Seniors share perspectives on New Year's resolutions

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Age, wisdom change locals' views

When it comes to making a New Year's resolution, the biggest concern is not usually the resolution, but making it stick.

To shed new light on the annual tradition, local seniors, who've made resolutions for decades, share their unique perspectives on the practice, and also adding in a little wisdom, comparing the types of resolutions they made in the past to the types of resolutions they make today.

Ford

"When you're young, the resolutions you make are totally different," said Joy Ford, 69, of Exeter. "The sky's the limit. You want to do all these wonderful things, and make them stick. And they do for a few months, and then you forget about them. But when you get older, the whole prospect changes. They're more about life-altering stuff, like taking care of yourself.

"They become more personalized and realistic, such as about your health and well-being, and making a happier, healthier life, instead of 'I'm going to do all these great things.'"

Even if many resolutions eventually fade or are forgotten, Ford said she still makes them, and this year, wants to make a few on family and important relationships.

"I always do," she said. "The intention is there."

Thompson

Cassville resident Ruth Thompson, 82, shared that the types of resolutions she made in the past were usually about losing weight.

"Most make resolutions about losing weight or being healthy," she said. "And, finally, since I'm 82 now, I just quit making resolutions. I'm not going to stay with them anyway.

"I remember one Christmas my mom gave me a five-year diary, and I made the resolution that I was going to write in it every day that lasted about a month."

Compared to what she's learned between then and now, Thompson says she really doesn't make resolutions anymore.

"But if I did, it would be to try to adopt someone in a shut-in situation who has no family around," she said. "[It would be] someone who is not able to get out of the house or is in a nursing home who needs befriending. Those are the kind of resolutions I think are important.

"I have wonderful family support, but not everyone has that. I think as we get older, things that used to be important are not as important anymore, and new things take their place."

Kristina Atwood, 33, Cassville Senior Center administrator, looks at resolutions with a slightly different lens than her elder counterparts.

"I still make my resolutions, and I try to stick to them at least through half the year," she said. "Usually, I make them based on health and fitness or family-related. My resolutions this year are to take better care of myself and exercise more.

When it comes to specifying exactly what she wants to accomplish, Atwood agreed that the more specific the resolution is, the more likely one is to achieve it.

"In the past, I was more specific, such as, 'I want to lose 15 pounds, take more time to talk to my extended family and communicate more often,'" she said. "And, I do find that the resolutions that are a little more vague tend not to stick."

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