I’m a fan of routines, although I don’t have as many as I would like. That’s my fault, and hopefully it doesn’t outlast my 20s. One of the routines I do enjoy on a pretty regular basis is evening walks. This was a routine I grew up with, something I think my uncle generally inspired after family dinner.

Evening walks are something I savor now as a way to close out the day. Often I’ll substitute the walk for a run. Either way, the effect is usually the same which is that it reminds me of the life of the rest of the neighborhood or wider area. Usually I’ll overhear some snippet of passing conversation or witness some fun or peculiar sight that in its own way ends up making the day.

Walks can also be a great way to work through audiobooks or podcasts, or tune in to local radio from some other part of the country. I like to listen in to hear how The LION 90.7fm sounds at Penn State, and have also recently enjoyed Ohio State’s student internet station on a regular basis for newer music. Sometimes it will be a little station in Tucson or Savannah or the Pacific Northwest. It helps gives me a sense of place.

I’ll try to think of some other routines over time.

Saving for retirement

“Assuming an annual market return of 7 percent, he says, a 30-year-old worker who made $30,000 a year and received a 3 percent annual raise could retire at age 70 with $927,000 in the pot by saving 10 percent of her wages every year in a passive index fund. (Such a nest egg, at the standard withdrawal rate of 4 percent, would generate an inflation-adjusted $37,000 a year more or less indefinitely.) If she put it in a typical actively managed fund, she would end up with only $561,000.”

Great article from Eduardo Porter last month. The things that pay off over the long term are rarely sexy. They’re routine. They’re boring. They work.