Finish Strong! Counting Your Successes in 2022 to Make the Coming Year Even Better
This month and next we’re sure to start seeing lots of strategies, advice and tips on making resolutions. Headlines in your favorite magazine or on your most-viewed online sites are shouting: “New Year, New You!” “Now’s the Time to Make That Change!” “Make It Your Best Year Yet!” Honestly, it can be a little overwhelming.
That’s because, ironically, the biggest enemy of making a positive change is that feeling of being overwhelmed before you even start. All of a sudden, trying to get fit, learn conversational French and commit to eating super healthy feels like way too much to achieve. Those sneaky voices in your head start whispering, “Why bother, right?”
So, instead of setting out to create a “new you,” opt instead for celebrating the things you’re doing NOW that keep you feeling happy and healthy. A shift in thinking from what you have to do right to what you’re already doing right is just the feel-good confidence boost you need to consider slowly adding to your list of good daily habits! At Longhorn Village, the Hill Country’s most vibrant, welcoming senior living community, we offer our residents opportunities to continue doing the things they love AND lots of options for connecting to all the aspects of living well: social activities; healthy, delicious food; classes and seminars; cultural enrichment.
As you take stock of your own opportunities to be well in the coming year, remember to build on all the good things you’re doing. And consider adding something new from time to time!
Count the Good You’re Already Doing
Feeling pride in those things you’re doing to take care of yourself now will help lay the foundation for upping your good habit game in 2023. Start by making a list – yes, get your pen and paper! – of those things that make you feel really good when you do them. You’ll be surprised that writing them down reinforces the good habit and even allows your brain to make room for one or two more healthy habits to work into your week.
Some of the usual feel-good suspects may already be part of your routine. If so, count them in. If they’re not, consider adding them:
• Eating a well-balanced breakfast that includes protein, calcium, grains and a vegetable or fruit
• Moving a little bit. Taking a stroll, doing leg lifts while you’re watching TV, walking your four-legged companion – these are all easy ways to get a bit of exercise in each day.
• Getting quality sleep. Whether it’s four hours or 8 hours – because let’s face it, sleep needs differ for each of us – counting your ZZZZs as quality is what counts.
Some feel-good activities that are good FOR you may surprise you. You may already be doing these things, so add them to your list:
• Call (or text!) one of your grandchildren every day. Just a quick, “Hello, I’m thinking about you!” will make them feel as good as it will you.
• Helping someone out. Bringing your neighbor’s newspaper to their doorstep or pulling their trashcans in from the street are not only neighborly – they’re community-building activities. And community-building, believe it or not, is good for you!
• Smile. Smile at the cashier at the grocery, the waiter who brings you your hot tea, the new neighbor in your building. Even if you’re too shy to strike up a conversation, a smile is the perfect connection point and may allow for a bit of conversation the next time you meet.
The More the Merrier (and Healthier!)
One surefire way to continue with good habits and build new ones is to do so with a friend, neighbor or family member. Often called an accountability buddy, your partner can join you in your pursuit of healthy habit or simply be on the receiving end of positive updates as you continue on your journey to wellness. Even better? Form or join a group that is participating in an activity you love or one you’d like to learn to love.
• Enlist a pal and take a class at a local college or university together. This kind of lifelong learning can enhance your well-being by providing new opportunities that entertain, inspire creativity, expand knowledge and broaden perspectives. Through an exclusive relationship with The University of Texas Ex-Students Association, Longhorn Village residents frequently take advantage of continuing and extended education programs, social activities and ﬁne arts events, feature publications, library resources, campus facilities and exclusive travel packages.
• Try new healthy recipes with a friend. Or try a new recipe and share it with several friends! Here’s a speedy, healthy granola that makes a perfect breakfast – and it can easily be shared in individual paper bags as gifts for the holidays or as a thoughtful gesture any time of the year!
• Volunteer for a non-profit that benefits Austin. Doing so with a friend or even one other person can be fun and of course rewarding. At Longhorn Village, our residents regularly participate in good deeds
• Sign up for a local walkathon. Walk to End Alzheimer’s is a national program with an Austin chapter that walks each year to benefit a worthy cause. Start walking now to be ready for next fall!
• Come have tea this winter at Longhorn Village! We’d love to host you for a visit to our beautiful community, a tour of our campus, and an opportunity to meet some of our residents and find out more about senior living in Austin. Call us at 512.382.4680 or email Marketing@LonghornVillage.com, and we’ll gladly be part of your effort to continue on the path to health and happiness in 2023.