20 Fun New Year’s Resolutions for Seniors
1. Try a new healthy food each week
Do you think you have tasted every food on the planet? Think again! There are 250,000 to 300,000 species of edible plants on earth, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. You do not have to eat them all – of all the edible plants, farmers only grow 150 to 200 species. You can find many of them at your local farmers’ market.
2. Learn something new every day
Learning can help reduce cognitive decline associated with aging, according to Psychology Today. It can also help older adults deal with depression and poor self-image.
3. Pick up a hobby
Participating in hobbies can lower the risk for developing dementia and other mental health problems, according to the National Institutes on Aging. A recent survey of older adults found that the most popular hobbies for people ages 65 and older are walking and jogging, outdoor maintenance, and playing sports.
4. Find a new favorite dessert
Have you ever had kuchen or kolackies? How about a salted caramel chocolate tart? Try out some new desserts to find your new favorite or revisit an old treat, like natural molasses cookies or gingerbread cake.
You have seen and learned so much in life – why not put it down on paper? Writing can be a fun, fulfilling experience. Research shows that writing about your life can even help you avoid depression. Write a book, pen a poem, or jot down a joke!
6. Play more
In the immortal words of George Bernard Shaw, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
Playing boosts your energy and vitality, and can even improve your body’s resistance to disease.
7. Take up a dance or exercise class
Older adults need 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They also need to engage in muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days each week. A dance or exercise class can help you get all the exercise you need in a safe and fun environment.
8. Read more books
Reading enhances memory, sharpens decision-making skills, reduces stress, and can even help you sleep better.
9. Set aside one hour a day to achieve a dream
Write the Great American Novel, paint your own portrait, learn a new language – it’s all up to you!
10. Be more grateful – count your blessings
Gratitude improves physical health and psychological health, enhances empathy, reduces aggression, boosts self-esteem, bolsters mental strength, and can even help you sleep.
11. Spend more time in nature
Getting outdoors helps you get the fresh air and exercise you need to stay healthy. Spending time in nature also helps you connect with the world around you.
12. Enjoy the little things in life
Sometimes the smallest things can bring about the greatest pleasures. Embrace the smell of coffee in the morning, the hug of someone you love, or the sound of a favorite tune.
13. Be charismatic
Make a resolution to be more charismatic this year. How? Stand tall, have confidence, look people in the eye, and smile more often.
14. Boost your brain
Play brain games, listen to the news, take a class, and talk to people who have expertise in interesting and timely subjects.
15. Volunteer to read to children
Reading to children is just about as much fun as you will ever have! Reading to kids gives you an opportunity to connect with children in your community.
16. Volunteer at your local museum, theater, or church
Older adults who volunteer in their communities report lower mortality rates, lower rates of depression, fewer physical limitations, and greater well-being.
17.Treat yourself to a new wellness activity once a month
Schedule your first massage, try tai chi, or trade your coffee for green tea.
18. Embrace your roots with a DNA ancestry test
DNA testing can help you discover your family roots. Who knows? You may be descended from royalty!
19. Make a new friend once a month
Friendships can have greater effects on our health and well-being than can our relationships with our families.
20. Listen to live music at least once during the year
Music triggers the release of dopamine, which is a hormone that makes you feel good.
You can fulfill several fun New Year’s resolutions right at home at Medford Leas. The heart of the Medford campus is nestled on 168 acres of the beautiful Barton Arboretum and Nature Preserve, which is a perfect place to go for nature walks and identify your favorite plants and animals. The Medford Leas Resident Association directs more than 90 activities, events, committees, and interest groups. Residents frequently plan outings to attend concerts, go sightseeing or birding, and volunteer. Other activities at Medford Leas include balance training, Tai Chi, yoga, and water aerobics.
Make a resolution to have more fun this year at Medford Leas!