Well, we made it! Happy 2021! With the past behind us, many are now looking forward to better things ahead and are planning how to get them done. That means making resolutions, something most have tried and failed at. But New Year’s resolutions can be made and accomplished with a little knowledge, effort and fortitude. Take a look at 10 tips for making and reaching your New Year’s resolutions in 2021.
Tip #1 Make a list
Committing resolutions to paper can go a long way toward helping decide on and succeed at those that will help you age well. Start with a long list and then whittle it down to a few that will really make a difference in improving life, health and well-being. Keep the resolutions that seem most reasonable and save the rest for another year. The Rolling Stone article, “These Totally Reasonable New Year’s Resolutions Will Keep You Healthy in 2021” is a great place to start.
Tip #2 Be realistic
Climbing mountains may be something the few can aspire to, but for most seniors, more realistic goals are smarter. Since the best way to succeed at a resolution is if it actually can be accomplished, choose resolutions that are within your physical, financial and emotional capabilities. One place to begin is with last year’s resolutions. What was the level of success or failure achieved? What factors played into that success or failure? What should be done differently this year? An honest look back can help you do even better in 2021. Learn more about the science of setting and keeping resolutions in the Business Insider article, “How to set realistic New Year’s resolutions and actually stick to them in 2021, according to a neuroscientist.”
Tip #3 Set goals
Setting daily, weekly and/or monthly goals helps keep resolutions on a defined path to success while taking it one day at a time. For example, if saving money is the goal, determine what you want to save by year end and divide it up over the next 12 months. It’s surprising how small amounts saved can add up over time with little or no effort or sacrifice. The parade.com blog, “10 Free Printable Goal-Setting Worksheets That’ll Help You Achieve Anything,” can make it even easier.
Tip #4 Track your progress
Keeping a journal or diary is a great way to not only track progress but also track areas where you need more work. Every accomplishment can be recorded as a motivator and when something goes amiss, writing it down can serve as a reminder for the future. Another higher-tech option is a goal tracking app. These apps keep a digital diary for you and offer a broad range of things to track and ways to track them, as well as charts, graphs and even daily reminders. The Lifewire.com blog, “7 Best Goal Tracker Apps for 2021,” takes a look at apps for the new year.
Tip #5 Share your resolutions with a friend
Sharing your goals with someone who you trust can go a long way toward reaching them. Whether that person has the same goals and is able to join in your effort (such as in exercising) or is just available for support, not going it alone can improve how well you do. Find out more about goal sharing in the blog, “The Power of Sharing Your Goals with Others,” at jackcanfield.com.
Tip #6 Listen to the experts
There has been a lot of research into the science of setting and reaching goals and resolutions, so before you begin, check out what science has to say that can help. The following blogs sum it up:
“Make the most of your New Year’s resolution with these tips from psychologists,” at mlive.com.
“The science of how to stick to New Year’s resolutions and truly change your habits,” at cnn.com.
“New Year’s resolutions: How to boost success rates,” at medicalnewstoday.com.
Tip #7 Be kind to yourself
Unless you are a seasoned athlete or other highly trained individual, setting goals that are going to be painful — mentally or physically — may well be destined to fail. Instead, if you have a difficult resolution you are determined to pursue to help you age well, set another that will balance it with self-caring and kindness. For example, if you want to quit smoking, allow yourself a treat each time you go a week without a cigarette. Perhaps a new accessory, or a favorite take-out meal, or even just something as simple as an afternoon off to binge watch your favorite show on Netflix. And of course, set a big prize for yourself at the end of the year as reward for making and keeping your commitment. The blog “New Year’s Affirmations for Self-Care,” by Dr. Chris Moore offers insights for self-care going forward.
Tip #8 Keep it fun
Choose at least one resolution that will be fun and relatively easy to achieve so that you have a constant reminder that success is possible. One idea might be to commit to spending more time on a hobby or pastime that you really enjoy and that fulfills you. By focusing on doing, rather than not doing, it might surprise you how good it feels to just have fun while you pursue aging well. For more ideas, try the blog, “7 New Year’s Resolutions for Senior Adults,” from thisretirementlife.com.
Tip #9 Don’t stop trying
While some resolutions are harder than others, there is always risk of failure. But no matter how many times you slip, don’t be afraid to push the reset button and try again (and again and again); This is especially important if your resolutions were made to improve your health or overall well-being. The Cleaning Authority blog, “Don’t Give Up on Your New Year’s Resolution” offers helpful tips.
Tip #10 Take a cue from COVID-19 survivors
Obviously, 2020 was one long nightmare we would all like to forget. But for those who actually contracted COVID-19 and survived, there are lessons to be shared. The New York Post article, “5 COVID-19 survivors who beat death share their New Year’s resolutions,” can help provide the perspective needed to go into this new year with hope and gratitude.
At Countryside, we are ready to assist every resident in their pursuit to age well and have a healthier and happier new year in 2021! For more information about Countryside, please call Margaret Nagel at (517) 206-5000 or download our brochure to learn about our care levels, cost, and amenities.