Why should I still make a New Year’s resolution?

By Barb Fricke, Director of Marketing

Throughout our adult years, many of us choose a New Year’s resolution or two, like losing weight, exercising more, etc. Is it still important that an older adult choose a new year’s resolution and if so, why?

New Year’s resolutions for older adults can positively impact their overall health. Resolutions provide us with goals and purpose in our lives. Studies done by Rush University show that people who view life with a sense of purpose are 2-4 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s  and that self-disciplined, highly organized people are less susceptible to Alzheimer’s.  Plus resolutions allow us to start the year with an upbeat and positive attitude.

What are some ideas for resolutions for older adults?

Sharing your life story for future generations is a good resolution. This could be done in writing, a video, or telling another person who then writes it. This way your memories, experiences and life will be preserved.

Another idea to preserve your life is to create a family cookbook of favorite recipes. Or make a time capsule for your descendants to open in the future.

A very familiar resolution for any age group is setting health goals. As we age this is especially important. Things like setting up yearly doctor appointments and creating a doable exercise plan is important. As you age, eating healthy is still important but you’ll need fewer calories. Consider scheduling some time with a dietitian to develop a healthy eating plan with enough protein, fruits and vegetables.

Falls are the leading cause of injuries in older adults so making a resolution to take steps to decrease your risk of a fall would be helpful. Remove items from your home that could cause you to trip and fall, Add night lights to help you see better in the dark. Install grab bars in the shower and other areas.

Explore new volunteer opportunities. Give back to your community and help bring fulfillment to your life. It also connects you with like-minded people which is great for your well-being.

Rekindle an old friendship. Make a telephone call, send an email, reach out to a childhood friend. Ask family members to help you if you have limited computer skills.

Challenge your brain regularly. While physical activity is important, so is giving your brain a “workout.” Challenging your brain keeps cognitive skills sharp and reduces your chance of memory loss.  Make time to play games that force your mind to work. Try something new or something harder than you usually do.

And write down your resolution and put it in a place you will see it daily. This helps hold you accountable to actually working on it.

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2022.

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