Want to start the New Year out right? Set some goals for yourself to improve your health and happiness.
Fulfill a Dream
Have you always wanted to visit Paris? Or would you love to learn how to play golf? Wanted to earn a college degree? Whatever your lifelong dream is, make this year the year you fulfill it and make it a reality.
Take a Walk Every Day
Just 20 minutes of simple physical activity a day, such as walking, can reap huge health benefits. According to AmericanTrails.org, seniors can decrease risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and more just by staying active. If the weather is keeping you from getting outdoors, drive to the local mall and walk inside. Many malls open early for people who like to window-shop while logging some miles.
Start or Renew a Hobby
Use the beginning of the New Year as inspiration to either start or restart engaging in one of your favorite pastimes, such as knitting, coin collecting, painting or writing. Look for a club or group that engages in your hobby and join it — the social engagement is healthy too.
The satisfaction you get by helping others in need is beneficial to your emotional well being. There are endless opportunities for volunteering, such as helping at a local food shelter, working at a hospital or animal shelter, or visiting another senior adult in your community who is homebound.
Play Brain Games
When it comes to your health, exercising your brain is just as important as exercising your body. Do crossword or Sudoku puzzles, work on jigsaw puzzles or even sign up a class you’ve always wanted to take, such as art history.
Change Your Attitude
It can be difficult to age gracefully, but sometimes, all that’s needed is a positive attitude to ignore the minor aches and pains, wrinkles and gray hair. Resolve to look on “the sunny side of the street.”
Share Family Photos and Recipes
Send your loved ones family recipes and photos that have been passed down through the generations. You may also want to share letters or other important historical and sentimental records, documents and things. Make a small box for each grandchild, decorated with a childhood photo of them, and fill it with family photos and a letter you’ve written about why you treasure them.
Schedule Regular Check-ups
Don’t ignore your health. Annual senior checkups are vital to maintaining and improving your health. Make sure you tell your physician about any concerns you have or changes you’ve noticed.
Get Tech Savvy
Stay in touch with loved ones and friends by learning how to use social media like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat or learn to text on your phone. It’s a fun way to communicate with the people who matter most to you.
Talk to Loved Ones about Your Will
This is a tough one, but if you don’t initiate the discussion, chances are your loved ones won’t either. Share a copy of your will, communicate your desires about your care should you become incapacitated, and share beneficiary information about financial instruments you own, life insurance and other valuable property.