Aging Well December 31st

The new year is knocking, anxious to get started with a six pack of football games on New Year’s Day – unashamedly named after the highest corporate bidder. (Ah, the days when the bowl games were named after things that were simple and basic: Cotton, Oranges, Sugar, and Roses.) But this is also the time of the year for new beginnings and the tradition of making resolutions for a new year. (But hold on now. Don’t turn the page! You might believe resolutions are just a waste of time, because you’ve lived this long, so why should you change?

But think about it. There might be some new habits you want to make or some old ones you want to change. What was the doctor telling you? Maybe you should start an exercise class – that yoga or Tai Chi class to work on your balance? Or eat better – by reducing your salt and fat intake? Things you never worried about, but now realize how important they are. And those changes just might improve your health and help you live a little longer.

So if you decide that New Year’s resolutions might not be such a bad idea, here are nine tips from the Happiness Project website that were distributed at the last Passport to Happiness Event on the 18th.

 1. Write your resolution down and be specific. Instead of “make new friends” describe how – such as “start a movie group” or “join an exercise class”.
 2. Review your resolution constantly so you won’t forget.
 3. Hold yourself accountable. Don’t make excuses.
 4. Think big. Make your resolution inspiring and exciting.
 5. Or think small. Something simple and doable.
 6. Separate your resolution, no matter how small, into manageable tasks.
 7. Work on your resolution every day. It is easier to do something consistently than to skip days
8. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. The best exercise it the one you will actually do.
 9. As mentioned before, don’t make excuses, BUT if you keep breaking your resolution, no use constantly beating yourself up. Try a different approach that will get you to the same goal.

 These are some suggestions to help you set and achieve your goals for a new year. Because as Carl Bard once said, “Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new beginning.”

 After two weeks off, it is time again for the Center’s Tuesday Night music announcement. And I will keep it simple for one more week. On December 7th the Strawberry Mountain Band will be starting off the new year of music with three chord country favorites. Doors open at 6:00, dancing starts at 7:00 and it’ll be time to go home by 9:00. Everyone is welcome and donations are appreciated.

 The 11:00 Tuesday Lecture on the 7th will feature another taped video presentation from the National Forum on Brain Health at the 2013 Aging in America Conference held in Washington D.C. last April. The topic is “Meditation, Mindfulness, Aging, and the Brain”.

 And just before I enter the home stretch, I just have to ask, am I the only one who starts reading a book and half way through realizes I have already read it? Or while watching a TV mystery I have already watched, and the detectives are closing in on identifying the murder, I still can’t recall who it was! Just wondering.

 The New York department store that hired Kris Kringle in the movie Miracle on 34th Street was Macy’s – and its archrival was Gimbels. (And the winner of a free breakfast – but who will have to wait till the next Saturday breakfast in March – is Helen Lynch.)

 But this week’s “Remember When” question is about New Years celebrations before the days of Dick Clark. Between 1928 and 1976, America welcomed the New Year listening to Guy Lombardo and the Royal Canadians playing from what New York hotel? And for bonus points what song did he make popular playing at midnight every year? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or send it with a book of poems by Robert Burns.

 Well, it has been another week making the best of what comes my way. Until we meet again, it is amazing how you always find what you’re looking for at the very last place you look.

 “One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things.” John Burroughs

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