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Dear Doug: Too Late for Change?

Doug Mayberry on

Q: People around me have been talking about their plans for the new year, especially their resolutions for 2020.

I always liked making my own resolutions but haven't made any for the last several years. Because of my age, I make excuses that any plans don't matter and that my health could fail me at any time.

When our family was talking about New Year's resolutions over the holidays, my son teased me by mentioning that I have the same excuse every year. Even if I didn't care to hear that, I realize that he has a point.

How can I make a satisfying goal that doesn't feel like a waste of time?

A: Make specific goals that fulfill one of your wants or needs.

Many seniors fall into the trap of focusing on the big picture. Realizing that they're old, they resign themselves to their age and stop making plans for the future. But resolutions for the future aren't exclusive to the younger generations.

 

Personal goals look different at all ages. Even if your perspective on life has changed, you are still around and can reap the benefits of your own actions.

Nobody knows how long they have left on this Earth. Instead of resigning yourself to obsolescence, you can choose to look forward to every day.

When crafting a resolution, decide on a concrete goal. Put a number to it. A nebulous goal like "I want to write down my life story" is less likely to work. Without the specifics, you're likely to forget about it or do the bare minimum.

Instead, set a reasonable goal and work backward. Once you've chosen your goal, figure out how much time you want to spend on it every day or week. Break the schedule down into smaller increments.

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