When it comes to setting goals for the new year, resolve to think small. Coming off of our 12 Days of Healthy Living, let’s keep a good thing going through 2020 and beyond. After all, the best resolutions aren’t just quick fixes. Often, the most effective and lasting changes start small and add up over time to create a bigger lifestyle transformation. For seniors, change isn’t always easy. But setting small, realistic goals can do a world of good, one step at a time.
There’s a name for this method. It’s called SMART goals. Smart stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. If you can set your goals to those standards, your chances of success are much better than striving to reach broader, less defined goals. The key is to keep your tasks clear and doable.
Focusing on senior living, we’ve outlined five healthy, attainable goals for the new year. Not for a new you, but for the best you.
- Practice proactive self-care.
Especially during the holidays, it’s easy to overlook yourself. You’re visiting children and grandchildren, or maybe hosting the family. Now that we’ve turned the page to January, view it as a fresh start to focus on your needs and all the little ways you can better care for yourself.
For example, if you live with urinary incontinence, do you have the continence care supplies you need? Here’s a tip, take a weekly inventory of the disposable underwear, incontinence briefs and bladder control liners you use the most so you can replenish before you run out. Try buying in bulk and explore new items that could make a big difference in how you feel, such as a protective skin ointment.
SMART goal: Take inventory of your incontinence supplies once a month.
- Keep your brain busy.
As we age, it’s important to never stop learning, especially about new ways to improve our daily health and wellness. With so many news outlets and social media options, it can feel overwhelming to know where to go for expert health advice. Find a few sources you can trust, like our resource center, for educational content. Think of it as your go-to hub for helpful tips, guidance and insight to help you reach your goals and maintain healthy habits.
SMART goal: Read at least one healthy living article a week.
- Eat as well as you can.
After all that rich holiday food, it’s time to refocus on eating healthy and starting fresh. Doing simple things like measuring your portions with a food scale can help you maintain a balanced diet and give you a visual lesson in portion control. Also, being conscious of what you eat makes it easier to stick with any special recommendations outlined by your doctor.
Another tip? Eat the rainbow. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins and other nutrients your body craves. By eating a rainbow of colors, you ensure your body is getting the variety of nutrients it needs.
Just like any healthy eating effort, the prep can be the hardest part, especially for seniors who live alone and are preparing food for one. But it’s doable. If you have more serious dietary restrictions, like being on a tube fed diet, try healthy, blenderized foods, like Kitchen Blends.
SMART goal: Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day.
- Up your activity level.
Depending on where you live, heading outside for a walk during the winter months isn’t always an option. That means you might have to hit the gym or your local senior center for a light workout, or stroll through the grocery store at a brisk pace. But you can always find a way to fit exercise into your daily life.
With any level of activity, it’s important to play it safe. if you have limited mobility, find the right aids to guard against falls. Rollators and canes can lend the extra support and stability you need to get around more easily. And with new modern designs, like Momentum, you’ll look pretty sleek on your strolls.
SMART goal: Walk for 30 minutes at least 3 days per week.
- Treat your skin with TLC.
Between cold air outside, dry heat inside, and the dehydrating effects of aging, your skin needs more moisture than ever in the winter. Make it easy to get the hydration you need with a clinically-proven, multitasking lotion for your face and body, such as Remedy Dermatology. It’s developed by skincare experts and dermatologist-tested to keep your skin hydrated for 24 hours. It’s also safe for sensitive skin and effective on eczema.
SMART goal: Apply lotion once a day, head to toe.
Remember, start small and make one change at a time that’s clearly defined and easily doable. Before you know it, you’ll be moving in the right direction and looking ahead to your best year yet.