The holidays are always such a frenetic time of year. There’s a flurry of activity--from holiday shopping, to family dinners, to holiday parties, there are many ways to stay distracted through Christmas time. But once the chaos of the holidays die down, life can get really quiet and sometimes even feel lonely.
As the year draws to a close, it’s important to take some time to slow down and reflect on the past year; on the good, the bad, and the ugly. Taking the time to think about what you accomplished over the last year--or what you failed to accomplish--can help you set new goals (or resolutions) with the start of a new year.
If you need a little help setting your goals for the upcoming year, we spent the last year putting together a guide to help seniors live a more independent, more fulfilled life--a life without limits. Feel free to use as much, or as little of this information to assist you on your own journey into 2018.
January: Say Yes!
The first step in making changes to your daily routine and your life is being open to new possibilities. Successfully trying new things means adopting a more positive attitude, embracing kindness with others and with yourself, and commit to laughing more often. You might be surprised to find where life will take you when you start from a place of “yes.”
February: Get Heart Smart
Heart disease is now the leading cause of death for both men and women living in the United States. The good news, however, is that there are actionable steps you can take to help prevent your risk of heart disease. Dr. Jeffrey Wuhl, a cardiologist with Bryn Mawr Medical Specialists Association-Lankenau Cardiology Group, gave us some great tips for how to make small lifestyle changes in order to make a big impact on your heart health.
March: Commit To Healthier Eating Habits
Your diet, although you might not realize it, can have a big impact on the quality of sleep you get at night, the amount of energy you have during the day, and various chronic health concerns. Not all food is created equal, so in order to feel your best and perform your best, you also need to be committed to eating a variety of quality, nutritious foods.
April: Fitter, Faster, Stronger
Like your dietary choices, fitness, or lack thereof, can have a big impact on your overall health and wellbeing. Many experts agree that the key to living a long and healthy life lies in remaining physically active for as long as you are able. Your fitness routine should change with age, however, so it’s important to make adjustments in order to incorporate exercises that build strength, improve balance and encourage cardiovascular activity.
May: Stress Less
Stress can literally take years off of your life. Whether you worry about your finances, your health, your children, or the news, the physiological response that is triggered by stress is harmful to your wellbeing. Incorporating more stress-busting activities into your life can have a remarkably positive impact and help you live a longer life.
June: Make Your Dreams A Reality
Life is short, so it seems like everyday should be the day you pursue any unrealized dreams. After all, if not now, when? Whether the item on your list is adventurous (skydiving!), generous (volunteering in your community), or lofty (learning a new language), there’s really no time like the present when it comes to conquering your biggest goals.
July: Don’t Worry, Be Happy
Happiness is a muscle that has to be stretched and strengthened. Happiness comes more naturally for some people than others, but the goal of achieving happiness is more attainable than you may think. With a few simple tools and determination, you can actually become a happier person, which will also make you healthier in the long run.
August: Take Control of Your Finances
Finances are a cause of stress at various stages of life, but with age it can become heightened due to health care costs, the cost of living on a fixed income, and special care needs. If your finances have always eluded you, or you’ve allowed someone else to be in control of your spending, now is the time to get more engaged in your financial fitness. Taking control of the situation can help reduce your stress levels and help you to feel more independent.
September: Discover A New Hobby
Studies have shown that learning new skills can help slow cognitive decline as you age, which means that taking up new hobbies during retirement can help keep you feeling--and thinking--young. No matter which activity you decide to explore, challenging your brain to learn something new can not only help you feel younger, it can also help you stay healthier, longer.
October: Quit Smoking...For Good
There’s no two ways about it--smoking cigarettes is bad for your health. It can literally take years off of your life. If you’ve been struggling to quit smoking or thinking about quitting smoking, this can be the year that you finally do it. Your heart and lungs will thank you.
November: Embrace Technology
Although older adults have been slow to embrace technology, they are one of the fastest growing demographics on the internet. If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not to join Facebook or buy an iPad, there are plenty of reasons why you should pull the trigger and get connected.
Looking To The Future
Hope is believing in the fact that something good will happen in the future. But sometimes you need to add some action to the mix in order to make something good happen on your own. In the year ahead, we hope that you discover new ways to make you smile and continue to live a life without limits.