January 1, 2021 is right around the corner. Every year around this time, we start to hear a lot about making resolutions, and wonder if it’s worth it. This year, instead of thinking about resolutions, we’re focusing on goals, or resetting our purpose in life. More recently, Rush University conducted studies that show people who view life with a sense of purpose are two to four times less likely to develop Alzheimer's. They attribute this to the fact that purpose gives you discipline. Another Rush study noted that self-disciplined, highly organized people are less susceptible to Alzheimer's. In addition, a Columbia University study showed that people who are enthusiastic and content are less likely to develop heart disease.
This is why we’re changing our idea of New Year’s Resolutions and instead thinking about our purpose, which changes our perception to see the new year as an opportunity for a fresh start. Perhaps you want to set a goal that focuses on bettering your overall health, both physically and mentally. It's easy to let a resolution get brushed under the rug, but it'll be a priority if it's something you're truly passionate about changing — if it’s a purpose for your life and a goal you will strive to achieve. Here are a few for your consideration:
1. Move your body every day Staying physically active is important to healthy aging. A gentle walk, swimming or stretches are low impact options. You can also incorporate some of your favorite hobbies into exercise, such as walking the golf course or gardening, all of which get your body moving. If you're just getting started, Harvard Health Publications recommends committing 10 minutes of your day to exercise, with a gradual increase as it becomes a habit.
2. Give back to your community Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community, and it also benefits your own health. According to Helpguide, it provides a sense of accomplishment, increases self-confidence and brings fulfillment to life. It also connects you with like-minded individuals, which is great for your mental well-being.
3. Revisit or find a new hobby Many of us once had hobbies we enjoyed — such as putting together that 1,000-piece puzzle, knitting or gardening. Set aside time to do the things you once loved, or the thing you always wanted to try. Invest in a new watercolor paint set or take a writing class, explore things you may have once loved or find something new.
4. Workout your brain You know that physical activity is important, but giving your brain a "workout" is just as important. Challenging your brain regularly keeps your cognitive skills sharp and reduces your chance of experiencing memory loss. Suggestions might include learning a new language or participating in trivia games.
5. Prioritize your health Take the time to really listen to your body. After a long walk you probably feel good and light, whereas if you indulged in too much food during a meal, you will likely feel sluggish and drained. Spending too much time in front of the TV or computer screen can also make us feel less than great. Stop and listen to what your mind and body are telling you and adjust your behaviors for a better outcome.
Finding your purpose in 2021 and making real, tangible goals is a way to start the year fresh and with renewed optimism about what the future can bring. We wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, from all of us at The Springs Living.
We collected a few New Year goals from our residents at The Springs Living communities. Enjoy.
Char Dale “I hope everyone is grateful for their health and continues to have a positive attitude.”
Theresa Gilchrist “I’m going to eat healthy and be active.”
Joan Chapin “I am going to read more and watch less TV.”
Flossie Fletcher “My hope for 2021 is that the US is safe and we have peace for the New Year.”