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Realistic Goals Beyond the New Year

aging well, baby boomers, resolutions

Submitted by Dena Kemmet, Extension Agent/Family and Consumer Sciences

The new year is here and gone, and millions of people are coming to terms with which resolution goals they will attempt to keep this year.

Everyone, regardless of age, should have a New Year’s Resolution and work toward being a better person in 2017. What is something that has been preventing you from being the best person you could possibly be?

While many people set new goals, only a few actually achieve them. The North Dakota State University Extension Service has resources on its Aging Well website at www.ag.ndsu.edu/aging to help you set and reach goals so you can live your best life as you age.

For baby boomers, consider making meaningful resolutions that you are most likely to keep. To do that, set long-range resolutions for your second act of life. By focusing on goals that really matter to you in the context of your entire future, rather than a single year, you are more likely to achieve your goals.

Here are some common baby boomers’ New Year’s resolutions and some tips to keep them:

  • Be more active – This is a critically important lifestyle habit that can impact your future health and quality of life. The key is to find an activity or two that you enjoy and start getting active. Make exercise a routine part of your day and week.
  • Eat more healthfully – Losing weight can be even more difficult as you get older because your metabolism slows. Instead of dieting, focus on healthful eating. Learn more about healthful cooking and start adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to your daily meals.
  • Travel more often – Baby boomers often dream about the time when they can travel to desired destinations. Now is the time to seek information about making travel more affordable. Travel agents and online travel sites can assist in finding deals and budget-friendly vacations.
  • Assess retirement savings – Being financially well is important as you age so you can maintain a desired standard of living and meet future needs. Plan ahead for these needs by budgeting for increasing health care costs, including out-of-pocket costs, and in-home and long-term care.
  • Volunteer for a cause – Local charitable organizations always are looking for willing volunteers. Check out the many ways to volunteer in your community that match your interests, skills or abilities. The emotional benefits of volunteering are worth it.
  • Reflect on your second act – Take the time to engage in focused introspection to reflect on how the past year has gone and how you envision your future. A good starting point is to assess activities and relationships that are no longer productive or useful and steadily shed them from your life. Then focus on incremental improvements to what remains.

Baby boomers are more likely to achieve New Year’s resolutions by making meaningful long-range resolutions for their second act of life.

Baby boomers can benefit more from New Year’s resolutions by taking a long-range approach and remembering these simple tips.

Source: Jane Strommen, NDSU Extension gerontology specialist, 701-231-5948, jane.strommen@ndsu.edu

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