We already know what most American adults plan to do after January 1st — eat better, exercise more, save money and a whole host of other goals.
But there are some lesser known goals that are just as valuable as starting a new diet plan. So, while you’re signing up for your new gym membership, consider enlisting a few other creative ideas to ring in a new year full of new skills, great experiences and better living.
Have more adventures
How many states have you visited? If you can count on one hand, you still have a lot of traveling to do! Call up a friend and plan a trip to see some of the best sites across America.
Explore bus tours for a cross-country experience you two won’t stop talking about. Plan a flight to a picture-worthy, exotic destination that’ll leave you breathless. Or, if you prefer to stay close to home, consider a “stay-cation” and explore many undiscovered treasures in your own back yard.
And if you're a traveler over age 65, you may qualify for a number of discounts on flights, hotel accommodations, car rentals, dining, and more. Check out sites like AARP.org (if you're an AARP member) and theseniorlist.com to find senior-friendly savings wherever you go.
Reach for higher education
Numerous studies point to the benefit of learning new things as we grow older. But that doesn’t mean you have to revisit your reading, writing, and arithmetic. Many area colleges and universities offer certification programs to help adults learn the latest in career skills and courses to help refine old ones. And if you’re just looking for a new hobby or a way to pass the time, these schools also offer hobby courses for senior students who simply want to get in touch with their creative side.
Start a small business (or get a part-time job)
Taking on a business venture might seem overwhelming for some retirees who hadn’t imagined going back into the workforce. But if you have a gift, skill, talent or interest, starting a business or getting a part-time gig can earn you a small sum of cash along with a boost of confidence (and can even help you with that one money-saving resolution on your list).
If you want the business experience and are a hobbyist or crafter, it is especially easy to advertise and sell your goods on sites like Etsy.com and eBay.com. Or if you’re well versed with verbiage, freelancing for a publication, website or local newspaper can reap rewards for both your wallet and your reputation.
But no matter what you do, commit to your goals carefully and confidently with a few tips for good fortune:
• Start small, start slow — Because Rome wasn’t built in a day, try achieving smaller goals and gradually adding larger ones over the course of a few months.
• Stay true to you — This time of year, people are eager to share and compare their New Year’s resolutions. But be sure the goals you set specifically benefit you and your interests — not someone else’s.
• Stop looking ahead — While thinking about the end results can help motivate you toward success, overthinking it can be crippling as your expectations begin to build. If you’re in fear of the future, shake loose your expectations. Tomorrow is an unknown adventure just waiting to be explored. All you have to do to achieve your goals is find confidence in the small steps you take today.