10 New Year’s Resolutions for Senior Adults
The New Year is here, and with it comes opportunities to take personal inventory of our lives and make any course corrections we deem necessary. These course corrections can be small things or all-out life-changing events. Either way, they hold a power to help bring happiness, health, and prosperity to our lives.
Here are 10 resolution ideas specifically designed to help seniors feel good and age well in the year ahead.
Resolution 1: Add variety to your physical activity
Senior adults can benefit greatly from regular exercise. As you make a resolution to stay active (or increase your activity) this year, try and incorporate something from each of the four recommended types of activity. These include aerobic exercise for endurance, such as running, walking, and swimming; strength training for muscle coordination; balance; and flexibility.
Resolution 2: Put your brain to work
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “use it or lose it.” Well, this refrain is certainly accurate when referring to many of our physical and mental capacities. The more we use them, the stronger they’ll remain. This year, make a resolution to sharpen your greatest tool with mental exercises and activities, such as reading, writing, putting puzzles together, taking up new hobbies, etc. Putting your mind to work is one of the best things you can do to ward off a decline in mental health as you age.
Resolution 3: Stay social
The importance of staying actively engaged in meaningful social interactions for older adults cannot be overstated. With loneliness and isolation more common among seniors, it’s vital to stay connected by reaching out to friends and family, participating in community events, or continually looking for opportunities to get out and meet new people.
Resolution 4: Extend a helping hand
Volunteering, or helping others in need, has been shown to improve health in numerous ways, including reducing stress and risks of depression. Additionally, the efforts of staying socially active give us a unique sense of value, purpose and belonging in life—which may lead to living longer, happier lives.
Resolution 5: Kick a bad habit
The new year is a popular time to kick a bad habit or two—especially if that bad habit has a direct effect on our health. Whether you’re resolving to eat healthy, drink more water, exercise, or quit smoking and/or drinking, now’s the time to do it. It’s never too late—and you’re never too old—to make wellness a priority.
Resolution 6: Share a good laugh
When’s the last time you had a good belly laugh—one that brought a big smile to your face and tears to your eyes? Humor has a way of making us feel good, even when things feel particularly difficult. But laughter isn’t just good for minds and moods, it can also strengthen the immune system, ease pain and lower stress.
Resolution 7: Think positively
With everything going on in the world, it isn’t too hard to feel a bit overwhelmed at times. However, studies consistently show that a positive attitude can have a powerful effect on our mental and physical health, including faster and better recovery times from injury or disability, lower risk of chronic disease and memory loss, less isolation and loneliness, and better capabilities in handling stress and anxiety.
Resolution 8: Do a little forgiving
Are you holding on to any long-standing grudges or hard feelings from unresolved offenses? The new year is a great time to bury hatchets and start afresh. Forgiveness has a way of lightening our mental and emotional burdens and making us happier. If forgiveness comes difficult to you, start by letting one person off the hook and see how you feel from there. You might find the peace you experience to be a refreshing high you want more of.
Resolution 9: De-clutter
It doesn’t take long for stuff to amass. While holding on to some of that stuff makes sense, because it may increase your quality of life or has deep sentimental value, a lot of it is likely stuff you don’t need—or stuff your children won’t want. On top of that, it is likely unnecessarily taking up space in your home. This year, commit to organizing what you want to keep and what you are ready to part with. That will make day-to-day living easier for you, and easier for your children later.
Resolution 10: Plan for the future
Most of us spend (or have spent) the bulk of our working lives preparing for retirement. So, once we finally get there, it’s normal to want to kick back and relax. But don’t let that prevent you from continuing to plan for your retirement future. If you haven’t already, plan to review your legal documents (such as your will, living will, advance directives, etc.) and make sure everything is current and reflective of your personal desires. From finances to health care to remaining actively engaged in life, there are still plenty of things to consider to help you make the most of your life ahead.
There are clearly many advantages to living in a Life Plan Community, the chief among them being the mental and physical health benefits experienced by residents. For more information about the benefits of moving into a Life Plan Community, speak with your retirement counselor, or call (801) 758-3138 today.