It’s the dawn of a new year, and a time when many people set ambitious personal goals for the 365 days ahead. Did you know an estimated 60% of Americans will set New Year’s resolutions, but more than half of those resolutions will fail within the first few months of the year?
We’ll help you beat the numbers. Read on to learn eight effective ways to make New Year’s resolutions — and stick to them.
8 tips for helping seniors set and keep resolutions this year:
- Set simple goals. Don’t overcomplicate what you’re trying to do. Your objective is to change your habits a little bit at a time. “I resolve to walk 10 minutes a day,” or “I resolve to drink one glass of water with every meal,” are examples of personal health goals you’re more likely to stick with.
- Be realistic. Don’t make the mistake of piling too many things on your plate. Trying to juggle a lot of change at once is not a successful strategy. Whatever your resolutions are, try to set only one to three main things you’d like to accomplish. This increases the chances of success over the long term.
- Make them personal. Common New Year’s resolutions include goals such as dieting, better managing finances, or exercising more. Maybe this year you’d like to take a few cooking classes so you can cut back on eating out and learn a new cooking skill. Or perhaps you want to make a bigger effort to meet new people who enjoy the same hobbies you do. Think about the few changes that could really improve your life and help you feel accomplished.
- Start slowly. When you aim too high or too far, you can be frustrated by a lack of progress and drop your new goal. How to keep New Year’s resolutions is to add changes slowly. For example, let’s say you want to eat healthier this year. Begin to incorporate healthier items like leafy greens, lean proteins, and fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet. When you’ve made progress, start to cut out unhealthy items like sugary and high fat foods. This ensures you’re making more of a lifestyle change and not just starting a diet you can’t follow over the long haul.
- Keep yourself accountable. You’re more likely to stick with something if others know what you’re trying to do. Share your New Year’s resolutions with family and friends and ask them to hold you accountable. They can provide support and also help you weed out any unrealistic expectations you’re setting for yourself.
- Set mini goals. New Year’s resolutions are meant to be carried through the entire year, but approaching them as year-long tasks can be overwhelming. An organization tip is to break down what you want to achieve in a way that feels right for you: weekly, monthly, quarterly, or some other system. Add reminders to your calendar so you can track your progress.
- Reward yourself. Positive reinforcement works wonders when you’re tackling tough habits. Give yourself something to look forward to when you reach each mini goal on your calendar. Be smart about how you’ll make yourself feel good. If your goal is to change your diet, pick a nonfood reward like a lottery ticket or a movie night. If your resolution is to manage your finances better, reward yourself by putting a dollar in a treat jar whenever you accomplish a goal.
- Don’t give up. Expect to experience setbacks and slips, but try to view them as temporary setbacks, not permanent failure. Remind yourself of what you’re trying to accomplish, what you’ve done so far, and get yourself back on track.
Start Your Year on a Positive Note
Do your New Year’s resolutions include leading a healthier lifestyle? Getting fitter? Meeting new friends? At Heritage Senior Living, you’ll have easy access to the services and amenities you need to achieve your goal for a more active, vibrant retirement. We offer a range of community living options, including independent living, assisted living, and a full continuum of care, all designed to meet your unique needs at every age. Interested in learning more about what a Heritage community offers? Contact us today to schedule a tour of a location near you.