Reflect, plan and adapt: ‘How to make sure you age successfully in 2019’

Jan 02, 2019
Marcus Riley shares his tips for a happy 2019. Source: Getty.

A new year brings a wonderful opportunity to reset and take control of our future. It is a time to reflect, plan and get excited about the prospects of new adventures, different experiences, strengthening of relationships and developing a deeper understating of who we are and what’s important to us.

We should regularly think about how we are ageing and the new year is a perfect time to assess and make plans to ensure we are ageing successfully in 2019.

The first step in this process is to reflect on our current status, in particular our physical and emotional well-being. Reflection needs to be a personal exercise. It should include creating space and time for ourselves so we can contemplate how we are truly feeling, what is important to us and what we want to be doing, changing and embracing in the year ahead. 

Our personal reflections should then be used to formulate our plans that will help us to pursue our potential and attain whatever it is we are prioritising in our life, but we also need to know what factors are influencing our emotional and physical well-being.

Are we experiencing any particular ailments, have we been developing aches and pains, are particular activities beginning to have different effects on how our body feels? Are we in-tune with our bodies, are we aware of how different foods and behaviours impact on us? Have we had a recent health assessment or full consultation with our GP to be as informed as possible?

This does not mean conceding that we are now less able to pursue our passions and priorities, rather acknowledging ways we may need to adapt to maintain our preferred lifestyle. 

For some of us it is more difficult to recognise our emotional status than the physical yet there are simple steps we can take to properly ‘check in’ with ourselves. For some people it’s maintaining a personal journal for even a short period of time to reveal our most inner thoughts and feelings, others seek input from trusted confidants or advisors. Knowledge is most definitely power when it comes to planning for our well-being.

We can plan too for the joys of personal fulfilment for the coming year. There is now so much for us to do at any age, so many ways for us to blossom and flourish.

We can study – perhaps a new language, ancient history or flower arranging, we can travel and play sport. There are a plethora of clubs and organisations we can hook up, catering for every interest. We can retrain for a new career. There’s part-time and volunteer work either from home or at a local co-working space interacting with others in a stimulating, knowledge-exchanging environment. We can be freer than ever before.

Of course, we need to be financially conscious to support the pursuit of our plans. A crucial aspect in the financial segment of our plans is to put ourselves first. This does not come naturally to many people, particularly parents who have spent decades putting the interests of children – and adult children – ahead of their own.

It is necessary though to focus on what funds we need for the year ahead as well as to sustain our long-term well-being. What we ‘leave for the kids’ should be of secondary importance and not compromise the need to set and maintain your own financial platform.

Our physical and financial capacities are necessary considerations as we shape our aspirations, but it is amazing how a positive ‘yes I can’ approach enables us to do things that we may have previously dismissed as ‘out of the question.’ Indeed, an area in which our culture has evolved positively in recent times is people’s pursuit of memorable experiences rather than material possessions. Great experiences enrich us, and the memories of them sustain us forever. We can all colour our year ahead by deciding what we really want to do before the months skip by, do our planning, get up off the couch and make it happen.

Being willing and able to adapt is crucial to our successful ageing in 2019. There will be varied reasons for us needing to adapt; our own circumstances, the status of those we love, changes in the world around us will all be catalysts for us making changes. It is about adjusting our behaviours and attitudes where needed to ensure we are giving ourselves the best opportunity to prosper throughout the year. Adapting is not conceding. It is being smart and considered as to how best to maintain our lifestyles, being willing and able to alter how we do things when needed. Or, even better, before changes are needed.

Like later life in general, the year before us is ours to embrace. It is our personal opportunity to flourish by understanding what’s important to us, making effective plans to pursue our potential whilst developing and maintaining a sense of positivity irrespective of what challenges may come our way. Happy Booming in 2019!

Does thinking about the coming year make you feel nervous or excited? What do you think of Marcus’ suggestions for a successful 2019?

Marcus also recently published his first book ‘Booming’, which is available to purchase online and in book stores across the country.


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