If there’s one characteristic that many women over 60 seem to possess in abundance, it’s our sense of resilience and dynamism. Women over 60 have witnessed massive changes in society and in ourselves during the course of our lives.
As we approach another New Year, it’s time to take stock of what else we might like to change in our lives by setting some New Year’s resolutions.
New Year’s resolutions can be daunting for some people – it might seem like too much change, too soon. Or other people might feel discouraged by past years’ New Year’s resolution ideas that they fell short of achieving.
But the truth is, if you want to make some changes in your life, it is never too late. The best way to achieve your New Year’s resolutions is to focus on actionable, practical goals and start small – small habits make for big results over the long term.
In this article, I want to focus on offering a few New Year’s resolutions for women in three main areas of focus: health, financial security, and independence for women over 60.
Here are a few ideas for how you can make your New Year happier, healthier and more prosperous:
Many older women want to do more to enjoy our health and physical wellness – not only for the purpose of prolonging our most active years as we get older, but also for the immediate enjoyment of exerting ourselves and feeling a sense of physical fulfillment.
A smart New Year’s resolution idea is to ask yourself, “What do you want to accomplish with your physical health in the New Year?”
You can start by trying a new sport for the first time, or set a goal to participate in a 5K fun run or begin your yoga journey.
Whether you want to join a fitness club, hire a personal trainer, or just go for a walk in the neighborhood each day, the New Year is an ideal occasion to set goals and begin tracking your progress.
Even if you don’t want to train to become a world-class athlete, every woman over 60 can benefit from regular physical activity. You can start very small if you like – for example, set a goal of exercising or walking or swimming for 10 minutes each day in January, and add 1 minute of exercise time per day. By the end of the month, you’ll be up to 40 minutes per day of regular physical activity.
Eating healthier and getting more exercise does not have to be a monastic, solitary pursuit. Just because you want to eat better and exercise more in the New Year doesn’t mean you have to abandon your friends.
But instead of meeting your friends for restaurant dinners or sedentary sessions of coffee and conversation, start meeting your friends for walks in the park, or for cooking healthy dinners together at home.
Modern society often equates “socializing” with “sitting, drinking and eating high-calorie foods” – but it doesn’t have to be this way. You might find that your friends are interested to share your New Year’s resolutions for healthier living – and you can all help do the dishes.
Whether you want to make your retirement savings last longer or earn some extra money on the side, the New Year is an ideal occasion to reflect on what kind of financial life you want to have.
Track your spending for a month and figure out where your money is going. Are you spending too much on dinners out, impulse purchases, or frivolous things? There’s a saying: “Self-discipline means giving up what you want NOW for what you want MOST.”
What do you most want to do with your money in the New Year? Do you want to travel more? Give more gifts to your grandchildren? Donate to a favorite charitable organization? Do you want to save more money for the future, or even start a “side hustle” to make extra money in your spare time?
Now is the time to create a detailed plan for what you want to do with your money in the year ahead.
Do you ever feel like time just flies by, often without enough to show for it? Whether you’re still working at a career or easing into life in retirement, we all have personal projects and goals that we want to accomplish. How can we do more of the work we value most in the New Year?
Here is a productivity idea from famous American comedian Jerry Seinfeld: it’s called “Don’t Break the Chain.”
The concept is simple: whatever goal you’re working toward, commit to spending some fixed amount of time each day on working toward that goal – even if it’s only 15 minutes per day. Each day you work on the goal, you can mark an X on the calendar for that day.
Before long, you will have a long “chain” of X’s marked on the calendar, showing the proof of your hard work and discipline. Once you have momentum going, you won’t want to “Break the Chain” and undo the sequence of X’s that you’ve created.
Try it and see – sometimes having visual proof of our hard work is very satisfying and keeps us working harder than we would have done on our own.
Women over 60 are often interested in exploring new passions in life, new interests, new hobbies, or just taking time for ourselves. How can you integrate this idea of independence into your New Year’s resolutions?
Perhaps you could try this. For each month of the new year, give yourself a different “independence” related goal – something new that you’ve wanted to try, some new place you want to visit, or some daylong block of time that you want to carve out just for yourself.
This could include travel, crafts, yoga, sports, writing, music, art, and self-expression of any kind, time with family or grandkids – whatever you like.
Would you like to take an art class, or perform music at an open mic night? Would you like to have a day in the city, just for yourself, to explore museums or see a movie or attend a concert? Would you like to have a special day at the zoo with your grandkids, or rent a sailboat or have a picnic in the park? Whatever you want to do, write down a list of 12 “independence goals” and work to fulfill them throughout the year.
What are your New Year’s resolutions this year? What was the best New Year’s resolution you ever made – and kept? Please join the discussion.
If one of your goals is to reduce stiffness, get stronger and become more energetic, you may want to check out this Introduction to Gentle Yoga with Cat Kabira.
Tags Reinventing Yourself