We hope you had a wonderful holiday season and 2023 is off to a healthy, happy start.
With each new year, countless people set resolutions. And typically, by the end of January or February, we start sliding back to old habits. The best way to achieve resolutions is to make sure they’re realistic. Below, we’re sharing some of our favorite practical suggestions for goal-setting in 2023.
- Get organized. U.S. News suggests organizing your medical records to enable your doctors, loved ones, and caregivers to assist you as swiftly as possible in an emergency. Check out their instructions on how to gain access to your medical records easily here.
- Clean your home. It’s safe to say we’ve all let food expire… so why not start the year with a kitchen cleaning session? Throw on your favorite music as you go through your shelves. While you’re at it, be sure to check your medicine cabinets for expired medications. You can also assess whether any furniture items or things are taking up space in your home that can be donated. Not only does it feel great to give back, but decluttering will make it safer for you to get around your home, especially if you have a walker. Try to follow Seniors Helping Seniors’ advice on tackling spring cleaning here.
- Review your finances, insurance, and benefits plans. Scammers are relentless. Having your finances in order can minimize the risk of falling victim to fraud. The U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging has a Fraud Hotline dedicated to helping seniors who experience identity theft, elder financial abuse, and scams such as IRS impersonation, robocalls, sweepstakes, and tech support. The toll-free Fraud Hotline is 1-855-303-9470.
- Document your wishes. Having a do not resuscitate or advanced directive is essential. Appointing a trusted person to carry these out is equally important. These wishes can help save or prolong a life when there is no longer a quality of life. In the event of an emergency, conveying those wishes to medical professionals may be a difficulty. Putting those wishes and a list of medications in an envelope on a refrigerator or in an easily accessible place helps ensure those wishes are followed.
- Set a budget for the new year. Retirement often brings a fixed income, but as we know, life can bring unexpected costs, especially regarding health care. The National Council on Aging has created an online budget checkup tool called the AgeWellPlanner. AARP also has a budgeting tool called Money Map that’s worth checking out.
- Stay active.We know it can get harder on your joints to take the long walks and runs that you may have enjoyed in past years. But a daily stroll is still so important. Did you know walking can improve heart health, boost your immune system, enhance cognition, and strengthen your bones, muscles, and joints? So if hitting the pavement isn’t a great option, don’t feel discouraged! You can use a walking treadmill or combine exercise with window shopping at your local mall. Check out more of the SHS blog’s suggestions for hobbies to kick off your new year here.