Sometimes when people retire, they most unfortunately lose a sense of purpose, meaning, or drive. With no kids at home dragging them around, and no demanding work schedule, setting goals can seem a bit pointless. But I believe that New Years Resolutions for Seniors may be the MOST important type of new years resolutions.
Why Seniors Should Set New Years Resolutions
Seniors Understand Long-term Goals & The Big Picture
Senior citizens are amazing, brilliant, wise, and should be cherished and protected at all costs! As we grow older, we tend to have a better understanding of “the big picture” and can see how a choice, action, decision, or habit will affect us in the LONG TERM.
This is a skill that many young people are sorely lacking, and would do well to learn from their elders.
Since seniors understand long term affects, and have been around the block long enough to see how things can play out over time, they know exactly what kind of long-term goals they want to set!
Seniors know that if something is worth having, it’s worth working for, and worth waiting for.
Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Seniors Know What They DO & DO NOT Want From Life
Unlike teenagers, or even people in their 20’s or 30’s – seniors have been around long enough to see past trends and fads, to understand what they truly want from life.
They don’t want to have a spouse that looks like x, y, or z – they want one who understands them, who loves and appreciates them.
They don’t want to visit a famous site just because it’s popular this year, but instead because it’s something they’ve always wanted to do, or maybe spent years of their lives learning about.
Seniors understand that our time on Earth is limited, and they aren’t here to waste precious time on junk they don’t care about. They’re here for the good stuff.
There’s no time to do things you hate.
Seniors (Probably) Have a ‘Bucket List’ to Draw From
As we get older, most of us create a bucket list, whether it’s a “USA Travel Bucket List” of things we MUST see and do before we die, or simply conversations, experiences, or sites we must have or visit before we “kick the bucket” – most of us have one.
If you haven’t already created a bucket list, I encourage you to do so!
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, this isn’t set in stone. It’s just meant to give you a few goals to keep in mind as you skip or trudge through the years (your choice).
Seniors are in the unique position of knowing what they do and do not want to do, as I already mentioned. As such, whether officially written, or just floating in their heads, most seniors have a bucket list of things they desire to do!
Drawing from this bucket list will help them create New Years Resolutions. – think “Which of my bucket list items do I want to finally tackle this year??”
Like it or not, seniors’ time is limited (but so is everyone’s!) – so, let’s get down to it.
What are some good New Years Resolutions for Seniors?
Important New Years Resolutions for Seniors
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Take the Trip(s) of Your Dreams
As an avid traveler, this New Years Resolution for seniors is automatically my favorite… sorry.
There are SO MANY things to see in this big, beautiful world. Foods to taste, cultures to experience, music to hear, sights to see… and all too often, seniors assume their age will prevent them from seeing the world, but this is simply not true!
One of my favorite stories (among many similar stories) is about this sweet older lady, Miss Norma, who found out she had terminal cancer. She opted out of treatment and decided to use her time seeing as much of the USA as she possibly could!
It was so fun to watch her adventures for a year on her Facebook page.
Her kids took her on an RV adventure around the country where she had hundreds of “bucket list” experiences and truly lived every day as if it may be her last.
Check it out here:
Or, read the book about her story, and the chronicle of their journey HERE:
While this is a heartwarming tale of a fiery 90 year old living her best life – please realize that YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE DYING TO DECIDE TO LIVE LIFE!
You can be 20, 30 50, or any age, with any level of health -and finally make the decision to go out there and travel, live, experience, and do the thing.
Please, please, please, don’t wait until that late in life. Take it from Miss Norma, life is too short to miss out on adventures!
And, if trip planning is overwhelming, you can use a professional Travel Agent to take care of everything for you, leaving you free to travel in peace, stress-free!
Call An Old Friend Every Month
Through the years, everyone grows and changes – and sometimes that means growing differently than your friends.
Sometimes, life takes us away from our friends – through busy schedules, moving across the state, country, or world..
But deep down we know that friendships are some of the most important relationships in our lives!!
We know that we need our friends to help us stay sane, stay happy, and have an ‘outside’ connection to the world.
