Last year in US News and World Report, I wrote an article about the importance of New Year’s resolutions for older adults. The net-net was that just the act of writing things down gave one purpose.
Who knew that just one month later, New Year’s resolutions would seem impossible to achieve and even trivial. Yet 2020 gave people a whole of lot of time to think and achieve years-in-the-making resolutions that were probably not on the 2020 list. For example, I started learning Italian; my wife learned piano. On any given normal year, these would have been nice to dream about but probably not achieve.
Deep Thinking Can Lead to Big Action
My wife and I are in our sixties, healthy and active. We have a full life. Yet, we questioned everything in 2020. Friends we thought were friends were frankly acquaintances, true colors revealed through the turmoil of pandemic and politics. We realized how much we missed family, the closest some 530 miles away. And then good friends, realizing the same, uprooted within eight months from North Carolina to Nevada to be closer to their only child.
It was that kind of year. While my wife and I did not pull any big triggers to move, we have not ruled it out either. And we both became much more politically activated and also stepped up our efforts to help people and organizations in need. We did our share in the past but 2020 revealed just how blessed we were in our lives and that we could still do more.
See the pandemic brought to light the fragility of life and the relatively minuscule amount of time we have on this earth.
Perhaps 2021 is a good year to continue that deep, profound, life-changing thinking. Maybe the most important resolution is to question everything, decide what is important and let that guide your actions. Perhaps relationships become a central theme in your life.
Caregiving and Caregiver Health Took Center Stage
Certainly for family caregivers and their loved ones, 2020 had a huge impact. We created new Covid-caregivers. Senior living took a huge hit, not just nursing homes. Many people once contemplating moving into these communities are no longer thinking that way, some 35 percent of people according to McKnight’s Long-Term Care. Then families were moving loved ones out of senior living and into their home. All of these were huge life changes.
How will these impact your resolutions for the New Year?
Certainly family caregiver health is more important than ever. 2020, a year where many of us seldom saw our physician, exacerbated health issues for people with chronic issues. So tried and true resolutions about fitness and health have more importance and practicality as we enter 2021. And of course, mental health issues came to the fore like never before last year. It is not a stigma to have emotional and/or mental health issues. It is a sign to reach out for help from professionals.
The Practical Is Still Important
Hopefully, 2020 did give you time to tackle some of the resolutions suggested last year like organizing your medical records, decluttering your home for safety, organizing your finances, putting an estate plan together, documenting your wishes in a will and through advanced directives. Still behind on these? They’re still important.
Looking for Some Inspiration?
Last year we briefly wrote about a handful of remarkable seniors that would give anyone inspiration. Here are some additions.
Jeannie Epper is an American stuntwoman and actress. She has performed stunts in over 100 feature films and television series and is perhaps best known as Lynda Carter's body double on the 1970s television series Wonder Woman. She is 79 and as far as I can see, she was still doing stunts at 77!
Nascar veteran Hershel McGriff (93) at 81, competed in a national NASCAR race at Portland International Raceway, finishing 13th.
Georgina Harwood passed at 103 in 2018 but celebrated her 100th birthday by skydiving.
More Americans are planning to make New Year's resolutions for 2021 (43%) than did so for 2020 (35%), according to a new survey from CIT Bank conducted by The Harris Poll.
I’ll leave you with this. InStyle suggested this big-picture look at resolutions.
• Will this resolution get you closer how you want to feel?
• Will this resolution give you the energy you desire to create?
• Will the resolution help you operate from a place of abundance?
• How will this resolution impact you years down the road?
Happy New Year! May your profound thoughts propel you to a life of good health and abundance.