• Carrie Klaege

New Year's Goals

For older adults, making New Year's resolutions can be a symbol of hope. Resolutions are a sign to your inner self that you have hope for the coming year!


The word "resolution" has gotten a stigma as something that people start on January 1st and break on January 2nd. Calling a resolution a goal might help everyone get out of the mindset that these are things you say only New Year's Day. Goals can be set any time. You can create some memorable goals for the coming year. In fact, helping those around you reach their goals might be a goal for yourself.


Make goals bite0sized and measurable. For example, instead of saying "lose weight," set smaller monthly goals to eliminate one poor eating choice from your diet or add one extra daily activity. Losing weight will be a product of those goals, but not the goal itself!


Goals don't have to be boring! Especially as we age, there are legacies to be passed down. Consider asking your family members to sit down with you, even virtually, each week to pass down recipes, stories, and lessons they've leaned throughout their lives. This can be a great family activity that feels less like a resolution and more like the right thing to do.


Personal Goals

  1. Cleaning and sorting: As we move through life, it's easy to amass items that just don't serve us anymore. As organizational expert Marie Kondo says, keep only those things that spark joy. Our homes should be a haven. That old vase you picked up in a thrift store on a whim, which is out only to be dusted, can probably go to someone who might value it more.

  2. Technology: Video chats with family members can ease loneliness and allow us to keep an eye on them. Add a form of digital music, which has been proven to help with mental acuity and emotional happiness. Learning how to email or text will allow you to connect with family and your peers more easily.

Health Goals

  1. Exercise: Increasing exercise can be as simple as getting a pedometer and a goal for a certain number of steps each day. you can make it a competition, if that is something you would enjoy, or a reward system for yourself where you earn something for achieving your daily goal.

  2. Medications: As we age, there are an increasing number of medications to keep track of. A worthwhile goals it to take an annual look at medications in your home. Check to see that none are expired and there aren't duplicates or varied dosages.

  3. Vaccinations: If vaccinations are not on the annual schedule, it's a good time to make sure that you are up to date on the ones your doctor might recommend, such as flu, pneumonia, and shingles.

Financial Goals

  1. Legal documents: While it seems like setting up a will or trust or other legal decisions might be a "one and done," it is useful to review these documents annually. The people designated in these documents may no longer be in our lives or in a position to take on any responsibilities mentioned.

  2. Bills: A great goal for a new year is to consolidate debt and to set up a plan for paying bills more efficiently. Scattered accounts can lead to financial mistakes and even fraud. If you aren't using autopay or bill pay systems, you can work with your creditors to learn how to manage finances online. If you are comfortable with the prospect of taking account management online, start with smaller accounts, like utilities, to get used to the prospect.


Inspiration:


Nola Ochs became the oldest college graduate at 95 and lived to 105!! After graduation, Princess Cruises hired Ochs as a guest lecturer on a nine-day Caribbean cruise.


Ernestine Shepherd is an American bodybuilder best known for being, at one point, the oldest competitive female bodybuilder in the world. She will be 84 this year and is still an active bodybuilder.


Hubert Jones was 69 when he founded the Boston Children's Chorus, which includes young people of different ages, races, ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds. It's mission combines artistic excellence and an agenda for social change.



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