5 new year resolutions retired people should make for 2019

03 January 2019
With a new year to look forward to, now is the time to make some resolutions that will stick.

The end of one year and start of another is not the only time when you should think about making a significant change in your life, but it can certainly help concentrate the mind.

Of course for many, new year's resolutions have a patchy track record; they are made on 1 January and usually broken by 2 January. 

The main reason this is true is that they usually involve vowing to give something up. To impose such restraint suddenly after all that festive indulgence may seem like a good idea, but the reality is that it is very hard to make a big change in one single step and it can be almost impossible to maintain. 

Instead, it is better to do things that focus on what you do, not what you don't - and in some cases, these are things you can build up to over the course of the year.

Eat better for body and brain

To some people, eating better means their consumption of 'unhealthy' food drops off a cliff and they end up trying to get by on things they don't like but are good for them. This is clearly unsustainable.

A better way might be to set aside dates - such as weekends and special occasions, for instance - when certain treats might be enjoyed. For example, if you like chocolate, don't starve yourself of it completely - especially not dark chocolate as it contains fat-destroying flavonoids - but ensure you simply don't have it most of the week. 

Also, try some tasty alternatives in your diet. For example, red meat is not good for your heart, so go for more white stuff. Poultry and fish are good and in the latter case, oily fish also has the advantage of being a great brain food, helping stave off cognitive decline.

If you are a bit of a foodie, you can use 2019 to try out new recipes as you focus on healthier foods, ensuring you eat better without losing the flavour.

Be more active

A lot of people start the new year by trying to transform themselves from couch potatoes to gym bunnies overnight. This seldom works.

Instead, if you need to get trim, build things up gradually. You could join a gym, but maybe start with walking more, or going swimming a couple of times a week. Don't set targets you cannot meet, but build up gradually and you'll find you can stretch yourself more as the year goes on. That will be good news because you should reach peak fitness when the longer and warmer days of summer come, meaning you can make the most of the outdoors.

Start a new hobby to keep your brain active

It's not just your body that might benefit from more activity. Taking up a new hobby can be a great way of exercising your mind too. 

This might be a crafty hobby involving making things, a social one like joining an amateur dramatics group, or simply sharing an enthusiasm for a shared interest in planes, trains or automobiles. 

Whatever you do, this should provide plenty of exercise for your mind, as may doing more activities such as reading. 
Plan to spend more time with your family

It may be you already spend lots of time with your family, but if you don't, try planning ahead with a focus on events like birthdays. If you have grandchildren, the school holidays may be great times to meet. This is especially true if you don't live nearby, as this requires a bit more forethought about how you are going to arrange to meet, but the times you spend together will be very rewarding. 

Make a will

This is perhaps the most important of all. Of course, your plans for 2019 won't include shuffling off your mortal coil, but it is a reality we all have to face one day. You may be in good health, but you never know what may be around the corner. See a local solicitor who can help you.

Making a will is the best final thing you can do for your loved ones. It means there is a legal document in place to stipulate exactly how your assets will be divided and by whom. 

As such, you can ensure the inheritance goes exactly where you want it to. From their perspective, it avoids the danger of a protracted legal squabble over who gets what. 

If you already have a will, it may be worth checking it over to make sure it is still up to date.

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