Just because you are a senior citizen living in assisted living does not mean that you can’t create new goals and form new habits.  New Year’s Day is a popular time to commit to rethinking your life through resolutions; this doesn’t change just because you are older. Here are some simple ways that anyone can resolve to make their lives better in 2023 – no matter age or mobility level.

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Spend More Time Outside Your Room: Many seniors in assisted living begin to spend a lot of time in their rooms and don’t fully take advantage of all the amenities available. Joining an activity may seem overwhelming, so you can start small in January – simply resolve that you will spend more time outside of your room. You can sit in a chair in the hallway, walk down to the community area, or join events that don’t entail participation, such as watching a movie. Whatever you choose, just begin to enjoy some new scenery and smile at the people walking by.

Join a New Club: There are many activities you can take advantage of in assisted living. You may be able to join a book club, start playing cards or board games or even take a class. If there isn’t a club or gathering that interests you, start one!

Walk a Little More Each Day: Exercise is critical to both mental and physical health. Although exercise looks different the older we get, it remains vital for everyone and is one of the most popular annual resolutions. For those in assisted living, there are typically gyms and fitness classes to take advantage of. However, you may feel more comfortable simply taking a walk. You may decide to walk down your hallway, walk around the facility – or venture outside and walk around the grounds. Here in Florida, we can walk outside nearly year-round, so get used to taking a walk every day for your health.

Say Hello to Someone New: Sometimes, we can get into a rut and only say hello to the people we know. But one of the best ways to open up your life to new ideas and experiences. One of the simplest resolutions to make is to say hello to new people in your residence. Eventually, a hello can turn into a friendship, and you can meet wonderful people. Whether in the common area, dining room, or outside on the grounds, try saying hello to someone new.

Adopt a Pet: Not all resolutions are right for everyone, but if you are capable of caring for a pet (and your residence allows it), adopting a small dog or cat may be a wonderful thing. Animals are known to lower our blood pressure and bring about a sense of well-being, and they offer companionship to those who may feel lonely. There are many dogs and cats in need of adoption, so check with your local area shelters to see if there is a pet who can become your best friend.

Be a Better Correspondent: Many of us have lost the art of staying in touch, but video technology has made it easy again. Ask your family to help you get a device, such as a tablet or iPad, and set it up for video phone calls. Then set up a schedule to talk to people who are important to you – from grandchildren to siblings and old friends. You’ll be amazed at just how gratifying it can be to see your loved ones smile on a regular basis.

These resolutions for 2023 prove that you don’t have to commit to something grand or complicated- small changes can make a big difference in how you view your life.

A Banyan Residence is an assisted living and memory care center located in Venice, Florida.