According to Carrie Robertson, Research & Community Education, Chicago Methodist Senior Services, as stated in her blog post Goal Setting – Important at Any Age, “Adults that are in or approaching retirement might think they’ve already reached their destination, and therefore won’t really benefit from goals anymore. While you may have reached your retirement destination, a whole new journey is just beginning. Without a road map for this new journey, the days, weeks, and years might pass you by – leaving you wondering where your time has gone and what happened to all those things you wanted to do after retiring.”
The nature of the goals you set as a senior adult may change when you compare them to goals of year’s past, but they are no less important in helping you live life to the fullest! Is there something you have always wanted to experience or a skill you’ve always wanted to learn? There’s no better time that retirement to explore new knowledge, new opportunities, and new perspectives.
Setting SMART goals
Statistics say that only 8% of people stick with their new goals each year. Much of that has to do with the type of goals people set. Without structure, goals are more like wishes floating on a breeze. Here are a few S.M.A.R.T. tips to provide the structure most of us need to ensure we will be successful in achieving our goals.
S: Goals should be specific – Add specificity to goals so that you will know for certain when you have achieved them. For example, I resolve to take piano lessons, and practice 15 minutes a day so I can wow my family at Christmas next year; or I resolve to write in a journal every day because I enjoy writing and want to get better at it.
M: Goals should be measurable – Tracking progress toward your goal by measuring small improvements will help keep you motivated.
A: Goals should be achievable – Your body may not be able to do what it used to, but that simply means you can get more creative about your goals. Set goals that you can achieve. Once you achieve them, you might even be able to aim higher.
R: Goals should be relevant – Set goals that make you feel good, and not goals that meet other people’s expectations. Your goals are to help you live your best life possible.
T: Goals should be time-bound – Without a deadline, it’s easy to put off until tomorrow what could be done today. It can sometimes be helpful to set mini-deadlines on the way to your major goal. For instance, if your goal is to improve your flexibility and range of motion this year, a mini-deadline is to work towards touching your toes every day for the first 100 days.
Working toward goals together
As we age, our social networks can become smaller and smaller. Our friends and families may move away and pursue their own lives. It can get lonely and be difficult to find the motivation to work toward new goals when we don’t have a big circle of friends to celebrate the achievement of these goals with. That’s the beauty of Elk Creek.
Residents who live at Elk Creek are surrounded by wonderful friends and caring staff who can support them in achieving their goals and inspiring them to consider new goals. To learn more about Elk Creek, visit http://elkcreekal.com/.