happy new yearTo make resolutions, or not to make resolutions, that is the question as you embark on a new year. As a new retiree, I find that I can quickly lose the discipline of a workday world, so I like to make resolutions, or I prefer to think of them as goals. Research has shown, you are ten times more likely to be successful with whatever you are trying to achieve, if you first write it down, being as specific as possible.Unfortunately, I sometimes think there is a tendency to think one’s best years are behind them as they enter retirement. Just the opposite can be true. However, one of the keys to enjoying life is good health. And achieving or maintaining good health is dependant on exercise. While the government guidelines have recently been revised, it is now suggested that we exercise 30 minutes a day and break a sweat three times a week. This can start any time, but there is something about starting a new year that makes it seem like a good time to incorporate exercise in your life, if it is not a part of it already.Eat healthy food. This one is always on my list and I have actually learned to eat broccoli several times a week. One thing I said I was going to do when I retired, was to take advantage of additional time to plan better menus and try some new things. Cliché but true, we are what we eat and when you eat good things, you do feel better.

Use your mind. When you retire you don’t have the stress of work, but you still need to use and improve your mind. If you have ever thought of joining a book club this could be the year to do it. Read the paper, or listen to the news and stay current with what is going on in the world.

Make new friends. You no longer have to get up when the alarm goes off and head off to work. However, you still need the contact of people. This could be the year to volunteer in some area you are interested in. It could also be the time to pursue a hobby you have always wondered about. The local library or newspaper is a great source to identify workshops or groups that need help.

Resolve to make it a better world. Perhaps, we can all learn from the new spirit we see emerging with the Democrats and Republicans after the mid-year elections. It is time to be open-minded and respect what other people have to say.

No matter whether you decide to make goals for the new year or not, it is always a good time to reflect and decide what you would like to see unfold in the year ahead. You do have the power to control some of the things that could make it one of the best years ever.