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New Year’s Resolutions for an Empty Nester
| by Pauline Flores

Say Yes to Optimism

Negative thinking is the #1 killer of goals, hopes, and dreams. It can be a tough habit to shake off at first, but it will pay off with good habits and positivity set in place. Be your own motivational speaker and find your “why” in whatever you do. Why do you want to achieve a certain goal? It doesn’t really matter what that goal is. As soon as you figure out the why, then your motivation will follow. Leave cynicism behind!

Take Risks

We achieve the greatest growth when we step out of our comfort zones. What’s really holding you back from trying something new or accomplishing a goal? Lack of confidence? Fear of embarrassment or failure? Good news: things are often not as bad as we imagine them to be.

Our imaginations tend to be littered with negative thoughts, which goes back to the last section – be more optimistic! Each risk you take will benefit you whether it pays off or not. If the risk doesn’t pay off, at least you’ll learn what to do in the future.

Eat Healthier

A healthy mind needs a healthy body to match. You would be surprised to see how much more energy you have after a few weeks of cutting out the junk and eating healthier. This New Year’s Resolution always finds a place on people’s lists, and many times it is broken by the temptation from ice cream, pizza, and cake. Have an easier time sticking to this resolution by keeping a meal diary. Stay more accountable by doing this resolution with a spouse or friend.

Know When to Indulge

For people with an impressive amount of self-control diet-wise or strict schedules work-wise, learning when to indulge here and there could be immensely beneficial. Have you ever heard of the phrase “treat yo’self?” That’s what this point is referring to. It’s okay to give yourself a reward once in a while, and it can even make you happier and motivate you to keep achieving your goals!

Drink More Water

This resolution is great because it’s simple, straight-forward, and attainable. Seriously, are you drinking enough water each day? If not, start carrying around a refillable water bottle with you, and try to drink at least two liters of water a day. Staying hydrated prevents headaches, keeps your mind clear, and can help improve the look of your skin and hair.

Laugh More

Life is short, so don’t take it so seriously! Spending time with close friends and family can help you achieve those laugh out loud moments that we cherish. More laughter = more memories = happier life.

Strengthen Relationships

When was the last time you spoke with your best friend from high school? If you don’t even remember, then it’s time to use social media for how it was intended: being social! Make this year the year where you both strengthen your current relationships and rehash your old ones. There’s no harm in reaching out to an old friend and catching up. People with healthy relationships tend to be happier.

Learn New Things

Keep your mind sharp and boredom away by learning something new. Consider taking a class that unleashes your creative side or use an online learning platform such as to improve your professional skills. You could even learn small things such as how to play chess or how to play a musical instrument. The possibilities are endless!

Take Up Journaling

Journaling can make being present and goal-setting a lot easier. You experience some kind of solidifying effect when your thoughts are transferred from mind to page. Plus, journaling gives you a chance to reflect on the current state of your life, which is great if you’re looking for a drastic chance for the better.

Make a Point to Disconnect

How can technology be so great yet so bad at the same time? We all know that smart phones, laptops, tablets, and TV give us more screen time than we actually need. Having too much screen time can lead to depression and lack of focus. To combat this, do not use your phone one hour before you go to bed AND one hour after you wake up. Make this a habit.

To go even further, try having a dedicated day of the week where you’re completely disconnected – no phones, or laptops at all. If this sounds tough, that’s because it is! We are addicted to technology, but making gradual changes each day can lead to big changes in the long term.

Give Nature the Appreciation It Deserves

Disconnecting from your technology is a lot to ask for, but good thing Mother Nature can help out with that resolution! Go outdoors more with your spouse, friends, or even just by yourself. The fresh air, lack of cell service, and gorgeous views is a great environment for thinking and reflection. Going on hikes is great exercise too. If that’s not your thing, a drive to a secluded part of nature can have the same effect.

Visit New Places, See New Things

People often have “travel more” on their list of resolutions. Traveling is great because it expands your horizons and exposes you to new cultures. So yes, absolutely travel more if you can! If time and money doesn’t permit that, then it’s perfectly fine to explore your state more. Take a mini road trip to a city you’ve never been to before and eat at a local restaurant. You would be surprised what you’ll find by just driving for two hours north, east, west, or south!


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