Sticking to Your Health Goals in the New Year 

3…2…1…are you ready for the ball to drop? With 2024 on the horizon, many people are shifting their focus toward setting goals for the upcoming year. All around the globe it has become common practice for individuals to assess their current lifestyle, habits, and circumstances and pick a few areas to improve upon in the coming calendar year. According to a poll conducted by Forbes, these are the top five most popular resolutions for 2024: improved fitness (48%), improved finances (38%), improved mental health (36%), weight loss (34%), and improved diet (32%).1  

These reported resolutions reflect a notable shift in our society’s mindset towards our overall health. The modern definition of health goes beyond physical fitness to include our mental and financial wellbeing, both equally as important, so it is important to consider wholistic perspectives on improving your own health in the new year. Of course, equally important to creating a balanced set of goals is staying consistent beyond the new year motivational craze. When you create a well-rounded set of health goals and employ effective strategies to follow through on them, you set yourself up on an incredibly rewarding path for growth and success!  

Dimensions of Health 

  • Physical fitness: When we think about our health, perhaps the first thing that comes to mind is our physical condition. This includes our activity levels, strength, and endurance. It is incredibly important to prioritize our physical health because regularly exercising and moving our bodies can lead to improved cardiovascular health, muscular strength, flexibility, and overall physical wellbeing.2 As we age, developing muscle mass and staying active are massively important for preventing chronic diseases, improving our mood, and enhancing overall quality of life. Keeping an active lifestyle can also help you maintain your autonomy as you age. There are plenty of ways to incorporate exercise and activity into your life, like going on walks with friends, joining a local sporting league or wellness program, or participating in a fitness class online or at your local gym – of course be sure to check in with your doctor to make sure any new exercise habits are safe for you.    
  • Mental wellness: In a world where we are working to manage relationships, regulate heavy workloads, and digest information from social media and news outlets, there are plenty of stressors that may take a toll on mental health. Focusing on your psychological wellbeing is essential for proper stress management, emotional resilience, and a positive mindset – and mental fitness works in tandem with physical fitness. Taking the time to assess what might be taking up large amounts of your mental energy can help you decide what changes to make in order to find greater life balance. When you establish a healthy mental state, you will be better equipped to take on life’s challenges and reap the benefits from the relationships and responsibilities you are committed to. 
  • Lifestyle habits: You likely have many routines and regular behaviors you engage in on a daily basis and these choices can have a massive impact on your quality of life. Some of these lifestyle habits related to health include dietary choices, tobacco usage, alcohol consumption, sleep patterns and more. The healthy habits you establish can help prevent chronic diseases and even increase your lifespan. Some of the positive behaviors you may aim to strive for include getting at least eight hours of sleep per night, creating a protein-rich and well-rounded diet, reducing or avoiding tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption, and making sure to spend quality time with loved ones and friends. You might just find that these positive behaviors can not only improve your health but also bring greater joy and a renewed energy to your daily routines! 
  • Financial wellbeing: This category of health encompasses the state of your financial affairs as well as your spending habits. To assess your current position, it is a good idea to take stock of your income, expenses, debts, savings accounts, and investments. Maintaining financial stability is crucial for accessing quality healthcare, housing, and purchases for everyday needs. For older adults, it may be particularly important to enhance your financial wellbeing, as you may have a reduced stream of income in retirement. A reverse mortgage is a tool that people 62 years and older may consider using to bolster their financial health. With this type of loan, you may tap into your home equity and receive regular payments to help with a variety of different purchases. With this financial boost, older adults can enhance their lifestyle and age in place comfortably! 

Strategies for Sticking to Your Goals 

  1. Share your goals with others: If you find it difficult to stay on track with your goals, you’re not alone. In fact, only 20% of the respondents of the Forbes 2024 New Year’s Resolution Goals poll said they keep themselves accountable for sticking to their goals.1 One way to make sure your plans remain steady is to tell friends and loved ones what changes you hope to make to reach your desired results. Having people in your corner who are aware of what you’re hoping to accomplish this year can help motivate you to stay on track.  You don’t have to walk the road to self-improvement alone – even connecting with people online can boost your desire to accomplish your goals. Creating a positive support system to surround yourself with, however it works best for you, can help ensure you keep moving forward all year long! 
  1. Break down your goals: When assessing your resolutions for the year, you may find that some of the larger, more long-term goals seem impossible or overwhelming. Consider including smaller, short-term milestones along the way to make the end result feel more manageable. Keep in mind, big changes may require multiple steps or stages, and results can take time. With small goals set along the way, you can achieve smaller successes and remain motivated towards the ultimate goal. For example, if your goal is to improve your physical health, consider setting weekly exercise targets for yourself in order to make more concrete changes, consulting with your doctor as needed. Starting small is perfectly okay! For example, you could increase your walks from 10 minutes to 15 minutes per day. If your goal is to increase your savings, you may want to track spending across a range of categories and set a weekly or monthly budget for each one of them individually. There are plenty of ways to make smart money moves with proper planning! Finding ways to accomplish short term goals will ensure you are working toward long-term success. 
  1. Create positive habits: Naturally, you may consider it quite difficult to overhaul the parts of your lifestyle that you wish to change all at once. To help you achieve improvements in the areas you are focused on, it is important to establish habits that facilitate positive change and put you in the best position to achieve them. This might mean using fitness tracking apps or becoming a member at your local wellness facility so you stay consistent in your training. Another way to create healthy habits is to plan your time in advance. When setting your upcoming week’s schedule, you may plan out time for meal-prepping healthy meals, create opportunities to see friends and family, and find ways to enjoy your hobbies and get active. When thinking about how to create healthy financial habits, there are plenty of strategies for saving, ranging from creating a budget to meeting with trusted advisors and more. 
  1. Maintain a positive mindset: It’s important to stay positive when you are on a journey for self-improvement. Remember to celebrate the small victories and focus on the things that bring you joy! Following through on goals takes time and requires a good deal of energy, so it is important to not let small setbacks derail your goals. You will likely encounter challenges along the way, but remaining resilient through hard times can have huge payoffs. A positive outlook provides motivation, increases your creativity, and allows you to grow and persevere in the face of obstacles!  

Health in the Long term 

It’s no secret that as we age it becomes more common to develop a variety of health conditions, making it even more essential to prioritize your health down the line. Older adults are more susceptible to chronic illness, decreased immune function, and a decline in cognitive functioning.3 Thankfully, it is never too late to work with your healthcare provider to make positive changes to your health, which may ultimately improve your quality of life. No matter what stage of life you are in, you can make beneficial changes for yourself and set healthy goals. Setting yourself up for success in all dimensions of health means you are in a prime position to reap the rewards in your golden years! 

In the long term, there are a variety of costs older adults are faced with confronting, ranging from healthcare to housing to entertainment. Though this spending may be overwhelming, it is important to know what options you have out there to help maintain financial flexibility and longevity. By tapping into the power of your home with a reverse mortgage, you can access your hard-earned home equity to help bolster your spending power. This could allow you to cover rising and unexpected costs throughout your retirement years and create a more comfortable lifestyle for yourself on your own terms. After all, investing in your financial health can certainly pay off – literally! Contact our Longbridge team today to learn more about using a reverse mortgage to boost your financial wellbeing in the new year! 

 1. https://www.forbes.com/health/mind/new-years-resolutions-statistics/  

2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389  

3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/healthy-aging/in-depth/aging/art-20046070  

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