“As long as I am breathing, in my eyes, I am just beginning.”
― Criss Jami, Killosophy
A brand new year is just around the corner and for many of us, self improvement is on our mind. The New Year is a symbol of reset, time to make plans, time to set goals. We vow to eat better, sleep better and do everything better!
It’s true that as we advance in age our goals and ambitions naturally evolve and start looking very different. The desire for personal well being and connectedness to life, however, is ageless. Our focus may change but our desire for growth does not – making New Year’s resolutions ever relevant to keep us on the path to “better”.
In 2019, why not start the year with a plan, no matter your age or circumstances? And as an older adult you have the distinct advantage of wisdom and first-hand knowledge of human nature to help set goals that are purposeful as well as realistic!
Here are reminders and tips that can help you reach your self improvement goals in 2019.
Plan one week at a time
Any large print calendar can work for this – no advanced technology required. Adopt the “Monday Resolution” approach where you plan out only one week at a time with mini goals, incorporating activities and new habits you are working on. Looking at every Monday as a new start keeps your motivation going and makes set backs seem less significant.
Start a gratitude journal
When you wake, write down in a journal anything that you are grateful for in your life, which can include the simplest things such as the sun shining outside or the warmth of your coffee cup. Our brain chemistry is such that it is virtually impossible to hold on to a negative state of mind while rehearsing what you are grateful for.
Work your brain
Challenge your brain by learning something new regularly. Embracing new technology is a great place to start. If you already have a smart phone perhaps it’s learning how to schedule reminders in your phone, or how to store your pictures on the cloud for safekeeping. Wherever you are at with technology, step it up one notch at a time.
Limit TV time
What would your day look like without TV? If the answer is that you would end up with not much to do, then it is time to switch out mind-numbing TV time for new activities. Your brain and your body will thank you!
Reach out to loved ones
Your loved ones are probably very busy so that’s the best reason for you to reach out to them with a little nudge. Suggest a visit or activity and be proactive in making it happen. Busy people usually respond well to someone else taking charge and of course, advance notice is key.
Revisit an old pastime
What is it that you loved doing as a child? Pick something that is still within your abilities and bring it back into your life. Plan ahead by purchasing what you need and setting up your environment for maximum enjoyment of your activity. Then just do it, even if for only a few minutes at a time.
Focus on prevention
Health setbacks happen on their own timetable, however, there are many preventative steps older adults can take to minimize them such as scheduling dental appointments, vaccinations, various health screenings, etc. The New Year is a perfect time to list these and take action where you can.
Accept invitations you normally wouldn’t, take that yoga class that your friend is going to, make that call that you have been avoiding. Reaching means growing, whatever the outcome of your effort.
People around you genuinely want to help. Accept their offers but make it easy for them by letting them know very specifically what you need and letting them choose the time that is convenient for them. If you would rather not rely on family and have the means, hire professional help so you can enjoy your activities safely, and on your schedule.
Pay it forward
Focusing your attention on someone else is soul refreshing. Look around you and set the intention to help someone, whether that takes the form of encouragement, mentoring or simply kind words. Even the smallest gesture can have great positive echoes.
At Home Care Assistance Vancouver, we focus on providing long-term quality care for seniors. We believe staying connected, active and curious are the keys to quality of life for Vancouver seniors as they age.
To learn more about our services, visit Home Care Assistance Vancouver at
homecareassistancevancouver.ca, servicing the Greater Vancouver area.