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Tips for Active Older Adults to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

If you’re like most active older adults, you may have made some New Year’s resolutions for 2022. Among the most popular are self-care oriented ones like lose some weight, get more exercise, eat healthier, cut back on drinking, and quit smoking. But even the most determined seniors among us will likely end in failure when it’s time to actually do what they resolved to do, even with the support of their friends in their senior living community. For those who have tried and failed year after year, you may ask yourself, “Will this be the year I keep my New Year’s resolutions?” Maybe so if you try these tips for success.

Zero in on one thing: A laundry list of New Year’s resolutions is a recipe for disaster so instead pick just one thing, hopefully one that will improve your health, well being or state of mind. Although it may seem like your odds of success at accomplishing at least one are better with a long list, the truth is having just one solid goal is better than many so you can concentrate on it alone.

Plan for it: Once a resolution is chosen, research ways to do or stop doing whatever it is. For example, smokers who want to quit can access information on quitting from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or talk to a coach on the confidential  “Quitline”.  Want to get in shape? Investigate local gym options, costs, and personal trainer reviews then ask for a trial membership as a Christmas gift. For more planning, the blog “Planning Ahead: New Year’s Resolutions” can help.

Set goals: Setting goals along a timeline is a good way to establish a framework for keep a New Year’s resolution. In so doing you can accomplish each step as it comes, avoid becoming overwhelmed, and remain enthusiastic at the same time. It also lets you be accountable for your own choices and steer clear of pitfalls. Find out how to do it right in the Forbes article, “How To Set Effective New Year’s Goals For 2022.”

Start changing habits ahead of time: Many New Year’s Resolutions involve changing a habit. Maybe afternoon cocktails have become problematic, or impulse buying out of boredom is wreaking havoc on your budget. Or perhaps creating a new habit like a daily walk or jog or volunteering one day a week is more in line with your New Year’s resolution. Either way, the sooner the change begins, the more likely it will end in success. Learn more about habits in the AARP blog, “How to Create Healthy Habits — and Get them to Stick.”

Don’t beat yourself up: When trying to stop or start something, remember it will probably take time to get it right. For example, losing weight is hard, period! So, take it one day at a time but don’t make yourself miserable by depriving yourself of the pleasure of eating a few favorites in moderation. Also don’t get discouraged if you backslide a little. The same goes for resolutions that require doing versus not doing. If you resolve to go to the gym three days a week and skip one for a good reason, no harm done. Just forge ahead and get back on track as quickly as possible. Remember self-care is caring for oneself so be nice to you. More about overcoming setbacks can be found in the Psychology Today article, “The Secret to Overcoming Any Setback.”

Reward yourself: Many people think that achieving their New Year’s resolution will be reward enough in itself. But as the weeks go by, that reward may lose its luster and be replaced by other seemingly more desirable rewards, like a big piece of apple pie alamode when dieting or a few cigarettes when quitting smoking. Instead, plan a timeline of rewards to give yourself when you reach goals. For example, you set five pounds as your first weight loss goal and when you reach it, you get to reap the reward. Obviously, the rewards shouldn’t be detrimental to the overall goal so chose something you want to do like see a show or visit a local attraction rather than eating a whole pizza or tub of ice cream. For more ideas on rewarding yourself, the blog, “101 Ways to Reward Yourself for Accomplishing Your Goals,” has some fun ones.

At StoneBridge at Winton Woods, we appreciate the hard work of self-care and stand ready to assist our residents with meeting their New Year’s resolution goals. Find out more about living at StoneBridge at Winton Woods, our housing options and amenities, contact us today and schedule a tour!

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