Seniors: Plan Ahead to Make Your 2023 New Year’s Resolution a Reality

A new year, a new beginning. The calendar page has turned, you’re feeling inspired and motivated, and your New Year’s resolutions are off to a strong start. But how do you ensure you’ll stick to your resolutions? If you’re eager to create a better you in 2023, we can suggest an approach to help you succeed.

Our plan helps you set attainable objectives and determine the steps for keeping your resolution. It will help you progress at a comfortable pace so you don’t get burnt out. Let’s walk through the planning process for three specific New Year’s Resolutions to demonstrate how it works.

We’ll break each resolution down into quarterly goals and go over how to outline action steps for each quarter of the year. Here are the resolutions we’ll use as examples: get in shape, spend time with family and friends, and develop new skills and hobbies. You can use these examples to come up with your own plan. It will help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions all the way through 2023.

Your goal: get in shape 

Quarter one: goal setting

Set realistic goals for the upcoming year. If your focus is shedding a few pounds, how much weight is realistic to lose by the end of March? How about by the end of June, September and December? Be sure to give yourself enough time to succeed so you don’t get frustrated and give up on your goal. 

Now you’re ready to make a plan for reaching the first milestone. How many days a week will you need to exercise? Lay out a schedule you can follow. Where will you exercise? Many Sonida Senior Living communities or local senior centers offer exercise and fitness classes you can join. If you have limited mobility or a chronic ailment, connect with the resources and support you need to exercise safely. For example, maybe you need to work with a doctor or a physical therapist to develop an exercise routine.

Treat yourself to the tools and other items you need to meet your goals. You may need new slip-resistant walking shoes for your new routine. Or new workout clothing might help you feel more confident and excited about your first fitness class.

If you are trying to eat healthier, you might need a special cookbook or a smoothie maker. What do you need to help kick-start your journey for the year to come?

Remember to take pictures of yourself now so you can look back later and see your progress. This can help you stay motivated to keep working toward your goals.

Quarter two: reflection

Seniors use stretch bands for resistance exercises.

By now, you will already have three months under your belt. You spent the first quarter getting into a routine, so now it’s time to reflect. You may be happy with your progress, or maybe you feel like you’re not quite on track. Take this time to reset any goals or to adjust your schedule. If something isn’t working, don’t give up and make a change. 

Start a journal and jot down notes about the past quarter. From here on out, use the journal daily to keep track of your progress, recipes, new workouts, emotions and thoughts. This will keep you focused while also giving you an opportunity to reflect on your journey.

Continue to work toward your goal. Remember to take a picture of your progress at the end of the second quarter.

Quarter three: inspiration

It’s the beginning of quarter three, and that means you have been on your health journey for six whole months. 

Continue your practices from the first two quarters, but add in a new challenge. Realign your goals and schedule to fit the new demand. Stay active with your journal and occasionally read past entries to see if there are any common themes. At this point, you may be getting bored with the recipes you’re cooking, so now is the time to change things up.

Begin working on a scrapbook or vision board of your experience so far. Cut out pictures that resonate with you or inspire you and add them to your book or board. Cut and paste inspirational quotes. Add notes about important lessons you’ve learned and memories you’ve made, such as in a cooking class or fitness class. Consider adding pictures of people who inspire you. This is a fun way to keep you motivated and focused on your goal. Remember to take a picture of your progress at the end of the third quarter.

Quarter four: the final push

You are close to the end of the year. Now is the time to double down on your goals. Try a new fitness class. Renew your commitment to healthy eating.

Revisit your journal and take note of your biggest struggle and your biggest accomplishment so far. What was the hardest lesson you learned, and how are you using it to help you move forward? Take note of when you felt happy and strong, and why you felt that way. Add anything you think is missing from your scrapbook or vision board.

At the end of the quarter, take pictures and look at how far you’ve come since the beginning of the year. Soon you can start working on your goals for next year to maintain and build on your progress. But first, treat yourself! You’ve worked hard all year and you’ve earned a reward now that you’ve reached the end of the fourth quarter.

Your goal: spend time with family and friends

Quarter one: coordinate schedules

Spending more time with family and friends can add to your quality of life. It can take effort and planning, though, to reconnect with those you care about.

Make a list of the people in your life you would like to spend more time with on a regular basis. Reach out to them to find out when they are available so you can start making plans. Based on what you learn, you might decide to set aside a certain day of the week for family visits or social gatherings.

If you have relatives, friends or loved ones who live in other cities, reach out to them to discuss the best time to plan a visit. When would it be feasible to drive out or take a flight to see them, or when could they come visit you? Some Sonida Senior Living communities have on-site guest apartments that can be reserved for special visitors. If you have limited mobility, you might consider a summer trip to meet at a destination friendly to seniors with limited mobility

Quarter two: plan a visit or two

Group Of Senior Couples Attending Book Reading Group

Hopefully the outreach you did in the first quarter of the year felt good. You had conversations with family and friends and started making tentative plans. Maybe you even had some visits or met up and spent some quality time together.

