Ten New Year’s Resolutions for Seniors
by Bob Poliquin
Here are some tried and true resolutions for seniors. It is never too late for the rest of your years to be the best of your years.
- Eat Better: You don’t have to give up all of your favorite foods, but like one nutritionist recently suggested, “Just eat right 80% of the time.” Consult with your doctor and perhaps with a dietician to see what the best nutrition program is for you.
- Move More: You have probably noticed you have lost strength, endurance, and flexibility. There are many ways to reverse these losses or at least to slow them down. Perhaps you can join an exercise class, hire a trainer, or just go for regular walks with family or with friends. Consult with your doctor to understand your limitations and to set safe goals.
- Declutter: The reality is that your family probably doesn’t want most of the things you have stored in the attic, and probably doesn’t want many of the things cluttering up your living space. Consider either giving possessions away or getting rid of them entirely. Purge old books, magazines, and DVDs that can either be given away, donated, recycled, or trashed. The same with clothes you no longer wear.
- Take a College Course: You may be able to audit courses for free depending on the school and your state of residence. Check your local community college or university for more information. In addition, many seniors, if they have the credentials, teach as adjuncts. Teaching is a marvelous way to share your knowledge, wisdom, and experience.
- Check Items Off Your Bucket List: Like George H. W. Bush did every year he could, perhaps it’s time to skydive! If you are looking for a thrill but skydiving isn’t your thing, the Blowing Rock, NC, area has many outstanding places to zipline. You will be surprised how safe and fun that is. My wife and I took her parents ziplining, and they were in their early 80’s.
- Volunteer: Whether it’s at the local food bank, animal shelter, of school, there are many organizations that could use your help. Finding a way to serve others gives you are purpose and gets you out of the house.
- Organize Your Affairs: Don’t leave a mess for your heirs! Either get with an estate attorney or financial advisor, and then let your executor know where to find everything.
- Write Your Memoirs: As a writer, I am frequently asked how to get started on memoirs. The answer is to get started. Whether it’s sitting down at a computer or handwriting a journal, the pleasure is in the activity itself. Enjoy the process. You can refine your writing by joining or forming a writing group.
- Encourage Others: Everyone is under-encouraged. Whether the stereotype fits or not, seniors are often thought of as grumpy complainers. Break the chain by being an encouragement to others. Yes, there are some issues that need to be addressed, but, honestly, most of them are out of our control, so look on the bright side and practice saying nice things to people until it is a habit.
- Make Things Right: My mother, in the days before she passed away during what should have been routine surgery, called everyone she cared about just to remind us how much she loved us. When she passed away, I honestly think she had no unfinished business. Everything was square. Every relationship was right. Her passing was a gift in that it gave us a model for how to live well and how to end well. Thank you, Mom.
There are many resolutions we can make, and we could certainly add to this list. But I think this covers a Top 10. May your 2020 bring joy to you and to yours.