Making New Years Resolutions that Stick for Seniors
The new year offers a time of reflection and a time of renewal. It’s a great opportunity for your loved ones to pause and look at their current lifestyle. They can determine how to enrich their lives to make it better. It’s also a great time for caregivers to evaluate what has been working well and what can be improved upon to strengthen health and happiness.
While many set New Years resolutions, the vast majority of people fail to follow through with them. According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, less than 10% of people are successful in achieving their resolutions.
Why is that?
Let’s take a look at last year’s most common New Years resolutions:
- Lose Weight
- Get Organized
- Spend Less, Save More
- Enjoy Life to the Fullest
- Stay Fit and Healthy
- Learn Something Exciting
- Quit Smoking
- Help Others in their Dreams
- Fall in Love
- Spend More Time with Family
While these are exciting and positive resolutions, they are very broad and lofty goals; they can certainly be overwhelming and discouraging if they are not approached in the right manner.
The best way to make New Years resolutions that stick is to make SMART goals. SMART is an acronym that stands for…
Specific – Be specific vs. general. Try to answer the questions Who, What, When, Where and Why?
Measurable – Success should be tracked and measured with a number/metric. How much? How many?
Attainable – Make an achievable goal and create a vision with a positive attitude that leads to success.
Realistic – Ensure a goal is achievable based on physical, mental and/or emotional wellbeing and ability.
Timely – Put a timeline to a goal. How frequent? How often? By what date?
And most importantly, remember: New Years resolutions do not have to be so epic and life changing that they attempt to solve one’s biggest problems. Often times, when one tries to take on too much too fast, the results are not as positive. A better approach is to take small positive steps forward that will lead to considerable and sustainable change in the future.
For example, rather than creating a large, broad goal such as “get healthier,” it’s more productive to create mini goals that lead to a healthier and happier life. Here is just one example of a mini goal. Note the “SMART” structure.
Goal: Floss teeth a minimum of two times a day to improve health and hygiene because flossing helps prevent disease and tooth decay. Floss in the bathroom every morning (7AM) and in the evening before bed (9PM). Measure success based on 6-month dental cleaning reports/feedback.
Make 2016 your best year yet by setting “SMART” resolutions that lead to big success! Have a Happy and Healthy New Year!