Top 10 New Year's Resolutions for Seniors
It’s New Year’s day, the start of another brand new year, bright with the promise of new beginnings. Most of us think of the new year as a “do-over” for the things we meant to do last year, but never quite got around to doing.
This year before you start making your list of resolutions, let’s take a moment to put into place some strategies that can help keep you on track to accomplishing your goals.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
· Set Manageable Goals. Maybe you want to begin exercising, but you haven’t been off the couch in years, or have mobility issues, you are probably not going to want to start off spending 3 hours at the gym, 7 days a week. Set smaller goals, maybe walking for 30 minutes, 3 times a week, and working up to a more strenuous exercise routine.
· Accountability. Share your goal with a family member or friend, you never know, they may want to join in and exercise with you.
· Chart Your Progress. Use a calendar or app on your phone to help keep track of your progress. Write down the days you will be exercising on your calendar, maybe even add an alarm on your phone when you are scheduled to exercise.
· Don’t Give Up. On average it takes 66 days to form a habit, don’t give up too soon.
· Celebrate Your Achievements. Don’t wait until you’ve made it 66 days to celebrate. Every step along the way to achieving your goal, should be celebrated!
Now, let’s take a look at 10 New Year’s Resolutions specifically for seniors.
1. Get Organized. Are your legal documents in order? Do you have a will, advanced directives, power of attorney? If something were to happen to you, would your family know your wishes and your finances? If not, schedule a meeting with an Elder Law attorney.
2. Schedule your doctor appointments. It’s understandable that during Covid, seniors have been hesitant to leave their homes to go to the doctor. However, neglecting appointments could put your health at risk. Be sure to make appointments in the new year with your dentist, eye doctor and any specialists you see.
3. List of Medications. Make sure you have a list of all medications you are currently taking, including dosages. You can always ask your pharmacist for a list of all medications you have been prescribed. Keep a copy on your cell phone, either take a picture of the list or add to the note section of your phone. If you are having difficulty remembering which meds you’ve taken, consider purchasing a medication dispenser.
4. Take Your Vitamins. Are you taking a multi-vitamin? Since Covid began, the vitamins in the news every day are D, Zinc and C. These vitamins are all believed to boost your immune system. Be sure to consult with your doctor before taking vitamins, as some can interact with medications.
5. Workout Your Brain. Use it or lose it goes for your brain too! Boost your brain power by working on crossword puzzles, word searches jigsaw puzzles, sodoku, reading, brain apps and games on your iPad or phone. Consider taking college courses at community college. There are lots of classes available online.
6. Get Moving. Be as active as you can be. You can be active even if you have mobility issues. Go for a walk, whether it’s around the block or just in front of your house. Stretch, do chair exercise. There are tons of free exercise videos on YouTube. Check to see if there is a Silver sneakers program in your area, or join your local senior center. If you live in a senior community, there are likely lots of exercise classes…join one.
7. Keep Your Environment Safe from Falls Risks. Falls can be a gamechanger and are the leading cause of injury for those over age 65. Take a look at around your home, and get rid of potential fall risks, such as clutter, throw rugs and newspapers/magazines piled up on the floor. Add night lights and make sure you have a clear path from the bed to the bathroom – most falls happen at night! If you have balance issues, add grab bars and a shower chair.
8. Speak up! 1 in 5 older adults suffer from depression or anxiety. This number may be higher now due to how isolated seniors have become thanks to Covid. Signs of depression may include feeling sad, tired, worried, having difficulty sleeping. If you’re feeling depressed or anxious, please let someone know. Reach out to your doctor, a family member or a good friend.
9. Embrace Technology. Seniors have done a fantastic job of using technology during Covid. Zoom has been a great way of staying in touch with the grandkids and with friends. iPads and tablets of any kind are great to have. You can add games, apps and social media to them. Facebook is a great way to stay connected to family and friends. And if you haven’t discovered Pinterest yet, you’re in for a treat, especially if you’re crafty or love cooking!
10. Keep Laughing! What makes you laugh? Maybe it’s sharing funny stories with family – we all have those special stories, that make us laugh until we cry when we retell them. Watch your favorite movie or television show, for me it’s the Andy Griffith show! You can find pretty much anything on Netflix these days. It’s true what they say, laughter is the best medicine!
No matter what your age, setting goals for yourself will give you a sense of purpose. Ready to start 2021 off with new resolutions? One goal, or ten goals – it doesn’t matter, just make one!
Listen to this podcast for more on setting goals/resolutions:
Learn more about creating an environment safe from fall risks: