New Year's Resolutions for the Recently Retired

New Year's Resolutions for the Recently Retired

Drink more water. Take the stairs. Go to bed an hour earlier. The typical New Year’s resolutions are almost always good for you, doing wonders for your health and waistline. But as a recently retired person, you have other needs to think about as well. How will you use the newfound hours in your day? Which activities should you prioritize to live out your values? And what will these changes do for your confidence?

The following resolutions will help you build richness and meaning into this new phase of life as you navigate the new you.

Commit to Connecting

Strong social bonds are not only fun; they are good for your health. According to an article in Psychology Today based on a 2016 study, “strong social relationships [link to] concrete measures of physical health including: high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, BMI, and inflammation. The study identifies specific biological mechanisms triggered by social isolation that can lead to long-term health problems such as obesity, heart disease, stroke, and cancer.”

In other words, yes: get your sleep and exercise and drink your water, but don’t do it alone!

Not all social connections look the same. While some people thrive on building a large social network through daily clubs and activities, others do better having coffee with a neighbor once a week. Do what feels right for your temperament, but make your commitment concrete, whether that means calling a friend every day at 10 a.m., meeting up with walking buddies three days a week, or signing up for a course at your local community college every semester.

Choose to Simplify

Simplifying has become a bit of a buzzword, with scores of books and magazines, perhaps a little ironically, taking up the cause. Don’t let all those plans and lists scare you away! Simplifying, like socializing, can mean something different for everyone. For some, it may look like decluttering closets and cabinets. For others, it may mean downsizing to a living situation that calls for less upkeep and responsibility. Or perhaps you need to learn to say “no” to more time commitments so your retirement doesn’t fill up with obligations that don’t necessarily give you life. Whatever the case, you don’t have to get everything perfect. Just focus on one or two areas to simplify, and watch the stress melt away as more space for freedom opens up.

Learn Something New

It’s no secret that an active brain helps stave off dementia and depression. But that’s not the only reason to commit to learning something new this year. Adding new ideas and skills to your life is just plain fun!

The best part about this resolution is how you can combine it with the first two to truly pack a 2019 punch. By taking a class at your local park district or joining a library book club, you will make those vital social connections. By learning how to bake bread, you can slow down and simplify your diet with fewer processed foods. Setting a goal to grow one or two new vegetables or learn some basic conversation starters in another language can get your intellectual energies pumping. Whatever you do, set some specific goals, and have fun!

Whether you’ve already retired or are looking to make the transition next year, it’s never too early to start planning for the best years of your life. Explore Hudson Springwood, Danbury's after 55 luxury apartment community, as the next step to enjoying your retirement years.

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