So how do we keep our friends, when we’re “old and gray” and living far apart?
Once a month (or more often), resolve to call your friends.
See how their day’s going, how the last month has been since you last spoke. Talk about your individual plans, your kids, your hobbies. Make plans together.
Whatever you do, stay in touch with your friends. They’re some of the most important people, and represent some of the most vital relationships in your lifetime.
See Your Family As Often As Possible
Sometimes families drift apart as some members get older, and others have more kids, get fancy jobs, and are generally just busy people.
But this year, I encourage seniors to set the New Years Resolution of spending as much time as possible with family!
Help your kids, grandkids, cousins, or whomever set a schedule that gives them time to visit you – whether physically, or digitally.
If possible, you should physically spend time together. That’s good for the soul!
If your family is spread out, or are constantly crunched for time, plan a Skype date once a week, or a Facetime Call every weekend.
It’s good for you to hear each other’s voices. Hear about each other’s lives.
Break bread together if possible. Just spend quality time being with each other while this is still a possibility for you.
This is a New Years Resolution for Seniors you won’t soon regret!
Mend Broken Relationships
On a similar note, if you have any broken relationships in your life that were once vital, and thriving, now may be a good time to go back and mend those relationships.
If you’ve had a falling out with a friend, [former] co-worker, ex, family member, or even the mailman – consider trying to make it work again.
As long as they are not a bad person, or someone who will bring back negativity into your life (abuse, violence, drugs, unhappiness, etc), you may want to think about how you can get back into each other’s good graces.
Maybe reach out and see if they want to talk on the phone, grab a cup of coffee, or go out to lunch.
Fair warning: This may be uncomfortable, and it will probably force you to be the bigger person and apologize, even if you didn’t think you were at fault.
However, if this is a relationship worth mending, you should consider sucking it up and just doing it. Nike style.
Move for 30 – 60 Minutes a Day, or More!
This New Years Resolution for Seniors is focused on health! If you want to help keep your heart and lungs healthy, not to mention your joints and muscles… you know you need to MOVE!!
Get up, get active, and move it!
This doesn’t mean you need to go run a marathon (though DO, if you can and want to, by all means). This just means you need to physically move your body around.
Go for a walk.
Jog around the block.
Walk to the mailbox and back a few times.
Get a stationary bike, or these convenient pedals that allow you to sit in your favorite chair while exercising
Stretch, move your arms.
Dance- alone, or with a partner.
Just do something.
“An object in motion will stay in motion. But an object at rest will stay at rest.” – this isn’t just true in high school science class. This is true for humans as well.
Don’t let your body stay at rest so long it forgets how to move – make sure you stay moving as long as you can!
Eat Healthy Foods
We know that food is fuel. If we eat healthy foods, we will have a healthy body.
If we eat unhealthy foods.. well..
So this year, make your New Years Resolution to eat healthy foods. Or, at least to eat them more often than not.
Indulge In the Things You Love
Let’s face it. Life is too short to stick to rules 100% of the time.
Eat healthy foods. Save your money. Work every day.
Yes, these things are all important in their own right, but what’s the point of living if we never indulge in the things we love??
Sometimes you just need to eat the slice of chocolate cake.
Spluge and buy yourself the watch, the car, or the boat.
Do what makes you happy, and use your remaining time well.
After all, we never know how much time that will be – for any of us.
Get Out And Smell The Roses
I’ve witnessed a great many seniors who feel like they’ve “missed their opportunity” waste away sitting inside, staring at a TV, books, or their accumulated junk.
While I believe reading, relaxing, and even watching tv can be nice ways to relax and unwind, I do not think that is any way to spend your entire existence.
I hope that seniors realize they should seize the day and get out and appreicate what they’ve got.
Go outside, smell the roses.
Take a walk (even just onto the porch or driveway) and embrace the beauty of teh nature around them.
Lay down and watch the clouds go by, imagining the various shapes they’re taking.
Listen to music.
Go see shows and performances.
Plant a garden.
Just get out. Try to see and appreciate the things around you, no matter how small.
This is one of the most important New Years Resolutions for Seniors I can share!
