With the New Year finally upon us, we’re offered a fresh opportunity to reflect on steps we can take for self-improvement. As we get older, these commitments (or resolutions, as most people call them) take on a very different tone.
For younger folks, it may be as simple as working on their beach body for the summer or improving their grades at school. But for seniors, New Years’ Resolutions can help you focus on keeping and improving your health, quality of life, and even emotional well-being.
Making the conscious choice to actively improve yourself is the first and arguably most important step you can take when thinking about a resolution. Consider what changes you can make in your life that will measurably improve it, and then create a strategy around how you’re going to reach your goal.
Key Components of Effective New Year's Resolutions
There are some general rules for making a resolution. The first thing to consider is setting a goal worth keeping -- in other words, think big! While there’s nothing wrong with making easily attainable goals, like tidying up or expanding your garden, the New Year really gives us an opportunity to be ambitious with our goals.
The benefit of thinking big is that it can really help develop a support network of people who invest themselves in your success. People get excited about accomplishing something exciting. This year, think about the goals you’ve been putting off because they seem intimidating. Maybe it’s learning a new instrument, finishing a classic novel, or learning to knit—whatever it is, make sure it’s something you’d be proud to achieve.
For seniors, resolutions have the added benefit of giving you something to enhance your well-being and quality of life. Making a commitment to eating healthier or pursuing exercise can ensure you remain healthy, mobile, and independent for a long time. The first step towards these goals can begin with this New Year. Just make sure to always consult with your doctor before making any sudden dietary or fitness changes!
And to help achieve these ambitious goals centered around life improvement, it’s a good idea to break them into bite size chunks, so you’re not overwhelmed by the scale of your task. Finishing a 1000-piece puzzle starts with placing the first one, so take time to identify your first few pieces before launching into it.
Resolutions for Your Body, Mind and Mood
Keeping your body healthy, your mind sharp and your mood lifted are all essential to ensuring you have wonderful, comfortable senior years. Consider these three factors when making your New Year’s resolution.
For Your Body: The fuel you power your body with is essential to your physical health. Before you consider an exercise routine or set any weight loss goals with your doctor, consider your meal plan. One resolution might be to sharpen your culinary skills to make more healthy meals.
But not everyone has an interest in spending more time in the kitchen—that doesn't mean you can’t set resolutions to eat healthier. Heart to Home Meals is a great way to ensure nutritious, balanced meals are delivered right to your door, easy to store in the freezer and heat in the microwave. If you’re looking to take a first step towards healthier eating, this is a great solution.
For Your Mind: With the start of a new year, there comes an opportunity for some new hobbies, skills, and interests. These can be big commitments, but in these winter months it seems like we all have a surplus of free time, so there’s never been a better opportunity to take up something new.
But it’s about more than finding your new favorite pastime. Learning a new skill, or even taking up a new interest is a great way to keep your mind sharp. Like any muscle that goes unused, your mind and memory can weaken when they’re not tested. By teaching yourself something new, whether it’s how to playing chess or reading about the history of ancient Rome, you’re strengthening your mind.
For Your Mood: When your body feels healthy and your mind feels sharp, your mood often benefits as a result. But there’s a lot that can affect how someone feels emotionally, and making a resolution to be mindful isn’t always as easy as making sure to eat your vegetables, or finishing that sweater you started knitting last year.
These days, isolation is a real issue affecting many seniors, and feelings of loneliness can make enjoying life and feeling happy more difficult than they ought to be. Making a resolution to stay connected to friends and family is a great way to combat these feelings. While this may be more difficult to do in person, as part of your goal, you might teach yourself how to use a video call technology like Zoom or Google Meet. These are great tools for a little face-to-face communication, and important for feeling connected.
Keeping your New Year’s resolutions isn’t always easy, but it can be extremely worthwhile. By setting ambitious goals that you break into small manageable steps, you can accomplish great things without being overwhelmed. And when those goals tie into your personal well-being, you’ll be more committed than ever to sticking with them.