As with most years, you probably started 2018 with a resolution. We are about a month in now, so ask yourself, how is it going? Now think back further. Do you remember your resolution from 2017? How about 2016 or the year before that? Did you keep them? Were your goals met? If not, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone.

According to Forbes Magazine, only about 8-percent of people will keep those well-intentioned goals and end the year knowing they have met their new year’s resolution. So, this year, how can you count yourself among the elite and meet yours? It turns out, the answer is rather simple. Keep it simple and make it tangible.

A great place for seniors to start when developing a tangible new year’s resolution is to think about aging in a positive way. We all age, that’s a simple fact of life. How we view aging matters though. The steps we take to make our aging experience the best possible does make a difference.

The Power of Thought

The first step in creating your new positive approach toward aging is to change the way that you think. Your mind impacts every aspect of your life. Simply changing the way you look at something can improve your results. Focus on the good things aging brings. That might be more time to spend with your grandchildren, new opportunities to pursue a hobby or the increased wisdom that comes from life experiences. Even when you face challenges, think of how the fact that you have experienced so many things impacts your ability to tackle them. Intentionally make choices that are positive, good for you, enriching and fulfilling. That includes the way you spend your day, the people you spend time around and even the way you treat yourself. You are in control of your thoughts, and your thoughts control your actions. Realizing that is very powerful!

The Power of Words

Your next action step is to start making conscious choices about the words you use. Just like your thoughts, your words impact yourself and others. Optimistic and positive words frame your mind to think in a more positive way, and they influence the way that you approach challenges each and every day. Simply rephrasing your daily conversations to say “I can do this”, “it is possible”, “I am capable” or “I am worthy” unleashes an amazing amount of potential and helps you to believe in yourself. It also helps others to believe in your abilities. While negative words will sometimes creep in, try to quickly recognize them and make changes. This step will quickly become habit and change the way you look at life.

Spending Time with Others

Step number three is to spend more time with other people both young and old. Loneliness and isolation cripple the mind, increase opportunities for depression and cognitive decline and make people feel like their life lacks purpose. Spending time with multi-generations keeps the mind young, helps you to bring new meaning to each day and even impacts physical health. While doing this, you learn new skills, feel energized and pass on your history and heritage. While the primary source of people to spend time with is family, there is no need to limit yourself. Get out and meet a new neighbor, join a community center or gym, volunteer in your community, hire an in home caregiver for extra companionship or reconnect with an old friend to find new, enriching relationships and bring them into your life.

Finding Purpose

Finally, find purpose in your life. As younger adults, we often find purpose in our jobs and through the responsibilities we have raising children. This becomes our identity and helps to define who we are. After retirement, life’s roles change, and many of us lose that important identity and sense of purpose. It’s time to rediscover it. The way to do that is to balance life with work, but work does not have to mean a job. Find a volunteer opportunity, or use your skills and knowledge to help another person. Owning a pet can provide some with a sense of purpose. Other options include cultivating a garden, teaching your grandchild how to read or helping your daughter-in-law learn treasured family recipes. Giving to others helps you to leave your legacy, and that is something we all value and realize the importance of, especially as we age.

Positive aging is important for everyone and something Salus Homecare San Diego encourages all of our clients to strive for. In this new year, make it your goal, and create a resolution to take action steps toward making your life more fulfilling. We wish you the best of luck as you strive to enjoy life more in 2018.

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