One can make the new year resolutions depending on what one wants to achieve and the way one intends moving forward. Also, what one thinks are their limitations or weaknesses that they should overcome.
Another new year has arrived; it’s time to look forward and also to take new resolutions for the year and ahead. Resolutions are affirmative intent to do something positive either for oneself or for others. “I will stop smoking” is a positive affirmation for stopping an existing vice or bad habit. “I will keep myself in good health” is a constructive pronouncement of doing something good for oneself. “I will spend some time with poor children and try to teach them something” is another optimistic statement but keeping others in mind.
One can take resolutions at any time in life; there is no need for a new year. The importance of ‘new year resolution’ has however, a unique dimension as if we are going to start a new chapter in life. It is something like a student going from 5th to 6th standard and taking a vow that he would do the home work in time in the current class. This is something like starting something new on clean slate. Hence rationally resolutions like ‘to do something’ or ‘not to do something’ have always been associated with a religious occasion or start of the new year.
Relevance of New Year Resolutions:
There is a great deal of relevance for such resolutions. First, these are statements of intent (to do or not to do certain acts) that reinforce the ‘positive aspects’ of life. Second, they remind us of certain things that we should do or we should not do. Third, these sometimes remind us of some unfulfilled dreams of our life of what we could not achieve and it is time now to focus on them. Fourth, these resolutions act as red flags as and when we do something contrary to these and enable us to take midway corrections in life. In nutshell, the resolutions help us to charter our life in the desired way, despite all associated problems and issues.
Relevance for elderly:
Resolutions are relevant for all ages. The nature of resolution might undergo a change. At childhood, resolutions might focus on studies whereas at youth these could be coming out of an addiction or for advancement in career or developing some good habits. There was a time when older age was linked to inactivity and passing time aimlessly without any purpose of life. However, with increasing longevity and post-retirement active life for many elders for around 15 to 20 years (that’s on a conservative basis), such resolutions have assumed importance for elders as well. These enable them to find a new purpose in life. They feel physically and mentally active & happy by taking up such resolutions. The concept of new year resolutions, therefore, become important for elders from 60 to 75 years of age, if not beyond that.
Some of the resolutions for elderly could be:
- I will walk minimum 45 minutes a day.
- I will spend at least 30-60 minutes every day, listening to music.
- I will speak to my friends/ family members at least twice a week.
- I will get up every morning and express my gratitude to the Almighty for keeping me alive and fit.
- I will try to spend some time in giving back to the society within my given means.
- I will never get angry at any provocation by anyone.
- I will learn a new skill/ hobby during the year.
- I will never go into a depression mood, whatever may be the stimulus.
These are only suggestive in nature and one can make the new year resolutions depending on what one wants to achieve and the way one intends moving forward or what one thinks are his/ her limitations / weaknesses that he/ she should overcome.
There should not be too many resolutions and these should be practical & achievable. All of us as elders should also undertake some type of review on a periodic basis as to how far we have adhered to the new year resolutions or they would need any tweaking, depending on circumstances.
Dr A K Sen Gupta is the Co-Founder and Chief Trustee of My Retired Life Foundation (MRLF). This article has been published in Free Press Journal (FPJ) on 7th January 2022, where he is a regular contributor. Dr Sen Gupta was the Director of S.P. Jain Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai, and Director & Mentor at SIES College of Management Studies, Navi Mumbai. He was a World Bank Consultant and instrumental in setting up the National Banking College in Ghana, Africa, and a Professor at the National Institute of Bank Management, Pune.