Like many people, you may have made some New Year’s resolutions around diet, exercise, or other health issues. But did you know that only eight percent of people keep their New Year’s resolutions? Don’t set another resolution you aren’t going to keep. Instead, be intentional about setting healthy goals for the new year!
Healthy Goals for the New Year
Healthy habits are a concern for people of all ages, including seniors. A healthy lifestyle can help you avoid many of the medical issues associated with aging, and let you maintain your independence well into your golden years. So, let’s talk about healthy goals for the new year!
Setting Goals the SMART Way
Setting healthy goals for the new year is a great way to kick things off. In fact, experts recommend setting goals instead of making new year’s resolutions. Many people follow the SMART Goals formula. Want to give it a try? When setting goals, ask yourself these questions:
- Is your goal specific?
- Is your goal measurable?
- Is your goal achievable?
- Is your goal relevant?
- Is your goal time-bound?
For example, consider a goal like “I’m going to get in shape.” It’s so vague you may not even be sure you achieved it! Now consider a goal like “I’m going to drink 8 glasses of water every day.” It’s specific, you can measure it to see how you’re doing, it’s achievable with the resources you have, it’s relevant to improving your health, and it has a specific timeframe. This is a much more manageable and motivational goal! Being able to see your progress and celebrate your accomplishments is a big part of making a change into a lasting habit.
Review the suggestions below to explore some areas where you may be able to improve your health. Consider them alongside the SMART Goal criteria and your current health needs. How can you set healthy goals for the new year that will work for you?
Physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Getting enough exercise as a senior is imperative to avoiding health issues like high blood pressure and back pain. The CDC recommends seniors get 150 minutes of exercise every week. How can you meet that goal? Consider trying a new exercise class, looking up some workouts to try online, or even just committing to a daily walk with a friend. You might be surprised how easily exercise becomes a habit!
Improve Your Sleep
Some people think that seniors need less sleep as they get older, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Even though it does get harder to sleep as you age, the effects of bad sleep on the body stay the same. Adults over the age of 65 should get between seven and eight hours of sleep a night. If you aren’t meeting that goal, think about what you can do to improve your sleep hygiene. Simple changes like a regular bedtime and wake-up time can make a real difference. Make healthy sleep a priority this year!
Focus on Nutrition
Seniors need to be thinking about healthy food as much as any other age group. In fact, some vitamins and minerals are actually more vital in your golden years! Foods rich in calcium, fiber, and omega-3 acids are essential to address the health issues seniors commonly face. There’s no shame in a treat every now and then, but if your diet is heavier on cupcakes than carrots, use the new year as an excuse to turn over a new leaf. Are there new healthy foods you can try? Can you replace unhealthy choices with healthier ones? Small diet changes can add up to a big impact.
Build Your Brain Power
A healthy body is important, but don’t neglect a healthy mind too. As you age, it’s important to make sure you’re taking extra steps to keep your mind and memory sharp. There are lots of things you can do to keep your mind active that you might already be aware of, such as doing daily puzzles. However, did you know learning a new hobbycan also help improve your cognitive functions? Or how about making new friends? Be sure to keep challenging yourself mentally as well as physically.
Taking an active role in improving your health can feel intimidating, especially if you haven’t done it before. If you aren’t sure where to start, ask your doctor for advice. With a little planning, your healthy goals for the new year will make this your healthiest year yet!
Are you looking for an assisted living community in Tennessee? Check out Hearthside Senior Living in Collierville and Bartlett. Our warm and inviting communities make it easy for seniors to embrace a healthy lifestyle, with home-cooked and restaurant-style meals, exercise classes, and a nurse devoted to residents’ health and wellness. We would be happy to schedule a tour for you so that you can explore the community, speak with the Community Director, meet some of the residents, and ask any questions you might have. To learn more about our amenities and services, please call 901-266-3329 (Bartlett) or 901-854-6590 (Collierville). We look forward to meeting you!