Retirement and New Year’s Resolutions

Blog posted

28th January 2020 - By Will Crawford

The start of the new year often brings new year’s resolutions, and this is no different for those enjoying a retirement lifestyle.

Contrary to popular opinion, new year’s resolutions don’t need to be about stopping habits or denying yourself of life’s indulgences.

A refreshing way to approach the annual tradition is to acknowledge and re-evaluate the elements of your life that bring joy and value, consider activities or traits that you would like to stop, introduce or tweak, or identify any areas of your life you feel need to be re-prioritised.

A new year’s resolution should let us refocus on making the year ahead positive, and full of things to be enjoyed. Retirement is the perfect time to make new year’s resolutions. The new-found time and freedom provides the perfect setting to focus on the parts of your life that bring true happiness.

We recently asked some of the residents across our 15 age-exclusive retirement villages to tell us about their approach to new year’s resolutions.

In a recent survey, when asked the question if they made new year’s resolutions, only 20% of our audience reported that they do! While 40% of respondents admitted that they sporadically make resolutions, 40% said that no, they don’t make any.

As we can all relate too, making resolutions is the easy part, it’s following them through over the next 12 months that can prove difficult. Only 20% of our respondents admitted that they don’t follow their resolutions through at all, 47% reported that while they did follow them through to begin with, this doesn’t last but 33% revelled in the fact they do in fact follow their resolutions through.

So, what kind of resolutions are being made? 40% reported they were making life-changing decisions, 27% said their resolution was to start a new hobby or activity and 33% wanted to kick a habit.

When you find the resolutions aligned with your lifestyle and values, they can have a long-lasting impact on your quality of life. What should you consider when looking for a new year’s resolution in your retirement years? Below we provide some examples.

Travel

Weekend breaks, a week on the continent, cruises or trips further afield, travel is personal, flexible and accommodating, perfect for your retirement years.

Travelling introduces you to new cultures and environments, stimulating your mind and providing you with new experiences. It’s common that through travel, you will become more social, by deepening your bond with travel companions or meeting new people along the way.

Another added benefit is that you might find that you are more active in a new environment, taking time to sight see and explore the attractions or enjoy a swim.

Retirement Villages offer the perfect setting for those that want to enjoy a jet-set lifestyle. The ‘lock-up and leave’ element to living in a Retirement Villages community means that residents have peace of mind their property is secure and looked after in their absence.

This account from Mr & Mrs Aveline at Lime Tree Village in Warwickshire discusses how their passion for travel has continued into their retirement years.

Further to this, many residents that join our villages, meet new friends that they enjoy travelling with.

Keeping Fit

Regardless of age, making a concerted effort to stay fit and healthy is a wonderful new year’s resolution. As we grow older, it becomes more important to stay mobile, and sustain muscle tone.

When we age, we lose muscle mass and strength. By undertaking gentle exercise that builds strength and flexibility, balance and mobility, the risk of falls and injuries reduces, while increased muscle strength offers better functionality. Activities like yoga can help improve the body’s flexibility and mobility, while the deep breathing exercises increase oxygen circulation, maintaining a healthy blood pressure.

Further to this, studies have shown that by the age of 65, the body’s cardiac output can decrease by as much as 30% by the age of 65, while oxygen uptake can also decrease between 5-10%.

Exercise such as brisk walking, tennis and bowls can help maintain an ideal weight, healthy bones, healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Many of our villages include various keep fit classes in their activity calendar, while the manicured grounds offer a perfect setting for a daily stroll.

Finding a new hobby

Learning about a new topic and developing new skills stimulates the brain, maintaining its health and improving memory. This is because many new activities require us to actively engage, and tap into working memory, long-term memory and high-level cognitive processes.

Getting out and finding new hobbies can broaden our social stimulation too. Joining special interest groups provides an opportunity to meet new people, widening your social circle and introducing you to new environments.

Some of the special interest and hobby groups that take place across our villages currently include line dancing, computer club, art classes, table tennis and croquet. However, the activity calendars are resident-led, which means all ideas are welcome.

If you are looking for inspiration when it comes to ways to spending your time in your retirement years, take a look at our blog: Top 7 Things To Do in Retirement.

Eating well

Eating well at any age provides enormous benefits. While of course, indulging in your favourite food and drink is good for the soul, healthy eating remains a balancing act.

Foods that provide a wholesome and sustained source of energy, vitamins and minerals to maintain healthy bone, skin and organs, as well as plenty of fibre, work to keep the body healthy, reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes. They can help to keep the immune system in top condition and fight disease-causing free radicals.

Further to this, sticking to a varied and balanced diet means that you can savour indulgences in your retirement years.

Many of our residents enjoy meals in the on-site restaurants at our villages, while activity calendars often specify Friday-night drinks in the village bar!

Take up singing

A perhaps little-known fact, is that singing can help to reduce feelings of anxiety, loneliness and depression. This is because of the release of endorphins and oxytocin that floods our body, replacing stress hormones like cortisol, leaving us feeling happy and content.

Joining a choir can be exhilarating, transforming our emotional landscape. The chemical oxytocin enhances the feeling of bonding and building trust with those around you, helping you to meet new people, form relationships, improve confidence and reduce loneliness.

Many of our villages have created a Choir that regularly meet onsite.


We hope that these examples have inspired you to make a new year’s resolution that improves your health and happiness, creating a wonderful retirement lifestyle. If you would like to learn more about any of our villages, or arrange a tour, please contact a member of the team, who would be delighted to help you.


Will Crawford

Will Crawford

Group Development Director

Will joined Retirement Villages in 2015 and is the Development Director with overall responsibility for growing the portfolio through acquisitions and development. Will has acquired and developed out numerous development opportunities in the leisure, commercial and residential sectors having previously worked for such companies as Whitbread, Arlington and Kilmartin. Will is a Chartered Surveyor (MRICS).