2024 New Year’s Resolutions for Seniors

With a new year, comes new possibilities. It can be exciting and fulfilling to tackle something new, or make progress toward a long-standing goal. That’s part of the appeal of New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps that’s why when a new year rolls around, often it’s accompanied by the urge to better our lives or set new goals.

What will you set out to do in 2024? Maybe this is the year for that trip you’ve been wanting to take. Maybe it’s the year to lose those extra pounds that have been weighing you down. Maybe you’d like to spend more time with family or reconnect with old friends. 

According to a recent Forbes poll, most people feel compelled to set a New Year’s resolution. And even more people felt confident they could reach their goals. The poll found that the most popular New Year’s resolutions for 2024 will focus on improved fitness. Other top resolutions included improved finances, improved mental health, weight loss and better eating habits. All great goals!

If you want to make 2024 your best year yet, but you’re still looking for inspiration for your New Year’s resolutions, keep reading. We’ll dive into specific goals you can set for the most popular resolutions for 2024, and have other great resolution ideas for seniors. 

Specific goals for the new year

Resolution: Improved fitness

Staying active is important at any age, and can be particularly beneficial  in older age. Make a resolution to improve your health in 2024 with one of these healthy new lifestyle habits.

  • Exercise. Make a commitment to work out at least two times each week. Even if you have limited mobility, there are exercises you can do to improve your fitness, including seated exercises. Consider attending a wellness, stretching, balance, aerobic or weight lifting class at your local gym or senior center. Classes can help encourage you to stick with your goal, and many people enjoy working out as part of a group. If you prefer to work out on your own, head to the gym or search for an at-home workout video on YouTube. There are hundreds of video options to choose from, many specifically geared toward seniors!
  • Keep moving. It’s amazing how quickly a day can pass you by when you’re watching your favorite shows or movies on TV. Set a goal to make sure you’re getting in enough movement in your day. A great way to do this is by committing to getting in a certain number of steps. Most newer smartphones allow you to track your steps for free. Head outside several times a week (when the weather allows) and take a stroll around the neighborhood. Indoor malls can also be a great option for staying warm while you walk during colder winter months. Walk with a neighbor or friend to make the experience even more enjoyable!
  • Hydrate. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Dehydration is a common problem among seniors, with as many as 40% of elderly people being chronically dehydrated. If you have a goal in the new year to increase water intake, you may want to find a water bottle or cup that’s easy to take on the go with you. There are even water bottles with time markings on them that can help you stay on top of your goal.  

Resolution: Improved finances

  • Create a budget calendar. With consumer prices on the rise, it can be challenging if you live on a fixed or limited income. Creating a budget calendar can help you understand, track and manage your expenses. This may help not only improve your finances, but also reduce any anxiety you have around your finances. 
  • Get organized. Part of the key to better finances is to get on top of your expenses, including your monthly bills. It can help to get organized so you know what bills are due, and when, to avoid late fees. Using automatic bill payment options may help to ensure payments for regular expenses like utility bills are received on time. Reviewing your payment history for regular bills can also help you identify trends that might help you better budget for the future. This can also help you catch any billing errors.
  • Identify savings opportunities. There are lots of ways to save money if you’re focused and determined. Can you think of a regular expense you could cut out of your budget, like a fancy morning coffee or tea habit? Are there memberships you could share with friends or family to save money, or coupons you could clip? What if you cut back on the cost of gifts and store-bought cards and switched to homemade gifts and handmade cards instead? Sometimes the best ideas for cost savings come from family and friends, so don’t be afraid to ask for suggestions. 

Resolution: Improved mental health

  • Make time for self care. Do you have time built into your routine for activities that help recharge your batteries? Self care can be as simple as getting a haircut, going on a walk, or participating in a fun activity. Take time to reflect on what self care looks like to you. How can you make more time for that in your life?
  • Reduce stress. If you can reduce stress, your mental health will benefit. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress, as is meditation. Recognizing your limitations and trying not to take on too much can also lead to less stress in your life. Many seniors also find that having a pet can help with their stress level. 
  • Prioritize sleep. When you get good sleep, it makes life feel more manageable and less overwhelming. If you’re not getting good sleep, what do you need to do to fix the problem? Maybe you need to change your bedtime routine or get a different mattress. Maybe you need blackout curtains or a white noise machine. If you have pain that keeps you awake, maybe it’s time to see your doctor. 
  • Practice gratitude.  Focusing on the positive in your life and practicing gratitude can help to reduce stress. If you are always thinking about hardships and challenges, you are more likely to feel anxious and unsatisfied. Practicing gratitude for what you have can also help to keep you in the moment, rather than worrying about the future.
  • Stay connected. Seniors are at risk for social isolation, which can be very detrimental to their mental health. It can be particularly hard to stay connected with others if you live alone or are no longer able to drive. It’s important to find ways to connect with others and socialize to avoid feeling isolated. 
  • Ask for help. If you’ve already tried to improve your mental health, but are still struggling, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Talk to friends and family members. The National Institute of Mental Health also has some great information and resources for seniors who are struggling with their mental health.

