When the clock strikes midnight on December 31st an entirely new year begins, no matter what part of the world you are living in. And even though it’s just a difference of a few minutes, the promise of the new year becomes intoxicating. Thus, the New Year’s resolution was born. While most people focus on how to adopt a healthier lifestyle in the year ahead, resolutions for seniors and their families can take a different route.
Although seniors can have varying degrees of independence, these New Year’s resolutions can be applied across the board, as they have been shown to be the keys to living a healthier and more fulfilled life.
New Year’s Resolutions for 2019
There is a lot of skepticism when it comes to making New Year’s resolutions, but a research study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that those who make resolutions have a higher chance of affecting change in their lives. People who make New Year’s resolutions are 10 times more likely than their non-resolver counterparts to make a positive change within the first six months of the year.
Since roughly 45 million Americans go on a diet each year, it’s not surprising that weight loss is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions for 2019. But since it’s also the most predictable, we’ve put together a list of resolutions for seniors and their families that will support a healthier lifestyle by making small changes, which is more sustainable for the long-term.
Spend More Time Together. Loneliness and isolation is a serious problem that plagues the senior community. Loneliness can have an impact on everything from heart health, to mental health, to mobility, so making an effort to have more social interactions in 2019 can have a big effect on health. Choose to spend more time with children and grandchildren, friends and neighbors in the new year and if that’s not possible, there are always ways to get Facetime in using various forms of technology.
Develop A New Hobby. Whether you’re looking for a great way to make new friends, want an activity to try with your existing friends, or just want to try something new, finding a new activity to get involved in for 2019 can help improve cognitive function, boost self-esteem and even reduce stress. Whether you decide to join a book club, start gardening, take up ballroom dancing, or learn a new language, stepping outside of your comfort zone to try something new is a great way to kick off a new year.
Commit To Better Sleep. Many older adults suffer from disordered sleep and do not get enough rest at night as a result. Lack of sleep in older adults has contributed to memory loss, depression, irritability and a higher risk of falls, making a commitment to getting more sleep one of the best resolutions for seniors this year. To get better sleep, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends creating a regular sleep schedule and bedtime routine, get rid of all light-emitting technology in the bedroom (yes, even televisions), exercise during the day and avoid caffeine and alcohol later in the day.
Eat More Fresh Fruits And Veggies. Although this New Year’s resolution technically can also help with a weight loss goal, incorporating more fresh fruits and vegetables into your daily meals can have a positive impact on your energy levels, and lower your risk of heart disease and cancer. Making smarter choices at the grocery store means buying less canned and frozen food and more fresh fruits and vegetables for meals and snacks. Sometimes it might take a little extra effort to prepare, but an apple or banana require zero prep time in the kitchen!
Quit Smoking. Smoking cigarettes is remarkably detrimental to your overall health. Smoking affects a variety of systems throughout your body--your heart, lungs, circulation, and your teeth. Smoking cessation isn’t easy, but it’s also not impossible. With a solid plan and the right support, 2019 can be the year that you finally kicked this bad habit to the curb.
Get Proactive About Healthy Habits In 2019
With or without New Year’s resolutions for 2019, you can still choose to be more proactive about your health as you age. A medical alert device can keep you connected to help when you need it most, and serve as your health safety net for unforeseen emergencies. After all, the best type of New Year’s resolutions are the kind that protect your health and improve your quality of life as you age.