Preparing for New Year’s Resolutions

The new year is just around the corner, and people across the globe are ready to set their resolutions for a fresh start. Did you know there’s a way to keep your New Year’s resolutions without relying on tricks or gimmicks?

Approach-oriented goals can help you keep your resolutions and help you develop healthy habits that last for years to come. Take a closer look at how to set an approach-oriented goal and check out 5 New Year’s resolutions that can make 2023 your best year yet.

What Are Approach-Oriented Goals?

A large-scale study performed by Stockholm University found that those who set small, approach-oriented goals are significantly more likely to keep their New Year’s resolutions than who set large, avoidance-oriented goals.

Approach-oriented goals are based on setting small, measurable, achievable, and maintainable goals that provide positive outcomes and increase your happiness. For example, the goal to get better sleep is measurable by how you approach your bedtime routine, time spent asleep and how much better you feel the next day.

Avoidance-oriented goals focus on avoiding certain situations and habits to eliminate negative outcomes. For instance, if your New Year’s resolution is to eat healthier, an avoidance oriented goal would be to skip dessert after every meal to avoid empty, but delicious, calories.

Small New Year’s Resolutions that Make a Big Difference

The best part about setting approach-oriented New Year’s resolutions is that they’re designed to be easily achieved, which means you get to celebrate small wins year-round that add up to big, life-changing habits.

These are five simple New Year’s resolutions for older adults and tips on how to achieve them:

1. Get better sleep

Getting regular, quality sleep has a variety of benefits, including a reduced risk of dementia, help with regulating blood sugar level, decreased feelings of depression and a better mood. However, achieving 7 to 9 hours of quality shut-eye is hard for many adults of all ages.

Try these tips for getting better sleep:

  • Develop a more consistent routine.
  • Make your sleep environment comfortable.
  • Focus on relaxing activities that encourage restful sleep, like reading or listening to calming music.
  • Avoid stimulating activities such as eating, watching TV, or lively phone calls close to bedtime.
  • Consider skipping your afternoon nap if you’re not sleeping well at night.

You can take more steps toward getting a good night’s sleep by spending more time in daylight. Sunshine helps set sleep patterns, so try to get outside at least 30 minutes a day. If winter weather keeps you indoors, do some of your favorite activities in a sunny room.

2. Stay social

Staying connected with your friends and family is important for older adults, because meaningful relationships lead to better mental health, greater sense of belonging, improved cognitive function, a more active lifestyle and greater life satisfaction. Unfortunately, more than 30% of adults 45 and older feel lonely, and 25% of those older than 65 feel socially isolated.

Here are ways to keep an active social life as an older adult:

  • Attend a group exercise class.
  • Have a friend or family member over for coffee or tea.
  • Join a group focused on a topic or activity you enjoy, such as bridge or jewelry making.
  • Schedule time for regular video calls to catch up with faraway family and friends.
  • Volunteer at your favorite charitable organization

At our senior living community in Olathe, KS, Residents have abundant opportunities to make new friends. For instance, you can get to know your neighbors at a BYOB nightly Happy Hour, have fun playing bingo or bridge, join an outreach or service project, or attend daily Mass and Bible studies.

3. Work on wellness

Improving wellness is a common New Year’s resolution for people of all ages, and can often be the hardest to achieve. By using approach-oriented goals, you can develop habits that help you maintain or increase physical activity, manage stress and anxiety, and increase life satisfaction.

These small steps can help you meet your New Year’s resolution for improving your wellness:

  • Set healthy, realistic nutrition goals.
  • Find light- to moderate-intensity exercises you can enjoy year-round.
  • Incorporate strength and balance activities that help you prevent falls such as chair yoga and
    Tai Chi.
  • Spend more time practicing mindfulness, but also remember to celebrate your own achievements.
  • Treat yourself with your favorite acts of self-care, like getting a style at the salon or indulging in a craft coffee.

The most important part about achieving a resolution focused on wellness is giving yourself grace. Though you should focus on being as healthy as possible, don’t feel guilty about enjoying a slice of cake at a friend’s birthday party, or just taking an entire day to relax and do nothing.

Santa Marta takes a holistic approach to senior wellness that enriches your social, spiritual, intellectual and emotional well-being. Our senior living community offers a well-equipped fitness center and fitness classes, delicious and nutritious meals, and a variety of programs that encourage healthy aging and further personal growth.

4. Learn something new

While the new year brings a fresh start, it also brings a lot of winter weather, which means it’s the perfect time to get cozy, stay inside and learn something new. Lifelong learning can reduce the risk of dementia, improve self-esteem, make you feel more fulfilled and offer a convenient way to meet new people. Plus, you can easily measure the results of your hard work.

These are simple ways to engage in lifelong learning during winter:

  • Join a book or movie club.
  • Ask to try a new role where you volunteer.
  • Take a virtual museum tour.
  • Enroll in online courses at your local community college.
  • Ignite your passion for an old hobby and research more information about it.

Senior living communities offer a variety of ways to keep learning. At Santa Marta, residents enjoy enriching programs and activities like computer classes, interfaith luncheons and discussions, and outings to cultural performances.

5. Get organized

For many people, getting organized is filled with many avoidance-oriented goals. For instance, you may not have paperwork scattered around your office, but the tidy stack on your desk might be filled with bills from years ago. The new year is a great time to take care of organization tasks you’ve been putting off and develop new ways to approach dealing with clutter.

Try these fresh approaches to decluttering and getting organized:

  • Break up big tasks into smaller ones that are more achievable.
  • Create a convenient home maintenance schedule.
  • Focus on one organization activity at a time.
  • Find a home for all your household items. If you can’t find a place for something, you might not need it.
  • Avoid adding more clutter by not purchasing items you don’t need.

Santa Marta offers a maintenance-free lifestyle that allows you to spend less time on hassles of homeownership like mowing the lawn, shoveling snow and budgeting for unexpected repairs, and more time doing the activities you love. From exterior and interior home maintenance to weekly housekeeping and flat linen service, we’ll do the chores, so you can enjoy an incredible retirement in a luxury senior living setting.

Meet Your New Year’s Resolution at Santa Marta

Our senior living community offers everything you need to refresh your mind, body,and spirit this year and beyond. To learn how you can keep your New Year’s resolutions at Santa Marta and discover the retirement lifestyle you deserve, contact our senior living counselors online to schedule an in-person visit or RSVP for one of our events. We’ll be in touch shortly!