Resolution: Weight loss and better eating habits

  • Set a healthy target weight goal. Everyone is different, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for weight loss. It starts with determining what a healthy target weight goal is for you. Once you decide what’s reasonable, you can make a plan for healthy weight loss to meet your goal. 
  • Improve your fitness. The suggestions above for improving your fitness can help you get to a healthy target weight. Remember to start slowly and don’t push your body too hard or too quickly. You will need to use the proper form and equipment when you exercise to avoid injury and improve your chances of success.
  • Adjust your diet. Eating healthy is the foundation for good health. Small changes in your diet can add up to a big impact over time. For example, can you choose a salad in place of fries when you visit your favorite restaurant? What about fruit instead of a high-calorie dessert? Instead of snacking on potato chips, can you substitute a healthy popcorn option instead?

Other New Year’s resolution ideas for seniors

Resolution: Spend more time with family and friends

Staying social offers lots of benefits for seniors. Consider one of these ways to incorporate more time with your loved ones into your schedule.

  • Schedule a regular family night. Set a weekly or monthly schedule for getting together with family members. Invite your family to go shopping, try a new restaurant or find something fun to do in your area, such as attending a craft show or dinner theater.
  • Plan a family trip. Suggest a weekend getaway to visit nearby relatives or check out the sights in a new area you have always wanted to visit.
  • Make time for a movie night. Grab some popcorn and watch a movie with your kids, grandkids or neighbors. Whether it’s an old favorite, or a new release, this is a great way to get together without the pressure of hosting a meal or keeping the conversation going. 
  • Utilize technology to stay in touch. When you can’t be with family and friends physically, take advantage of technology to help you stay connected. Email or text with loved ones and keep up with your grandkids on Facebook. If you’re wanting to chat face-to-face, you can use Skype, FaceTime or Zoom on your phone, tablet or computer. If you need help getting familiar with the technology options available, don’t be afraid to ask family members or friends for help. 

Resolution: Learn a new skill or hobby

Looking to switch up your daily routine? Picking up a new skill or hobby is a great way to make your days more exciting. Variety is the spice of life!

  • Tackle one small challenge every day. Try and do a daily crossword or some other small challenge every day to keep your brain stimulated.
  • Acts of kindness. Make a difference in someone’s life. Dedicate some time to volunteering, whether it be at a church, non-profit organization or shelter.
  • Find a club. Join a club focused around one of your interests, whether it’s painting, singing or crocheting. Many clubs have set schedules that can help keep you engaged, and you’ll get to connect with others who have shared interests.
  • Drop an unhealthy habit. In addition to starting new habits, you can also try to ditch an unhealthy one, like smoking or gambling. It’s never too late to take charge of your life.

Resolution: Organize your belongings

Grandson helping his grandmother unpack in her new home.

You’re likely to spend more time indoors during the winter months, so take advantage of that time to get more organized. 

  • Say goodbye to clutter. Declutter your closets and drawers. Keep what you love, and say goodbye to the things you no longer use or find joy in. 
  • Donate items. Consider donating the unused or gently-used clothes, furniture and appliances you no longer need. You can also donate magazines and books you have already read. You can feel good about saying goodbye to things you know will be put to good use by someone else.
  • Take out the trash. Throw away any worn-out or unusable possessions, like socks with holes, old shoes and stained towels. You can’t hold on to everything forever, and your space will feel better to you when you’ve cleaned out items that have outlived their usefulness.
  • Organize sentimental items. This might mean sorting through old photographs and labeling them for younger generations, or finding a way to store or display family heirlooms so they can be better preserved or admired.. What sentimental items could use some of your time and attention this year?

Resolution: Enjoy life to the fullest

Maybe 2024 will be the year for more fun! Whether that’s taking part in social, educational and recreational programs, or taking more time for yourself, there are plenty of ways to add more joy to your days. 

  • Pick up a book. Pick up a romance or murder mystery novel (or book on tape) from the library. Books can liven up your day by transporting you to another world of adventure, intrigue and suspense.
  • Friendly competition. Challenge a neighbor or friend to a card or board game. Or, better yet, start a weekly group that meets up for socializing and some friendly competition.
  • Get a makeover. Change your hair color or simply get a trim. Get a new dress or suit coat or a new pair of shoes. Looking good on the outside can also make you feel good on the inside. 

Happy New Year from Sonida Senior Living!

Here at Sonida Senior Living Communities, each new year is filled with opportunities for fun and new connections with friends and neighbors. Consider joining us to get in on the excitement by finding a community near you.  

We wish you a Happy New Year as we embark on another year full of promise and hope in 2024.

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Happy senior friends having tea in cafe outside
Happy senior friends having tea in cafe outside

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