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5 New Year’s Resolutions for Seniors…And How to Keep Them

It’s never too late to make a lifestyle change that will alter your life for the better, and this is traditionally a time of year when each of us considers resolutions as a means of achieving specific goals.  If you’re one who likes to make a specific plan for the new year ahead, we’d like to share some guidance on how to pick a SMART resolution (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound), along with some suggestions for 2022!

 

Specific—Stay away from vague goals such as “I want to lose weight.”  Instead, for example, set a goal to lose 10 pounds in four months.

 

Measurable—Obviously, weight loss is a measurable goal.  If your resolution isn’t something as easily measured, find a way to measure it.  If you want to build up muscle and are less concerned with what the scale says, take photos of your body as the year progresses to see your gains.

 

Achievable—Reach for the stars while still being realistic.  To stick with our weight loss/working out example, set a goal that’s right for your body type, and that won’t force you into unhealthy habits (like not eating enough) in order to reach it.

 

Relevant—Make sure your resolution is important to you and that you’re doing it for the right reasons.  Ask yourself: Has your goal been something you’ve been thinking about for a while?  Are you doing it because you actually want to or because you think you should?

 

Time-bound—This one’s sort of built into New Year’s resolutions, which are typically something you want to achieve in the next year.  That doesn’t mean you can’t set smaller goals throughout the year, though—10 pounds every four months and by the end of the year, you’ll be down 30 pounds.

 

Now that you know how to make a SMART resolution, here are five suggestions seniors should consider making this new year:

 

Cook something new each week—It’s easy to get into a rut of cooking the same dishes over and over and over, especially as we get older, so challenge yourself to try out a new recipe each week.  Open your mind to (healthy) ingredients you may have never tried before.  Take a picture of each week’s dish and save the recipes for the dishes you liked enough to make again.

 

Join a club or social group—Or five! Getting older can be lonely, but you’re certainly not the only person in that boat!  The Niskayuna and Clifton Park Senior Centers, among many others in our area, are always hosting events, and, if you live on Kingsway’s Campus, you’ll never run out of opportunities to do crafts, play games, and make music.

 

Exercise your brain—Not only do brain games like crossword puzzles and sudoku keep your mind sharp, but research has also shown that completing simple math problems gives you a feeling of accomplishment and helps to curb negative feelings.  Challenge yourself to complete an entire puzzle book in 2022, or to do one a day!

 

Exercise your body—Fitness goals are some of the most common New Year’s resolutions.  Even as little as 10 minutes of exercise per day can deliver results, both mental and physical.  For suggestions, check out our blog on exercise modifications for seniors.

 

Learn something new—Like we said at the top of this post: It’s never too late to improve yourself. Have you always wanted to knit a scarf? Buy a knitting book, a ball of yarn and do it! More interested in guided learning?  Take a class through Union College’s Academy for Lifelong Learning.