Looking Toward the Future and Goal Setting to Engage Seniors for 2022!

The new year is a great time to take stock of last year and consider things we would like to achieve in the coming one.  Get a journal, notebook or keep track of your goals on your laptop.  Writing things down not only helps us remember, but reinforces our commitment to the goals we set. 

We all need to have goals and things to work toward, especially as we age.  Keeping active both physically and mentally and feeling that your life has purpose makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning.  Studies show that remaining active and having social connection and purpose can add years to your life.

As we kick off 2022 talk with the seniors in your life or ask yourself what things you would like to accomplish big picture and what things you can do to make small improvements in your life.  Make a list and then break each bigger goal into small daily actions and write them on your calendar.  Planning is the first step to developing good habits and is very important to achieving your goals.  Make time each day to review your goals and tasks and take note of how many you achieve each day.  Checking things off your to do list is shown to help increase endorphins in the brain and give you a sense of self satisfaction as well as keep you on track for success.

Here are some examples:

Goal:  Share your time & talents with others in your community

Task:  Reach out to the director at your independent or assisted living community or local community center and discuss a talent that you would like to share with your friends and residents. Consider and discuss what you might like to share with others.  What type of work did you do in the past?  What kind of special skills do you have and what kinds of activities did you participate in or lead?  Decide on a talent that you think others might like to learn about.  Pick a time that you can commit to and offer a workshop or create a group that would like to participate.  Some examples are knitting, painting, art appreciation, photography, yoga, dance, calligraphy, or poetry writing.

Goal:  Try something new

Task:  Check the calendar at your independent living or assisted living community or local community center and sign up for an activity that you would not normally participate in and commit to doing it.  Schedule time on your calendar and reach out to invite others.  As we age it is extra important to keep the brain stimulated and learning something new is one of the best ways to accomplish that.  Inviting others not only helps them get motivated to stay active but will help to ensure that you attend on a regular basis. 

Goal:  Focus on wellness

Task:  Pick an activity to participate in such as walking or yoga and commit to a time on your calendar to engage in this activity and invite a friend.  Scheduled activity quickly turns into a daily habit and something that you will look forward to.  By inviting others, you can develop and deepen friendships and feel good about supporting one another’s wellness. 

Goal:  Improve memory and mental health as you age

Task:  Find a brain game, puzzle, video game or activity that is known to stimulate brain health and commit to a time each day to participate in this activity.  Physical activity not only helps to keep you healthy but is stimulating to the brain generating endorphins to help keep a positive outlook.  Some activities such as dancing, and yoga are particularly stimulating to the brain and are great exercise as well!  Something as simple as a daily deep breathing session can help your mental health from the comfort of a chair or sofa.  

Your senior years should truly be golden! Setting goals and focusing on them each day will help you to have a more engaging experience, whether you live independently, or in an assisted living or other senior community.

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