Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolutions

By Shanon Gallagher, Screening Integration Coordinator at Elder Law of Michigan

We are a month into the New Year, have you kept up with your New Year’s resolution? The rule of thumb is that it takes three weeks to form a habit. When the New Year approaches, many individuals view it as an opportunity to start the year off healthier by vowing to eat better, lose weight, exercise more, or stop a bad habit. For seniors who want to lead a healthier lifestyle, it can be hard to stay on track to achieve their goals. So, how do individuals stick to their goals without failing? Here are some easy ways to help you stay on track.

Start small: Make resolutions you think you can keep. Set a time limit that is attainable for you, like day-to-day or week-to-week depending on the goal you are aiming for. Once you are able to achieve that short-term goal, aim to keep it going on a long-term basis.

Be realistic: You do not need to make a resolution to work out every day of the week or skip dessert after every dinner. Do what makes you feel better. It may be taking a walk ten minutes every other day and skipping dessert on the opposite days.

Talk about it: It can be helpful to have a friend or family member who is also working towards a goal to talk to. You can encourage each other to push forward. For seniors, like everyone else, it is helpful to have someone they can walk with, eat healthier with, and just be there for each other to help attain a goal.

Track your progress: Keep a journal of the days you worked on your resolution. How many days that week did you work out? How many times did you resist dessert after dinner? Or how many pounds did you lose in the last month? Seeing the results you were hoping to see is a great motivator to keep up with your resolution.

Reward yourself: You only live once! The resolution you made is to help you feel better about yourself. There is no need to feel bad if you need to take a break from working towards your goal. Once you start to see the benefits of the changes you have made, it will get easier to keep it up.

At any stage of life, the new year is a great opportunity to take stock of what we are doing and to make changes we would like to see. Make sure you try to have fun as you work towards your goals, they will be more attainable that way. Making small changes to your daily, weekly, or monthly routine and sticking to them will help improve your self-esteem and confidence. I hope these tips help you stick with your New Year’s resolution. Cheers to a happy and healthy 2020!

Shanon Gallagher is a Screening Integration Coordinator at Elder Law of Michigan and has been a member of the Elder Law of Michigan team since November 2019.

As a Screening Integration Coordinator, Shanon helps Michigan seniors navigate the benefits application process and helps raise awareness of benefits through outreach events.