New Year New Goals
Seniors should set goals every year just like everyone else. Goals are written, not just said, otherwise they are just happy thoughts. If you write down your goals and set a plan to achieve them, then you are on the right track. You are more likely to succeed in your resolutions if you put them in writing and set milestones to check your progress.
The new year is a great time to have a fresh start in life. If you have never set goals for yourself before, now is the perfect time to start. This is especially important for seniors because they need to look forward, while still embracing the past. Seniors have gained a lot of wisdom from experience, so why not use that experience to help future generations?
We have all heard the saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, but this should not pertain to you. You are only as old as your expectations for life. Have a positive attitude and go for it.
Here are some suggestions to help you achieve your New Year’s resolutions.
It is never too late to establish new habits, and the new year is the ideal opportunity. It may be difficult to begin something different, but anything of personal value is worth the effort. You are more likely to achieve your objectives if you keep a few of these suggestions in mind;
- Get an accountability partner – Share your goals with a friend or family member. This will help you stay on track and reach your target.
- Set reasonable goals – Manageable goals that can be attained with your time and affordability are more likely to be achieved.
- Record your progress – Use a calendar or journal to chart your progress. You can even take photos of your achievements to put in a scrapbook.
- Give yourself credit – When you reach a milestone or success make sure you give yourself a reward. At the same time don’t be hard on yourself if you did not reach your goal on time, just keep striving for it.
- Don’t give up – Sometimes it takes us a little longer to accomplish things than we first thought. Studies show that it takes an average of 66 days to form a new habit.
Here are a few goals that are in a senior’s wheelhouse.
Remember to set attainable goals. Small changes make a big difference over time. Even if you have health problems that restrict certain physical activity, you can improve your situation a little at a time. Below are a few suggestions for seniors setting objectives for the new year.
- Increase your exercise a bit. Even if you do not have a specific exercise program, you can start one today. Take that extra walk around the house. Minor things have a big impact when it comes to building your stamina. Set a reminder on your phone or alarm clock to remind you every few hours to get up and move around. If you want a more structured routine you can join a gym or an exercise group at church or your senior center. If you want to go for a walk around the neighborhood, you can invite neighbors to walk with you. Walking with others makes it more fun and increases your accountability to get out and move around.
- Make healthier food choices. Believe it or not, I certainly need to do more of this in the new year! It is always easier to grab a quick junk food snack than prepare something more nutritious. Plan for those mid-morning or afternoon snacks with an energy building choice. If you don’t have those cookies in the pantry, then they are not there to substitute for that apple or other fruit choice. It’s never too late to make nourishing choices in your daily diet.
- Do you have that special recipe that everyone just loves, but you have not shared it with anyone? Well now is the time to tell someone else in your family. I did this two years ago with my bar-b-que sauce. I bestowed it upon my two boys. Recipes that are passed down from one generation to the next have weight. They bring back powerful memories of family gatherings.
- Have you always wanted to write a book? Well, now is the time to start. It is not as hard as you might think. I wrote 3 children’s books last year for my grandchildren and published them on Kindle. Self-publishing is an easy and less expensive way to get your books published.
- How about writing all of your children and grandchildren a letter? The art of a handwritten letter is lost in this technological era. This is something that will mean the world to them in years to come. You can even make and send birthday and holiday cards throughout the year. How about starting a journal? Write down family stories of your life growing up and about your ancestors’ lives. Passing down your family history to future generations will be treasured for years to come.
- Learn something new, like how to use technology. It is not as scary as you might believe. Your family members are using it, so why not you? They can help you learn how. This way you can have a more tech-savvy way to communicate with your family and friends.
- Now is the time to have that tough conversation with your family. You have been putting it off for years. Let them know your wishes for the future. If you do not have a will, it’s time to have one drawn up, to name an executor, and discuss plans for your future.
- Learn a new hobby or revisit an old one. Was there a past time that gave you a lot of joy that you haven’t done in a long time? Now is the chance to pick it back up. Maybe you have always wanted to paint but never really learned. It’s time to get started.
Remember to make your goals feasible.
You hear people all the time say “I am going to lose weight at the first of the year.” If this is you, do you have a plan to accomplish this goal? Is it realistic? Most people set the bar too high to reach. They want to lose 75 pounds this year…that is a lot. To achieve this you need to lose 1.5 pounds a week. Without a structured plan, you will most likely fail. How about setting your target at 3 pounds a month and lose 36 pounds this year. This milestone is easy to check off every month, and you will have lost a significant amount of weight by the end of the year. This goal can easily be reached by just altering a few things in your diet, instead of completely overhauling your eating habits.
Seniors should set goals for themselves and have a plan to complete them. Remember to reward yourself for the small victories, and try not to chastise yourself for being a tad tardy on meeting your mark. You can live a healthier more fit lifestyle by just changing your habits a speck. You will be better off at the end of the year by just sticking with your game plan.
Dwell at Home would like to wish you a better 2021 and much success in achieving your goals.
Written by Mike Clark ,
Co-Owner of Dwell at Home
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