We’ve been around this block many times before: It’s January 1 of whatever new year and we’re resolved to do things differently.
We’ve finally and fully convinced ourselves that we want to make certain changes in our life—in diet and exercise, relationships and work, for our mental and emotional well being. We plan to introduce practices that will keep us focused on these resolutions: quitting smoking with a buddy; hiring a career coach; signing up for classes in woodworking.
We know these changes are good for us, and have been procrastinating far too long. Yes, change is hard, but enough is enough; time to get serious about what we believe will make our lives better.
And yet while we’ve famously institutionalized the New Year’s resolution in our culture, most of us can and do create goals throughout the year—not just on January 1. How can we do otherwise? Nothing is more constant than change. If nothing else in a long-lived life, boomers and beyonders have learned this.
For now, though, let us stick with tradition and do the New Year’s thing: creating goals that we hope to achieve throughout this next year, goals that reflect where we are in our life now, and where we’d like to be on December 31.
To inspire us in this process, I offer several of my readers’ 2016 goals. I am grateful they’ve shared them with us.
Arlene, age 66
1. Continue the practice I just began of breathing deeply several times before eating. Stopping when half of the food is eaten. Doing this again while I focus inside to see if I am still hungry. If I am, ask myself how hungry? If I continue to eat, stopping again when 1/2 more is eaten and doing the same practice again.
2. Go to the YMCA to swim and walk on the treadmill two to three times each week.
3. Watch that my social calendar does not get filled up too much. Spend more time at home. Hanging out, reading, writing, thinking, watching good movies and just playing in balance with doing office work and house work.
Katherine, age 52
1. To remember to breathe through the difficulties.
2. To live in the moment.
3. To write, to write, to write!
LSC, age 75
1. Work with the Lurie Cancer Center to keep quality of life in the forefront.
2. Finally finish cleaning out the last messy closet.
3. Write a humorous account of my so-called “journey” with cancer.
Anon, age 66.5
1. Write down and prioritize a likely immensely long list of goals (especially now that I’m retired), so that more of them get scheduled and some may get finished.
2. Start again, and this time finish: A. S. Byatt's Possession; Cervantes' Don Quixote; and The Art of the Personal Essay, edited by Phillip Lopate.
3. Resume and track progress of an aggressive walking plan so that I can walk a half-marathon in 2017 (seems doable).
Leigh, age 55
1. Spend more time with friends, including in activities we both enjoy. One of those is a 5-week ceramics class a friend and I have signed up for. Art and friends: a winning combination.
2. More time reading, less time on the computer ! I have 2 piles of books waiting for my attention. I also have a ton of movies and good series I'd like to watch on dvd/netflix etc.
3. Keep up with the Jazzercise and yoga. Jazzercise was one of the best decisions I've ever made and I'm in it for the long haul. It's fun and does all the things I need it to do (range of motion, strength, core strength, increased calorie burn, and changing my shape for the better).
Lisa, age 48 (pre-boomer)
1. Instead of self-doubt, I will focus on something good. Probably puppies.
2. Try to not chase good food choices with poor ones… like Funyuns.
3. To not judge people who judge others, i.e., the Kim Davis rule. This one might kill me.
Elise, age 71
1. Think creatively about how to live into the last third of my life, including developing classes and seminars for Replogle Center for Counseling and Well-Being.
2. Develop a consistent meditation practice.
3. Find a color to wear other than black - still my favorite!
Pam, age 64
1. Retire (I’m turning 65 in May.)
2. Be financially responsible.
3. Spend time with people I have neglected.
Colette, age 72
1. Keep the kitchen counter organized and clean by recycling unwanted mail and other paper products and filing the rest where they belong...at least within a day or two!
2. Research Yoga and Meditation to help change the way I deal with daily annoyances and help me to cope with my new life.
3. Make the Serenity prayer my mantra.
And finally, my own: Carol, age 72
1. Find some like-minded codger who might like to share my company on a more or less regular basis.
2. Travel, travel, travel.
3. Expand the use of this blog to include interviews with people about relevant Age Wave issues, concerns, challenges, and opportunities. NOTE: Interested interviewees, please email me.