The beginning of a new year—and in the case of 2020, a new decade—is a time when nearly half of all American adults resolve to make changes intended to improve their lives. While not everyone follows through on those goals, a good many people do. So here are three new year's resolution ideas that older adults might consider to kick off 2020 with improvement in mind.
Commit to Your Health
Many of us immediately think of new year's resolutions in terms of vowing to exercise more, lose weight, or eat more healthful foods. While all of those goals are desirable, they are often quickly abandoned. But there are health-related resolutions that are easy to keep.
Start by scheduling an annual physical with your primary care physician. A yearly exam allows your doctor to conduct routine screenings that help detect minor health issues before they become major concerns.
While you’re at it, you might also resolve to care for your mental health. Fill your time with activities that bring you joy, warm your heart, and make you laugh. Consider volunteering, taking art classes, and enjoying dinners with family and friends.
Embrace Some New Technology ￼￼￼
Older adults have a bad rap when it comes to embracing technology. However, recent research reveals that Americans age 60 and older spend more than half their leisure time using electronic devices. Internet usage among older adults 65 and older increased from 14 percent in 2000 to 73 percent today.
While computers, tablets, and smartphones help keep you connected to loved ones, artificial intelligence devices can assist in extending your independence. So-called virtual assistants respond to your voice commands, enabling you to look up information by asking a question out loud or summon help in an emergency. Newer versions will initiate conversations with you, such as asking if you remembered to take a recent medication dose.
Get Outdoors More
January is not a month when spending time outdoors sounds overly appealing at any age. Indeed, older adults should avoid going outside in dangerous winter weather. But resolving to get some fresh air whenever conditions permit can offer several benefits.
Spending as little as 15 minutes in outdoor sunlight provides needed vitamin D and boosts energy levels. Natural sunlight also improves your mood and helps counter depression. And being outdoors in daylight can help you sleep better at night.