At the start of a New Year we usually find ourselves taking stock of life and, perhaps, making a few resolutions. Most likely, a couple of days later, the promises are ignored and we tell ourselves we will do better ‘next year’.
Too often, when making our resolutions, we fail to take into consideration the actual realities of our lifestyle and commitments. We tend towards ‘goals’ rather than ‘needs’.
Here are three ways to try a different approach in 2019.
Do something you’ve never done before
It could be as simple as learning a party trick that will impress all generations at a family gathering. The focus should be on something that gives you pleasure and a degree of personal satisfaction. It does not have to be as radical as Jenny Murphy who began an undergraduate degree at Carleton University at 72 years of age but her choice does illustrate that anything is possible. She was one of the seniors featured in last year’s Show a Little Heart video competition that examined interactions between different generations and challenged some of the stereotypes associated with getting old. To see Jenny’s story, click here.
Look for a new hobby
Often hobbies are regarded as a solitary task but there are lots of activities that are much more fun when they become shared activities. For example, in Ennismore, Ontario every Monday afternoon, seniors meet to take part in the town’s knitting and crochet club. It was grown from a few friends into a year-round event that has two significant outcomes. Firstly, it is an important social gathering for the local seniors. Organizer Marylyn Gerhardt affectionately describes the group as a family. Secondly, the clothes, toys and blankets made by the seniors are distributed to people who are less fortunate during the Holiday Season. To view the story of the knitting group, click here.
According to author Michael Pollan: High-quality food is better for your health. This simple message is universally understood but it’s not always easy to follow, particularly for seniors.
All of us benefit when our daily routine includes a good diet. For breakfast, that should involve protein and fibre. According to the Heart to Home Meals consultant dietitian, Andrea Olynyk, a boiled egg, a piece of wholegrain toast and a half cup of raspberries is a combination that will satisfy your hunger and keep your digestion moving.
Between meals it is easy to snack on junk, if it is readily available, therefore adopt the mantra:
see no evil, eat no evil. Instead, stock up with healthy snacks that can satisfy your cravings and make you feel better about doing it.
And as with eating, it is a similar story with drinking. Water covers 71% percent of the earth’s surface and the human body is 55-75% water. It is something we need every day. Try to drink between 1.5-2 litres a day. It may be tasteless but it matters.
Improving your diet is not an easy or quick fix and Andrea concedes there will be setbacks but she stresses the goal is a healthy lifestyle where you feel good about yourself. So, while there’s no magic solution, success is possible through a lot of minor alterations over a long period.
A lot of people will be starting 2019 thinking about losing weight and it is easy to latch on to the latest diet fad. Maybe the one being suggested by a celebrity, or a friend or someone at the grocery store who mentioned it in passing as you were waiting at the checkout. But remember: Fads don’t work and there is no quick fix.
Instead, look at simple ways to improve your health by making some small alterations to your lifestyle. This could include decreasing consumption of certain foods and perhaps increasing your exercise routine. Both can make a difference and assist you towards a memorable 2019 with family and friends.