It’s the season for resolutions, and there are thousands of bits of advice floating around to get you to where you want to be. Start with something small, recognize your deepest craving for change, motivate yourself by finding a partner with the same goal and working together. But I find January is also a time for asking big questions and aiming for a better future, not just making a resolution for a healthier present. Today, the New York Times brought both New Year impulses together when it announced that the key to becoming a “superager” is to challenge ourselves mentally and physically with something really “vigorous.” And I thought, “YES!”
“In the United States, we are obsessed with happiness. But as people get older, research shows, they cultivate happiness by avoiding unpleasant situations. This is sometimes a good idea, as when you avoid a rude neighbor. But if people consistently sidestep the discomfort of mental effort or physical exertion, this restraint can be detrimental to the brain. All brain tissue gets thinner from disuse. If you don’t use it, you lose it.
So, make a New Year’s resolution to take up a challenging activity. Learn a foreign language. Take an online college course. Master a musical instrument. Work that brain. Make it a year to remember.” Read more….
My mini-resolution was to clean out my closet — and I did, on New Year’s Eve. The only thing left to do is to take the useless clothes to the thrift store and figure out which hangers I should keep and throw away. Very satisfying, but not necessarily vigorous….
I’m working hard on my superaging challenge, a new workbook about shifting free of stuck places by claiming your power! What a workout. The article says that a really vigorous challenge “makes you feel bad in the moment,” and I have to say that’s true, because this second Storyweaving workbook is bringing together five years of coaching and research in a way that surprises and tests me every time I sit down and write. And I LOVE it, except when I want to run away to more pleasant, easier writing tasks! I’m so glad to have the added inspiration from researchers who help me believe this expansive project will not only be good for my clients, but for my brain!
What’s your New Year’s game changer? Why not make it one that will help you live your best story in your golden years?