I’m always impressed by seniors in our community and their commitment to healthy living. As Orchard Cove’s Vitalize360 coach, I regularly have the opportunity to help residents set and work on personal goals. It’s exciting to witness an 86-year-old woman recover from a hip fracture and commit to improve her physical fitness by taking on new activities such as swimming and Zumba. Sometimes, the goals are not related to fitness. I’ve watched watch a man revitalize his work as an artist at the age of 79 and discover new passions, such as singing in our choral group.
While I love a happy ending, it’s not always easy or the case. I often find the difference between success and failure in goal setting has a lot do with a way of thinking. It’s having a mindset of what’s possible, instead of what is not. In a world where seniors are expected to slow down, this kind of thinking can make an important difference in leading a full and satisfying life as you age.
When it comes to goals, the truth is there are always restrictions and reasons why not to do something. When you’re younger, it can be work or family obligations. It’s wonderful when seniors can relate back to dreams and hopes they still want to achieve, even if it’s an adaptation of them. Healthy living isn’t only about physical fitness. Sometimes, pursuing new interests or revisiting old dreams can provide a sense of empowerment and an overall healthier mindset.
The following ideas can help seniors discover the potential of aging, while promoting healthy living:
- Make a conscious choice to focus on what you CAN do as a senior.
- Revisit or redefine a past dream.
- Try a physical fitness activity that you’ve never experienced and perhaps even intimidates you.
- Volunteer or give back to an organization that has always touched you.
- Make a plan to improve your physical and emotional health with specific steps and actions to be taken.