Goals Are Good for Every Age

If you didn't have the year in 2020 that you hoped for, maybe it is a good idea to try to bring 2021 in a little differently than you did last year. 

One thing is certain if we don't plan and prepare in advance, it is hard for our dreams to come true.  If we set a few simple goals for 2021 and strive to review them daily, studies show that we can live a more fulfilled life.  For many of our older Americans, it could lead to a life with more independence and purpose.

According to Susan Flashner-Fineman, the Vitality 360 Wellness Coach with Harvard affiliated Hebrew SeniorLife program, “As you get older, you may not recognize the need for accomplishments, yet they are crucial to keeping your mental and physical skills sharp.  You want your remaining years to be good ones, so what do you want them to look like?  Goal-setting can help you get there.”  

Depending on your age and mindset, your goals may be designed to improve relationships, health, family, finances, or maybe something personal.  To get the most out of your plans, they have to be important to you.   By taking the time to craft your goals, they can help improve behaviors and guide your focus to sustain momentum throughout the calendar year.  

A few tips to help our older Americans get started:

Have a purpose and keep it simple- there is no magic formula, but clearly define your objective and purpose in writing.  If you have never set goals before or you are a goal drafting veteran, it pays to keep them simple.  By setting a few simple and clear goals, the chances of succeeding are greatly enhanced.  If you reach your goal, enjoy the victory and challenge yourself even more next year.

Set reachable goals- it is hard to sit down to come up with a few goals, but it is even harder when you feel you will not reach them.  When writing your goals, make sure they are reachable.  You want to stretch your comfort zone, but you want to design them to be obtainable. 

One small step at a time- it is important to set measurable goals.  You may need to identify your big goal, but you may need to break it down into measurable elements.   For example, if you add dates, times, amounts, etc you can measure your results better.  The more specific you can be, the more likely you will be to succeed. 

Review goals often- one of the most important components of goal setting is reviewing them daily.  By doing this, you keep your plans at the forefront of your mind.  When you focus your time and energy on the goal, it makes it difficult to get sidetracked.

Celebrate small victories- find a way to take time to smell the roses.  Enjoy these moments because you have earned them.  Treat yourself to a massage, a nice dinner, or a small gift. It does wonders for your mental health to put a plan in motion and to succeed. 


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