Every year following a joyous season filled with family, friends, food, frolic, and festivity, an age-old tradition dictates that we pause and set lofty goals for the year ahead. It’s time again for New Year’s resolutions.
According to a recent YouGov survey, the top resolutions for 2019 were exercise more, lose weight, and save money. For 2018, eating healthier, getting more exercise, and saving more money took the top positions. Ugh—almost exactly the same! We’d like to suggest something a little different for your 2020 resolutions—something more generalized, less specific, with healthier, happier living as an end result. Read on and we’ll show you what we mean.
At Sierra Winds, our residents focus on making healthy decisions every day by taking an all-encompassing or holistic approach we call the 8 Dimensions of Wellness—a way of living life to its fullest—physically, socially, intellectually, emotionally, environmentally, vocationally, spiritually, and healthfully. Doing little things in each category makes them say, “Now, that was a healthy decision that really made me feel good!”
Wow! 8 Dimensions? That’s a lot to think about, right? Especially when your original thought was to simply lose 10 pounds in 2020! It’s not as complicated as you may think. Here’s how a more generalized approach to your New Year’s resolution could work within the “physical” Dimension of Wellness:
RESOLUTION: To do one thing each day that will boost my energy level.
To fulfill this resolution—and it WILL take focus and thought—inject into your daily routine one or two of the nine natural energy-boosting tactics suggested by Harvard Health. You don’t have to do every tactic, every day. Choose what works for you but do familiarize yourself with all nine tactics. Just to get you going, here are three of Harvard Health’s tried and true ways to enhance your energy levels—naturally:
- Get some exercise. A brisk walk will give you a shot of energy. Exercise circulates oxygen, gives your cells more energy to burn, and almost guarantees that you’ll sleep more soundly.
- Drink more water. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired. The National Institute on Aging suggests taking sips of water between bites during meals; drinking a full glass of water with medications; not waiting until you’re thirsty to drink water.
- Lighten your load. One of the main reasons for fatigue is overwork or commitment. If your TO DO LIST is zapping the “pep in your step,” lighten your load and set your priorities for only the most important tasks.
Do you see where this is going? You make your resolution general and pay-it-off with specific actions that impact your personal well-being in some way—like the above—PHYSICALLY. Here’s one example that might get you thinking about enhancing your well-being—SOCIALLY:
RESOLUTION: To build a more positive outlook by making new friends.
Here are some ideas to help you mold a positive outlook on life by merely getting to know better the people you encounter on a daily basis:
- Become a “groupie.” Gather your friends—and others you’d like to call friends—for a book club, supper club, Bible Study, movie night, card club, or game night. Leave good quality time to get to know each other.
- Have kids in your life. Not necessarily just the little ones, but interact with teens, too. Read to children in local schools, volunteer in the school library, or chaperone at a school dance. You’ll be surprised how these age groups will impact the way you look at life.
- Cherish the brief encounter. Do something kind for someone else each day. Holding the door open. Moving your bag off a chair so someone can sit down. Even just smiling at someone on the street. Random acts of kindness can do wonders for pumping up your positive outlook on life.
Building a New Year’s resolution—yes, building—can be fun. It’s really a soul-searching exercise with your own personal health and well-being in mind. We’d like to add one more:
RESOLUTION: To learn more about opportunities and benefits for aging well.
We all strive to be happier and healthier throughout life, and here are two specific things you can do right now to fulfill this general resolution for 2020:
- Learn about the impact of a holistic approach to wellness on aging in a study conducted by Mather Institute—The Age Well Study. Partnering with Northwestern University, the Mather Institute is conducting a five-year analysis of the impact of living in a community on residents’ health and well-being. The first-year results indicate, “Residents report significantly more healthy behaviors than community dwellers . . . and it’s not just that they get more exercise!”
- Visit Sierra Winds. We’d like to show you our vibrant, fulfilling lifestyle and tell you more about The 8 Dimensions of Wellness. Call (623) 977-0807 to schedule a tour or stop by on the second Wednesday of every month for “Coffee and Conversation” at 8:30 a.m.