[SENIOR MOMENTS] Keep on Reaching

It’s that time of year when we are supposed to make our New Year’s resolutions. Like many people, I wonder if I can achieve the goals set. At my age, going on 82 in 2018, one thinks I will be lucky if there are no problems just getting through another year. However, it is important to aspire to achieve goals, regardless of what may happen. Goal-achieving is not always a sure thing anyway.

Making future goals at my age is different than when I was younger and there was plenty of time to get there. So, my thinking must be more immediate and in my mind, more plausible. For example, losing weight is overwhelming when you focus on your total amount. But the goal can become more achievable when you break it down to an amount below the total. Once you get to that level, you can set the next level.

In 2017 I made a personal goal of getting out of the category of prediabetes by losing weight and increasing my activity. I lost weight, but am not yet out of the category. So, for 2018 I am making it a goal to develop a lifestyle pattern of “portion control,” concentrating on healthy food and more walking. And I have made progress: I do not browse the aisle of cookies, breads and chips in the grocery stores any more!

My other personal goal for 2018 is to downsize by clearing out all the paperwork that piles up surrounding all the things that are not relevant to my current life. This is not easy. I have been living in my house since 1966 and every space available is filled with mementos or items from my child-rearing days. Yet I don’t want to leave a mess for my children. To help me manage this without being overwhelmed I have even hired an organizer. There is a lot to do, but I take it a little at a time.

For those of us who are aging or just retiring from a career, we also need to set goals of making our lives more pleasurable and meaningful. Instead of trying to be more productive as when you were in a job or raising children, the goals would be more personal, like being a volunteer, starting a hobby, or diving more deeply into a previous one. This also means participating in new social situations or cultivating old friendships. The worst danger is finding yourself isolated or without purpose. Despite limitations that you may have, your goals must include continuing to be part of the world as you age.

Happy New Year!

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