If that’s the case, start thinking about new, fun things you want to try or do together. Maybe you want to expand the gatherings and invite more people, or include your grandkids more.

If you haven’t already, now is the time to finalize plans for the visits or trips you’ve discussed. This quarter is all about enacting the plans you have made for reconnecting with family and friends.

Quarter three: make an effort

Challenge yourself this quarter to put in more effort to connect with people on your list who have been challenging to see. Schedules might be off, traveling could be difficult, or plans just keep falling through. What can you do to make it happen?

This is also a good time to find other ways to connect with friends and family, other than in-person visits. Consider sending updates and pictures to the important people in your life. Ask them for updates and pictures and check in on how they are doing. You can write letters, emails or text messages.

You can also do video calls using one of the many devices and apps available on your phone or computer. Even if you cannot get together in person, spending time together virtually can allow you to make new memories together. It can make you feel more connected with your friends and family.

Quarter four: holiday gatherings

By the fourth quarter, the holidays are approaching. This is a great time for making plans to get together with the important people in your life.

Go trick-or-treating with the grandkids. Make plans to get together for Thanksgiving. Consider hosting a holiday party or plan a trip if that’s what it takes to spend the holidays with those you love. If your friends and family live close, consider starting a new tradition by participating in a holiday activity. This could be visiting the zoo or ballet together, driving around to see holiday lights, or planning a cookie or craft exchange. End the year feeling connected with your family and friends.

Your goal: develop new skills and hobbies 

Quarter one: discovery

Learning and growing help you stay young at heart. It can also be a great conversation starter if you’re learning a new skill or picking up a new hobby. If you’re trying to tackle something new this year, spend the first quarter of the year researching.

If you want to learn more about your new undertaking, find a good book on the topic. Many Sonida Senior Living communities feature fully stocked libraries where you can check out new books. You can also search online and find a good article on the subject or a video tutorial on YouTube.

If you’re choosing to learn a new language, find out what kind of programs your neighborhood library or senior center offers. If you’re wanting to become more familiar with technology, visit a local electronics store and start asking questions. Different tablet or laptop options might even help you stay better connected to family and friends who don’t live nearby.

Whether you’re trying to master the iPhone or to improve your reading speed, start by learning about it from available resources. 

Quarter two: practice

It’s time to put your desired skill or hobby into practice. You’ll want to spend these three months honing in on your craft, skill or technique, whatever it may be. This is where discipline matters most.

senior man is happy and excited while looking at his cellphone on a couch

Learning a new language? Try recording yourself every day and listening to the recordings. Follow your chosen program and dedicate time consistently to making progress.

For the avid reader, try reading a chapter a day in these three months.

If you are working on being more tech-savvy, try out a new feature if you have a new device. For example, have a video conversation using FaceTime on your iPhone or iPad. Use a new program on your computer or learn something new about a program you regularly use. If you are really ambitious, download one app a week on your cell phone to keep trying and learning something new.

These three months are all about doing!

Quarter three: adjust if necessary

Now that you’re six months into the year, this time is all about reflection and action. Keep putting your new skill into practice, while also fine-tuning your approach. Are you going at the right pace, or are you taking on too much and feeling overwhelmed? Or are you not making as much progress as you would like and need to take it up a notch? You may need to change your approach or your techniques.

As you begin feeling more confident in your new skill, consider sharing it with friends and family. Or, look to see if there is a local group you can join that might help you stay engaged with your activity. For example, a book club might help you meet your goal to improve your reading speed. A Spanish conversation group might give you an opportunity to practice your new language. A technology class for seniors might give you additional information and support.

Quarter four: evaluate 

Are you now a speed reader? Can you talk in tongues like a pro? Are your grandkids impressed by your tech-savvy ways? If you answered yes, then pat yourself on the back and continue to perfect these skills you have so precisely mastered.

Not quite there yet? It’s hard to master a new skill or hobby in just a year, so if you don’t feel like an expert yet, that’s to be expected. Now that you’ve given it a year, you can decide if you want to keep going or shift your focus to something new. The important thing is to spend your time in a way that brings you joy. Perhaps you can set new goals for the upcoming year and continue to have fun and learn and grow.

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If you’re a senior or family caregiver looking for independent living, assisted living or memory care services for you or your loved one, contact us to schedule a tour or request more information about a community near you.

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Senior woman writes in a journal about her New Year's resolutions
Senior woman writes in a journal about her New Year's resolutions

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Find a community

If you’re a senior or caregiver looking for independent living, assisted living or memory care services for you or your loved one, contact us to schedule a tour or request information about a community near you.