For many people, a “best year” would be defined as one filled with happiness, success, and freedom from excessive worry — something we can all strive for, regardless of age. Whether the desire is to improve physical health, successfully deal with stress, or learn something new, there are several healthy habits for seniors to establish as they strive to achieve their goals in 2022.

Are you a senior who wants to keep your best years ahead of you? Here are some tips to help you along the way:

12 Habits for Seniors Wanting to Reach Their Best

1. Eliminate negative thoughts. It can be said that you are what you think. Therefore, if you dread waking up in the morning, perceive that your life is filled with obstacles and problems, are obsessed with past mistakes, and are fearful of trying anything different, you have set yourself up for failure. Instead, focus on solutions and positive goals, and look for the good in yourself and others. After a while, positive thoughts, and the motivation they supply, will empower you.

2. Have confidence in yourself. You may have convinced yourself, or let others convince you, that you cannot achieve your goals. Instead, think about the things you are good at. Set small goals you can accomplish on the way to those larger, more intimidating goals – it will make the end result much easier to achieve.

3. Don’t let doubt stop you. As you gain self-confidence, you will begin to realize you are unique and capable. This will enable you to confront your fears. Don’t let doubt stop you.

4. Slow down and enjoy life. Spend some time practicing mindfulness—being fully aware of your surroundings. Your life may seem so full of responsibilities and requirements that it drains you of physical and emotional energy. Think of things you are grateful for, and move forward with your plans for 2022 with renewed energy and focus.

5. Learn to say no. If you have difficulty saying “no” to anyone, it makes it very difficult to find the time and energy to say “yes” to achieving what is important to yourself.

Learn to say no by finding out what you really want and need from your life and make time for those things. It is not being selfish to sometimes decline a request.

6. Pursue goals. Your goals guide your actions. Setting goals gives you a purpose that can change your behavior and outlook in positive ways. When those goals are based on your values and your desire to strive for something better, they become a key element of your happiness. Goals also encourage you to use your strengths and develop new ones.

7. Accept challenges. The more challenging the goal, the greater the feeling of accomplishment it produces. If you fail to fully reach one of your goals, you may still learn from the experience. After all, part of growth is accepting challenges and doing the best you can — one of the healthiest habits for seniors to establish this year.

8. Seek inspiration. Self-motivation may be difficult for you to consistently maintain over time. You may become discouraged and be tempted to give up on pursuing this year’s goals. Seek out the inspiration of positive people. They exude commitment, dedication and the courage to attempt new and worthwhile goals. You can easily recognize these people as the friends and relatives who make you feel good about yourself.

9. Live in the present. Memories can be wonderful unless they consume us. Make the most of each day.

10. Keep learning. Read, take an online course, or learn a new skill like photography, drawing, or playing a musical instrument. According to the Association for Psychological Science learning a new and demanding skill can improve cognitive function, which will help you with the goals you have set.

11. Take care of your body. Regular exercise, eating nutritious food, drinking plenty of fluids, and getting a sufficient amount of sleep provides the fuel and positive energy to power you through a great 2022.

12. Take action. Dreaming and planning for 2022 is a good thing, but don’t get bogged down in all the details and doubts. Put your plans in motion. Hold yourself accountable for working toward your goals, and have a great 2022!

Looking for more tips on how to live your life to the fullest? Head over to Bethesda’s Senior Living blog.