Rethinking Resolutions: How to Set New Year's Goals You Can Keep
You’re probably all too familiar with the concept of a New Year’s resolution. It’s a little pact you make with yourself at the end of the holiday season where you commit to living life a little better in the coming year. For many, this typically involves fitness and diet goals. For some, it might be a project that they have meant to start or finish. It’s all well and good to make these resolutions, but how about sticking to them? For some seniors, New Year’s resolutions probably look a bit different than they might for younger folk. It’s unlikely and sometimes unwise to commit to a vigorous workout routine. Jumping into heavy activity is not only unsustainable, it can be downright unsafe. Big changes in diet can also be problematic, as many seniors are careful about their nutrition in order to maximize its health benefits. There’s a lot more to eating well than cutting calories.
That’s not to say there’s no point to a New Year’s resolution. Proper goal setting and actionable plans can be invigorating and undoubtedly help maintain and improve ones quality of life. It’s just about picking the right ones. Here’s what you should know about sticking to New Year’s resolutions:
How to Set Goals You Can Stick To
The most important thing to consider when crafting a New Year’s resolution is how attainable it is. Sure, climbing Everest might be an exciting goal to set, but if it’s an impossibility it’s no better than having no resolution at all. Think carefully about goals you can accomplish, and then immediately create an action plan for how you will realistically achieve these specific goals. Without a comprehensive plan, many goals will fizzle before they are close to successful completion.
It’s also a good idea to involve people in your goals. Not only does this open up a network of support, but it also gives you an opportunity to ask for help if you get stuck. Be open about what resolutions you’ve made, and you’ll find that when there are other people invested in your success, it’s harder to step away from your goals.
Finally, starting small is a good idea. You can always grow your goals as the year progresses, but it’s better you begin with something simple. Want to read more? Try getting through one good book before shooting for a novel a week. Seeing your small successes will give you the courage to pursue grander goals.
Successful New Year’s Resolutions for Seniors
If you’re carefully looking for some goals to set for this year, or even thinking ahead to resolutions for next, carefully consider these:
Train Your Brain
While many people focus on their body as a New Year’s resolution, it’s equally important to stay sharp by training your brain. Keeping your mind active can have positive impacts on memory and attention, which are both very important for quality of life.
If you’re going to make it a New Year’s resolution, make sure to set an attainable goal. Reading books can be great for mental exercise, but rather than promise yourself a book a week start with one. Get through it and pick up another. Don’t get discouraged if you’re going slowly, or stopping and starting, just commit to getting through one at a time.
There are other mental activities you can take up as well. If you subscribe to a newspaper, try the daily crossword every morning as a form of mental exercise. See if you can keep it up over the course of a year, and track your success and improvement. Even small goals like this can go a long way for your mental fitness.
Set Attainable Fitness Goals
It’s probably unreasonable to hit the gym daily — it might even be medically inadvisable. However, as long as your doctor gives you the go ahead, setting some attainable fitness goals remains a great idea to begin the new year.
Start with something simple. Do you have an activity like walking you enjoy? Try walking a little further, or do it one extra day per week. Signing up for a senior-friendly aerobic class can also be a great idea, with pool-based classes offering an easy on the joints alternative to traditional exercise.
Fortunately, sticking to fitness goals has never been easier with the assistance of technology. Walking has always been a healthy, low-impact activity with a myriad of health benefits. By wearing a fitness-tracking bracelet or step counter, you’ll be able to set and track step goals, and have a visual representation of how much you’ve been moving, making walking goals easier to stick to.
Eating Well and Sticking to It
Making diet goals is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions. But while it’s common to make specific goals related to the food we eat, it’s far less common to stick to them. That’s why it’s imperative you make reasonable food resolutions and think of an action plan to stick to them.
It’s always important to consult with your doctor before making any diet changes. Healthy living requires balance, and this is especially true for seniors.
Talking with your doctor about what nutrients are important for your lifestyle and what you can eat to maintain a healthy one, is an important first step to committing to a resolution.
Heart to Home Meals offers an ideal solution for your diet resolutions. Our varied menu has plenty of healthy options that are prepared for your convenience and have all the nutritional information you need to know, so you can align them with your plan. With our healthy and delicious meals delivered to your door, sticking to a New Year’s diet resolution has never been easier.
A new year typically means a great opportunity to take a fresh look at your goals, and maybe even set some new ones. While many people typically find it difficult to stick to their resolutions over the course of an entire year, if you start small, keep them reasonable and ask for support, 2020 might be a year of successful resolutions for you.
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