For many people, their “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 2023.

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

12 Healthy Habits for Seniors Wanting to Live Their Best Life

  1. Eliminate negative thoughts. It’s 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 new, you may have already 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.
  1. 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 and keep you motivated along the way.
  1. Don’t let doubt stop you.As you gain self-confidence, you’ll realize you are unique and capable of anything. This will enable you to confront your fears. Don’t let doubt get in the way of your progress.
  1. 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 expectations that it drains you of physical and emotional energy. Think of things you are grateful for every day, and work to move forward with your plans for 2023 with renewed energy and focus.
  1. Learn to say no. If you have difficulty saying “no,” it makes it almost impossible to be able 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 prioritizing those things. Remind yourself that it is not selfish to decline a request every now and then.
  1. 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 in achieving happiness. Goals also encourage you to use your strengths and develop new ones. Make sure your goals are realistic — start small and work your way up.
  1. Accept challenges. The more challenging the goal, the greater the feeling of accomplishment it provides. If you fail to fully reach one of your goals, you will most likely still learn from the experience. After all, part of growth is accepting challenges and doing the best you can regardless of the outcome — one of the most important healthy habits for seniors to establish this year.
  1. 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 every time you are around them.
  1. Live in the present. Memories can be wonderful unless we allow them to consume us. Make the most of each day and soak in every moment.
  1. 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 challenging skill can improve cognitive function, which will help you with goals you set for years to come.
  1. 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 2023.
  1. Take action. Dreaming and planning for 2023 is a good thing, but don’t get bogged down in all the details and peer pressure. Put your plans in motion in a way that works for you. Hold yourself accountable for working toward your goals, and have a great 2023!

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

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