up, but not as a response comment! Even though I’m hitting the reply there. hopefully you can direct folks so they know I’m not ignoring them! Sorry my system and yours are not liking each other at the moment.

  • Reply patwdoyle11 May 19, 2018 at 23:12

    Marty – Sue’s system doesn’t seem to like me being a direct reply… so hopefully this get to you.

    Pen. And a thrill of victory when I complete one and there’s no mistakes (cross-outs)!

  • Reply patwdoyle11 May 19, 2018 at 23:34

    Hi all, For some reason, my system will not allow me to respond to individuals (you might see multiple attempts above)… but I am reading all your comments and really appreciate them!

    I’m chuckling about multiple comments on the picture. Even my sister sent me a comment about it. The picture was taken after a day hike at Yosemite (yes, your neck of the woods Janis), with a glass of wine, and taken by my hubby. Three things I love – hubby, a day outdoors, and then a glass if wine (and good dinner and hot shower… but no pics there). I had literally “let my hair down” from ponytail and hat!

    So some other individual comments back to folks:
    Marty – Pen.
    Terri – F2F was a challenge as I moved some work friends to non-work friends as well as found some additional couples to hang with. It’s definitely an investment effort that’s been worth it.
    Christie – everyday in my morning journal I try and make intentional choices on the day. Some days are better than others… and yes, I still have the time wasters, snack attacks, and down days. But then it’s a new day and new intentions!

    Sue – I’ll keep trying to do direct responses… I’ve come in a few different ways but don’t want to do too many mess-ups to your comment log!

  • Reply Retirement Reflections May 20, 2018 at 03:13

    Pencil….every time!

  • Reply trishafaye May 20, 2018 at 13:50

    A great post with a lot of wisdom! I especially liked the part about living with intention and choosing. That’s what I need to make a more conscious effort at. I too easily slip into default and old habits and need to create stronger intentions in my life.
    Thank you for your wise words!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 20, 2018 at 23:27

      Hi Trisha Faye! Pat’s post certainly gave me some inspiration to make changes and design my life the way I would like it to be. Thanks for stopping by and hope you have a lovely weekend.

    • Reply patwdoyle11 May 21, 2018 at 03:17

      Hi Trisha Faye, Thanks for your comment … and I’m trying to see if the gremlins are gone and allowing me to respond. I’ve taken my 7 daily choices and put them in my morning journal so I can remind myself of them everyday. It’s a work in progress for sure…and yesterday was not a good example. I had no movement at all and ate chips for dinner. But today is a new day… and I started it with yoga! Power yoga even. Hope you’re having a good weekend.

  • Reply patwdoyle11 May 20, 2018 at 22:40

    Sue – trying to post as a reply to you…. to see if it’s working differently. 🙂

  • Reply Encore Voyage May 21, 2018 at 02:54

    Hi Pat and Sue! What a lovely combination of 50+ thrivers! I have always loved Pat because we truly are soul sisters and have traveled down very similar paths! Pat, I ADORE the picture of you with the wine glass! I looked at it and thought, “So THATS what Pat really looks like!” You should consider using it on your blog – not that I don’t love cap and sunglasses, but…….!
    Sue, thanks for sharing Pat’s perspective on your page. Lots of great connections and content, even if we are continents apart! ~ Lynn

    • Reply patwdoyle11 May 21, 2018 at 03:23

      Lynn – finding a picture of me without sunglasses and a hat was a challenge. Or a pony tale and sunglasses. Seriously! I looked again today as I’m guest blogging again and they specifically asked for a different picture…and nothing except some pictures of hubby & me at weddings. LOL. Maybe one of my new things this should be get my picture taken without hat & sunglasses. Thanks for commenting!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 21, 2018 at 08:13

      Hi Lynn! Yes I’m loving my Over 50 & Thriving Guest Series because I am meeting so many wonderful women who are taking this time of life head on. I agree it is wonderful how we can connect even on the other side of the world from each other – we all face the same challenges. Have a beautiful week and thanks so much for stopping by to comment. x

  • Reply Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com May 21, 2018 at 06:07

    Hey Pat! Yay for your rightsizing AND for living by design rather than by default. I too do my best to do that as much as possible and am happy to say I have co-created a life I love. I say “co-created” because I personally believe I do it with along with the help of the Universe. Are you also a fan of Abraham-Hicks? She is constantly talking about design rather than default so I wouldn’t be surprised. I also love your SOAR acronym! May you continue to SOAR long into the future! ~Kathy

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 21, 2018 at 08:12

      Hi Kathy, I loved Pat’s post and I also think your term ‘co-created’ is perfect because yes, the Universe does have an effect and input on our lives. Thank you for stopping by to comment and have a beautiful week. x

    • Reply patwdoyle11 May 22, 2018 at 01:29

      Hi Kathy, I did read some Abraham-Hicks as part of my exploration into spirituality. I found it very inspirational and use some of the things in it completely (emotional awareness, affirmations, visualizing my future so the Universe hears me). I’m not sure I believe 100% nor would I say I know the complete works. I’ve often said about these things… I don’t not believe! That’s the practical, skeptical side of my brain. I have used the design or default language for years however… in my previous life I was a product designer. I am using the 7 daily intentions right now as part of my morning journaling. I’m thinking today I will soar!

  • Reply Weekends in Maine May 21, 2018 at 09:53

    I love the idea of living with intention. It’s so easy to left weeks and months go by just keeping up with whatever is happening rather than carving out the path you want to live.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 21, 2018 at 10:14

      I also enjoyed Pat’s ideas Karen. I love how my guest series is producing some really thought provoking posts. Have a great week!

    • Reply patwdoyle11 May 22, 2018 at 01:33

      I have the benefit of retirement right now to be able to focus on me and live my own intentions. I honestly don’t know if I could have done this while working and having all those demands on me. I give so much credit to those who can manage both.. or even more. Work, family, and personal life. Just keeping up is all we can do sometimes and that’s OK! Hopefully you can pick one aspect for moving along your own path this week.

      • Reply Weekends in Maine May 23, 2018 at 11:52

        I like the idea of picking one thing. Even when schedules are overwhelmed you can usually incorporate one meaningful change.

        • Reply Sue Loncaric May 24, 2018 at 10:46

          That is a great attitude Karen and certainly helps to cope when we are feeling overwhelmed. Have a great day and thanks for stopping by to comment. xx

  • Reply Joanne Sisco May 22, 2018 at 02:55

    Let me add my voice to the others who have commented on the great photo. The happy beaming smile says it all ?

    I LOVE the expression Lifestyle by Design. It reminds me of that saying if you don’t like something, and you can change it, then do something about it. Dreaming or complaining won’t get you there. You are clearly a take-action kind of person and you can’t help by SOAR with that attitude!!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 22, 2018 at 06:40

      I love that expression too Joanne! I’m a great believer in changing things you don’t like. We all have the power to do it and as you say dreaming or complaining doesn’t help. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and I do hope you visit again. Have a lovely day! xx

  • Reply Grammy Dee | Grammy's Grid June 5, 2018 at 00:03

    Hi Pat, I like your 7 daily lifestyle choices! Sounds like a great plan! Now I’m off to check out your blog. Sue, I shared this post x 4 ♥

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 5, 2018 at 07:26

      Thanks for visiting Dee and I really enjoyed Pat’s post which was full of wisdom. x

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