Even Seniors Benefit from New Year’s Resolutions

December 31, 2018

The tradition of setting goals and making vows for positive change in the new year has been around for generations – as has the joke that no one ever keeps their New Year’s Resolutions past the first few weeks of January.  Despite this “bad reputation,” The Saybrook at Haddam still feels everyone benefits from self-reflection and contemplation on becoming a better person and living a better life. We are encouraging all seniors to go ahead and make those resolutions once again – and wanted to share a little proof of why this is important.

In a December 2015 article in Psychology Today titled “8 Reasons We Really Do Need to Make Resolutions,” Dr. Theo Tsaousides says setting goals is part of the executive function of the brain, the language of the brain that is needed to take action. Goals provide us with a vision and a direction and help avoid wasting resources including time, money and energy. Writing down goals and objectives helps people avoid feeling confused and overwhelmed while preparing them for the moment when opportunities arise.

For seniors, this could mean accepting a friend’s invitation to try a new exercise class together or to join a new social club.  It could mean making a list of the great books you always wanted to read (or listen to on an audiobook) and checking off each one after it is finished.  It could also mean taking the first step to reconnect with friends or relatives.

Healthy Aging suggests a few more practical resolutions for seniors including eating healthier, increasing general activity, and giving your brain a workout.  This is so reaffirming to everything we do at The Saybrook at Haddam throughout the year.

Dr. Theo Tsaousides says that setting goals simply make us feel good – which makes sense because neuroscientists are learning that one of our most basic emotional reactions is happiness through pursuit. In other words, goals are the first step towards a greater level of happiness.  (It is also worth noting that when we do not have goals, we tend to waste our precious time which is never a good idea no matter what our age!)

So, let us toast to a truly happy New Year by setting goals and focusing on the pursuit of those goals!


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