Setting Goals for a Healthy New Year

Senior woman, grandchildren and sparklersSetting Goals for a Healthy New Year is a great goal itself. But how can Seniors set healthy goals that are realistic and not overwhelming? Read on for steps on healthy goal making, and keeping.

A New Year is upon us! It’s that time of year when we rush to make resolutions and set goals. Many people resolve to eat better, begin a hobby or let go of a bad habit. Some choose a single word to focus on for the year, such as “hope” “kind” or “slow”. In January, everyone is anxious to make goals and share them with others. As February turns into March, many of us settle back into comfortable habits and goals are forgotten.

But what if this is the year you do the thing you’ve been talking about? And you keep doing it. Experts say to improve your chances for success, you must be intentional with the kinds of goals you set.

These 3 steps keep your healthy goal in reach, for more than the first week of the year.

Set Goals in Steps not Strides

Former Professional Bodybuilder Lee Haney said, “The world wasn’t formed in a day, and neither were we. Set small goals and build upon them.” You may not be a bodybuilder, but when you set a goal, think in steps not strides. When the goal’s too large, it’s easier to give up. But when you plan small, doable steps, you’re gentle with yourself, and experience success more easily, which keeps you motivated to continue working towards the goal.

In order to set goals in steps, think specifically. Instead of setting a goal of giving up snacks, begin with giving up snacks after dinner. Then, use the success you experience from achieving this goal as a motivation to give up snacks after lunch.

Set Healthy Goals that are Personalized

Healthy goals are not one-size-fits-all. Healthy goals are also not based on celebrity trends or endorsements. Consult with people who know you when goals-setting. This includes any medical professionals, therapists or close family and friends. Each of these people cares for you and your health and has hopes for your well-being. These relationships will also stand between you and any harmful goals you may unknowingly set.

Seniors have different dietary and exercise needs. You also may have found certain practices improve your mental health more than others. Knowing yourself and engaging others who know you for advice will help you set healthy, realistic goals for the New Year.

Set Goals in Community

It’s important to have a group of people cheering you on as you reach your goals. This is why people experience more success at gyms and in running clubs than with exercise equipment in their own homes. Community supports goal-setting. It also provides accountability. Sometimes all it takes is knowing your neighbor will ask about your evening walk to ensure you do it each day.

Woodlawn Commons, part of The Wesley Community, has an on-site Activities Coordinator who works with residents to plan activities around social and wellness goals. At Wesley, you’re not alone in your goals or your successes. Your neighbors and friends will be working alongside you to achieve a New Year that is healthy and memorable.

*Note: Some scheduling and availability may not be possible during Covid.

New Year, Healthy New You

As you set and work towards goals, you’ll face disappointments and set-backs. Remember, how you treat yourself is part of healthy living. Be kind and encouraging to yourself. Seek out friends who will support you and remind you of the reasons behind your goals. Celebrate the message of New Years, all year: we get to begin again.