It’s easy to get caught up in all the New Year, New You hype that we can be bombarded with at this time of year. However, honing in on some simple health and wellbeing goals that are sustainable will mean you will reap the benefits as you get older.
A good way to get started is to think about areas of your life you’d like to improve and then set about establishing some healthy habits in that area. Here are some ideas.
Establish or maintain an exercise routine
Exercise is proven to have a positive effect on your physical and mental health. Any amount of exercise is better than none, but being consistently active on most if not all days of the week will help you stay in good shape. Choose an exercise that you enjoy and how often you will do it each week. Set up a regular day and time and schedule it in.
Eat a healthy and well-balanced diet
While it can be tempting to go on a diet, or focus on weight loss at the start of the new year, instead set a goal around eating a balanced and nutritious diet of whole foods. Choose meals and snacks with a focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats and whole grains.
Stay socially active
Staying socially active is something we don’t really think to plan for but as we get older social connection becomes increasingly important. Beyond retirement, many people can start to lose their day to day connections with a wide variety of people and may need to actively cultivate their social life.
Stay connected to family and friends by organising activities together. You may also join clubs and groups to meet like-minded people. Volunteering in the local community is a good way to maintain community connections and utilise your skills to help others.
Get on top of your finances
Finances can be a top source of stress for many people. A new year is a good time to review your finances and budget and check in with your investments. If you’re thinking of downsizing or accessing home care it’s also a good time to talk about your options and their financial implications with a financial advisor.
Check how your tracking
The Australian Government has launched the Life Checks website, which encourages senior Australians to take a free online Life Check to see how well prepared they are for their future health, wealth and social wellbeing. Taking the online check can help you get your future planning on track or at least give you some food for thought for your goal setting. To take a Life Check, visit the Life Checks website.