You’ve been through decades of making New Year’s resolutions or watching others do so. If you’re anything like me, the idea of New Year’s resolutions automatically brings on anxiety and fear of failure. Or, maybe you’re just over the whole thing. Many seniors feel as though resolutions aren’t worth the effort or even applicable to their stage of life.
While you may have mastered time management resolutions in your 20s, work-life balance in your 30s, eating healthy in your 40s, your later years present different challenges that can be combatted with tangible goals and resolutions.
Here are three resolutions, specifically for seniors, that can improve your health and overall outlook.
In a 2012 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, adults aged 52 and older were found to be at a higher risk of mortality when experiencing social isolation and loneliness. That’s scary. While socializing can be intimidating, especially for introverts, there are many ways to get out there and interact with others.
Sometimes it’s easiest to socialize when you have a purpose. Volunteering can be an awesome way to combat isolation. Sign up to help out at a local homeless shelter, join a tutoring group for at-risk youth at a local school or volunteer to help out with a class at your church. You’ll automatically be socializing while also helping your community.
According to Ellen Wood, author and anti-aging coach, by trying something new, you are stimulating your brain chemistry to activate new brain circuits. Within a few days of challenging your brain with new activities, you may start to see a difference in your cognition.
Sign up for a class at your local college, join a book club, pick up a new hobby like photography or painting or plan a trip to a place you’ve never been. Your brain is always ready for a challenge. Just as you shouldn’t let your muscles sit for too long, your brain should not be without routine “maintenance.”
While it sounds like an odd resolution, forgiveness is a healthy process that brings many benefits. In a study published by the International Journal of Psychophysiology, researchers found that forgiveness was associated with fewer medications, less alcohol usage, lower blood pressure and lower heart rate.
Perhaps you’ve been holding onto a grudge toward an old friend or family member. Maybe you’ve been hard on yourself for past mistakes as well. Let 2017 be the year you let that go and choose to forgive yourself and others.