Is There A Place for New Year’s Resolutions as we Age?

Is There A Place for New Year’s Resolutions as we Age?

December 15, 2019

In a 2019 British survey, only 14% of people over 50 years old said they would make New Year’s Resolutions. We can speculate why. Is it that with age comes wisdom and we know better than to set ourselves up for disappointment? Or we are content with all the wonderful achievements we have seen and don’t see a need for change? Probably neither.  One is without hope and the other keeps us from positive change.

Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This promise is for everyone, and it doesn’t end once we retire.  What are some resolutions that you can set up the latter part of life that will generate hope and set you up for a happier future?

·        Simplify. This can mean anything that clutters your life or your home: material possessions or too many activities. There is true freedom in simplifying your lifestyle and focusing on what brings the most joy and value to you and to others you spend that time with. 

·        Connect. Sweet friendships and strong family ties bring hope every day and combat isolation. Connections can be made in a variety of ways, but they all take initiative. Endeavor to connect with someone new or enrich your current friendships by setting up a time to gather.

·        Serve. Choose one activity, within you physical capabilities, and preferably either monthly or weekly, where you are there just to serve others. Not only will others be blessed, but it will give you a sense of hope and purpose too.

·        Practice Gratitude. With age, everything changes. Our bodies adjust each decade and limitations become more pronounced. Rather than focus on losses, take time daily to be grateful, write down the blessings in your life and generate new hope every day.

·        Move. Rather than set unrealistic exercise expectations, endeavor to move each day. Even a short walk will reap both physical and psychological benefits. Just moving a little bit each day can bring more vitality to life.

·        Curb Media. The more you use your mind, the better it will work. Learn something new, limit screen time, read or listen to more books, follow educational podcasts, do crossword puzzles or online games, join a class.  Sign up for something this year that will grow brain cells.

As you think about the future, the best resolutions in the world cannot improve life if we fail to take action.  The most important consideration is that we enjoy the process of accomplishing these challenges and recognize the benefits along the way. A good dose of flexibility is helpful too when we fall off the horse and get back on. Two steps forward and one back does not mean failure….it is more like a Cha-Cha. Have some fun along the way!