Women over 60 are often interested in self-improvement and making positive changes in our lives. New Year’s Resolutions can be an ideal opportunity to take stock of where we are in life and chart a course for where we want to go during the year ahead.
But how can we get the most out of our New Year’s resolutions? How can we turn our New Year’s reflections and commitments into lasting positive change – and not the equivalent of the New Year’s gym membership that goes unused after the first two weeks?
Here are a few thoughts for how to achieve your goals by sticking with your New Year’s resolutions in the year ahead:
Many women throughout our lives feel pressure and judgment from our families, friends and the wider society – whether it’s to “be thin” or “look young” or “project an image of success.” Now that we’re in our 60s, fortunately, it’s time to let go of that nonsense!
Define your New Year’s resolutions based on who you want to be, not what everyone else expects you to be. Let go of self-imposed stereotypes – our 60s is a time not to worry about what everyone else wants you to do. If you find your inner compass and focus on how to accomplish your goals that are truly most important to you, your New Year’s resolutions will be easy to keep.
What has held you back from accomplishing a particular goal in the past? For example, if you have a bad habit that you’d like to stop, such as smoking, ask yourself, what is it about smoking and the way you relate to smoking that has prevented you from stopping so far?
Have you felt limiting beliefs that have held you back? Have you felt that you didn’t deserve to take better control of your health, wellness and happiness? Have you felt that you needed to get someone else’s permission to live life the way you wanted? Whatever issues you’re struggling with and whatever goal you want to achieve, start by focusing on the mindset that enables making change in your life.
Start with an attitude of gratitude – take stock of your personal assets and give yourself credit for your past achievements. Try writing in a journal each day for a month about how you feel about the year ahead – what do you want to accomplish and how can you adjust your mindset to approach these challenges with clarity, focus and purpose?
Cultivating a positive attitude will help you envision a bigger picture of what your life can be. We may be in our 60s, but we still have time for so many accomplishments and experiences – it’s never too late to make significant positive changes in your life. Start today!
As part of keeping your New Year’s resolutions, it helps to visualize your goals and make a detailed plan for what you want to do each month or each week along the way.
Draw a vision map that you can put on your wall to remind you of monthly goals. Put positivity messages on the vision map that encourage you – or place encouraging quotes around the house, whether it’s inspirational quotes from favorite movies or favorite authors or personal heroes, or personal messages of encouragement that you write to yourself.
You might even ask some friends to send hand-written note cards with words of encouragement to help you on your journey to the goal.
One of the great things about having a job is that we have bosses and clients and colleagues who help hold us accountable for getting things done. If you want to make things happen in your personal life, it helps to create some kind of external structure – some kind of “carrot and stick” system – that can help you stay focused on doing the right things, meeting deadlines and staying on task when you need it most.
For example, you could ask one of your girlfriends to serve as your “accountability partner” for moral support and regular check-ins. You can visit the Sixty and Me Facebook community for encouragement and advice from other women who are on a similar journey to making positive changes in their lives. You can reward yourself for accomplishing specific milestones along the way.
If you want to get “technologically advanced,” you can try an online service called Stickk.com, which helps people achieve specific goals by creating an official “commitment contract”.
If you fail to meet your goal, you pay the “Stakes” – you agree to donate some preset amount of money to an organization you don’t like (or to a friend – or you can choose not to pay money, but it helps to give yourself a powerful incentive to reach your goal).
New Year’s resolutions often fail when people keep them to themselves – and good intentions often die with a whimper with no one to cheer us on. But self-improvement doesn’t have to be a solitary, lonely activity! Let’s draw upon our resources and mobilize our community to help support each other. What do you want to change in your life this year? How can we help?
Do you want to be healthier and less stressed this year? Try our gentle yoga video series!
What do you want to accomplish this year? Are you giving yourself an incentive to reach a specific goal? Leave a comment and let us know what you think!
Is one of your resolutions to be happier and more positive this year? Watch this interview for some ideas!