Small Changes, not Resolutions

Senior Couple

With the New Year facing us, it is time to make those ever broken resolutions. But what are we to do to stick to these plans? In a recent article we read that `Our golden years look bright’. Yet daily we hear about increases in disease rates, medical costs, and our waistlines.

Current studies show that one-third of all Americans over the age of 65 do not get enough Leisure physical activity, two-thirds do not eat five servings of fruits and vegetables daily, and one-fifth of older Americans are obese (30 pounds or more). So what are we to do to combat these issues plaguing the 65+ generations? With the New Year on our doorsteps, we need to make changes, not resolutions. According to Dr. Regi Munro, Wellness Division Chair of Chandler/ Gilbert Community College, ‘don’t try to do it all in one sitting. Break down your goal into small pieces and tackle it one piece at a time.” The first step in the process is to make a commitment. Decide what your ideal goal is which you are trying to achieve. Now for the hard part; write it down. Once we put a goal on paper, we have a tendency to take ownership of it and will strive to complete it. With your ideal goal in front of you, break it down into smaller, more obtainable pieces. Try to set a weekly goal. If this is still difficult to do, then set an achievable daily goal that you can accomplish. With your goals in hand, call a friend and share your list with them. Ask your friend to help keep you accountable in meeting your goals. This is going to require keeping track of how you do weekly, or even daily. Keep your records on the calendar, computer or wherever else you will be reminded of what you are trying to achieve. When you complete a goal, celebrate or reward yourself. Maybe go out and buy something for yourself or enjoy that ice cream cone. Just remember, it does not always have to be super-sized. If possible, share the victory with your friend. It is always a sweeter reward when shared with another. We are taught that failure is due to a sign of weakness or inability. Small setbacks are fine, as long as we can learn from them. According to Zig Ziglar, “The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want now.” If we are to be successful, we need to make small changes in our lives, not unreachable resolutions.