New Years Resolutions for Seniors

A Different Approach to New Year’s Resolutions

Senior Woman PaintingEach New Year we come up with idealistic resolutions that are going to change our lives for the better such as, “I’m going to lose weight, “I’m going to take better care of myself,” or “I’m going to try start a new hobby.” So we go into the New Year committed and enthused but several weeks later many of us crash and burn. Resolutions can be a good starting point and are well intentioned, but the habitual failure may be due to the approach we use. Young or old, we should consider taking a different approach to achieve our resolutions. Try something a little different this year. Instead of joining a gym to lose weight, take ballroom dance lessons or try volunteer work that requires some physical activity. Rather than trying to commit to a rigid diet, take small steps like not eating after 7pm or not grocery shopping on an empty stomach. Particularly for our retired readers, let’s examine some alternative resolutions for those ages 55 and better.


Becoming at At Home Caregiver
Becoming an At Home caregiver would make a great “encore career” [click the picture for more details]
You can still commit to losing weight this year, but attack it from a different angle. Upon retirement, some people become less physically active once they remove themselves from the hustle and bustle of full-time work. So this year to lose a few pounds and stay active, try volunteering or getting a part-time job. If you keep busy and stay involved, you can avoid winter sluggishness and stave off weight gain. We have many residents and family members who volunteer at Messiah Lifeways and are constantly on the go. The physical, social and emotional benefits of volunteering are tremendous. Furthermore, an increasing number of seniors are embarking on “encore careers” or “second acts” and lend their talents and spirit to a job that is more gratifying than stressful while bringing in some additional income.

If you’d like to learn more about a part-time job or a “second act” or an “encore career” check out or, which is a website dedicated to helping people over the age of 50 connect with employers locally and across the nation for part-time and full-time jobs.

If volunteering interests you, please call Lois Hutchison at 717.790.8203 or click here for volunteer opportunities at Messiah Lifeways. You can also check out RSVP of the Capital Region online to learn about volunteer opportunities available in the greater Harrisburg region.


A large part of New Year’s resolutions revolves around being healthy and feeling good. In addition to seeing your family doctor on regular basis and taking your prescribed medications, taking control and managing your individual health concerns is paramount. As people age, the likelihood of developing chronic health conditions like arthritis, congestive heart failure, obesity and diabetes grows. So, of course, physical exercise and staying active are key to staying healthy. Fortunately, local seniors age 55+ can join the Messiah Lifeways Wellness program and participate in warm water aquatics and a multitude of exercise programs and classes. Also programs supported by health insurers, such as Silver Sneakers and Silver and Fit provide additional incentives for those wanting to stay physically active. Ongoing Learning for Seniors

Equally as important as physical exercise is “mental exercise.” Crossword puzzles and Sudoku are great, but consider more active ways to “exercise” your brain and integrate it with a new hobby or interest for the new year. Learn to play an instrument, learn a new language, join a book club, or take some courses through a local community college or programs like Pathways Institute for Lifelong Learning® or consider becoming an instructor for Pathways.

Whatever you choose as your resolution this year, switch it up and make it count. To learn about more ways to stimulate your mind, body and soul, contact the Lifeways Coaching office at 717.591.7225 or email


updated: Dec. 29. 2015
Matthew J. Gallardo

Matthew J. Gallardo

Matt is the Director of Community Engagement and Coaching at Messiah Lifeways. He brings nearly 20 years of experience in counseling, advocating, and guiding older adults and caregivers through many of life’s tough decisions. His diverse background of working in hospital and rehabilitation settings, community services, and senior housing gives him the breadth and depth of knowledge to provide unique solutions, opportunities, and help individuals proactively plan for the future. He serves as the Lifeways Coach and as a writer, blogger, podcaster, and speaker for Messiah Lifeways, located in Mechanicsburg, PA.

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