Write in a Journal
Seniors have decades worth of stories, thoughts, memories, and more all swirling around their brilliant heads.
Sometimes they have friends and family members around to share these with, to vent their frustrations to, to remember the olden days together.. and sometimes they don’t.
Either way, writing in a journal is a fantastic New Years Resolution for seniors, as they will have a place to get all of their feelings, thoughts, stories, lists, goals, dreams, aspirations, and more all out on to paper… freeing p the headspace they need for daily activities.
Give it a try – you may just find that you like journaling!
Write “Your Story” for Your Family
Today’s seniors have lived through SO. MUCH. Multiple international conflicts, varying economic climates, a dozen presidents, and a great deal of LIFE in between.
One of the ways that you can preserve your legacy is to write your story.
This can be just for you – so you can continue to reflect, remember, and look back on your life as the years ago by (in case you start to forget things you once remembered so well).
Or, you can write your story for your family.
When people do this, the papers, books, journals, or manuscripts of an elder’s story become treasured family heirlooms for generations to come.
It provides your family with the ability to truly know what you went through, what you achieved, what you did during your lifetime.
It lets them know where they came from. What was overcome to get to where they are now.
It inspires them to push forward, on and ever upward – constantly striving to improve and make you proud.
This year for your New Years Resolution, consider writing your story for your family. They will appreciate this for the rest of their lives. Truly.
Collect Your Favorite Photos of Your Life
In a similar vein, collecting photos of your life is a wonderful way to preserve your memories, keep history intact, and allow your legacy to live on for generations!
Collecting (and perhaps creating a memory book, photo album, or scrapbook) snapshots of your life can provide YOU with a thrilling stroll down memory lane.
This sort of reminiscence tends to make people grateful for what they have now, and all that they have overcome and accomplished in life.
Additionally, it provides a built-in bonding activitiy for multiple generations!
Going through the pictures of your life, and telling stories about your friends, family members, careers, lost loves, fun times, hard times, and more – can be an extremely rewarding activity to do with your kids, grandkids, cousins, siblings, and friends!
PLEASE consider making your New Years Resolution (for seniors) to collect photos (and memorabilia) from your life in 2020.
Try Something New Once a Week
This is a very popular New Years Resolution for seniors!
People (seniors or not) are creatures of habit, and tend to stick to the same activities, foods, and hobbies that we know and like.
BUT, we know that our time is limited, and there are thousands of activities, hobbies, foods, drinks, music, films, and more out there to experience.
So why not try to do something new??
Spend a little time this year finding out what NEW things you like (and don’t like). Maybe you’ll find a new favorite hobby or food.
Whatever you do, just TRY NEW THINGS!!
For 2020, make your New Years Resolution to try something new, at least once a week.
That’s 52 new things you’ve never experienced before!
What an exciting year!
Spend Time with Young People
There’s nothing quite like spending time with young people – particularly young kids to really make you feel youthful, alive, and invigorated.
This year, make your New Years Resolution to spend more time with young people – whether babies, kids, or even teens – just try to get out of your comfortable, ‘peer’zone!
Declutter Your Home
Decluttering is one of the best things you can do for your home, your mental clarity, and in some cases, for your family!
In general, de-cluttering allows you to leave a more peaceful, organized life. You don’t have to waste time cleaning and dusting off junk you don’t even use, sorting through clothes you don’t even wear, or putting away stuff you don’t even like.
Then, as you get older, it has the added benefit of leaving your kids and grandkids with less of a mess to clean up after you’re gone.
Having cleaned out several “Hoarder” type of homes left by grandparents and relatives, I know first hand that it is neither fun,nor easy.
Instead of (eventually) leaving your family members puzzling over whether you left items you actually love, or just junk you didn’t bother to throw out, take away the guess work.
This will help hyour family in the long run, but it will help you now.
This is my second favorite New Years Resolution for Seniors! (I do love organization, after all)
What are your New Years Resolutions, Seniors??
I really want to know.
I’ll add them to my list, share with my senior friends, or simply help encourage you throughout the year!
Leave a comment below and let me know!
and remember, make good life choices!