When you’re young, your goal is often to graduate college, find a well-paying career, get into a committed relationship, buy a house and start a family. Along this road, the young hope for financial stability, recognition and happiness.
For some young people, they want a life of adventure with no ties. They want to backpack across Europe and find their way as they go. When you’re young, the goals are often big.
Growing older, those goals all change. By the time you’re an older adult, you’ve already had or still have the career, you have the relationship, the house and the family. You’ve accomplished your goals, you’ve achieved what you dreamed about doing.
Once you’ve done this, you might discover that you’re not feeling the same happiness you once had. The reason for this is because you need to have new goals to strive for regardless of your age.
Seeking out goals and reaching for dreams gives a person a sense of purpose, which is tied in to a greater level of happiness. You need to have goals for your happiness as you get older.
Even if they’re not as big and even if you don’t pursue them with the same fervor a young person has, you still need goals. You can set goals and dream of what you want to happen and you should.
Having goals helps you feel younger emotionally and mentally and helps you be happier. The key is found in having focused goals. Some older people have simpler goals like getting started in exercising or moving closer to the grandkids.
Others have goals that are based on things they feel they missed in life. Maybe you’re always wanted to be an actor but life took some twists and turns and you never fulfilled that dream.
You can set a new goal and fulfill a dream by getting involved in community theater. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to lose weight but never seemed to have the time or energy.
You can start small, focus on a pound or two a week. Join a group so that you have support and social interaction as well. If you’ve always wanted to write a novel and dreamed about that, but haven’t started yet, it’s not too late.
Begin by joining a local writers’ group. Learn the craft and set writing goals such as a certain word count or page count a day. You have to know what your goals are and what your dreams are before you can do anything about them.
Ask yourself what moves you, what you’re passionate about, what thing or things you regret not having done. In the answer to those questions, you’ll find the goals that you need to work on.
You don’t want to look back on your life and feel depressed about what you didn’t do and what you feel you missed out. Instead, look at today as a clean slate. You can start now and you have an edge over younger people. You’re far more mature, you’re already settled in life and you have more resources that you can turn to in order to meet your goals.
Studies have shown that there’s a strong link between your happiness and aging. People who are happy don’t age as fast as people who just don’t enjoy their lives. One of the reasons for this is because people who are happier tend to be healthier than people who aren’t.
They’re healthier because they’re proactive with their lives rather than simply accepting what will be will be. They don’t give in to all the myths about happiness and aging. There are a lot of common myths floating around about aging and far too many people buy into these myths as the truth.
One of the myths is that there’s nothing you can do about your body’s aging. This isn’t true. There are plenty of things you can do to make sure you help protect the length of your telomeres, which are a good indicator of your lifespan.
You can protect the length by eating right, exercising, getting rid of stress and focusing on things you enjoy and that make you happy in life. Another common myth is that as you grow older, you’ll experience worsening emotional health.
This isn’t true. You can be proactive and do things that make you happy. It’s also a myth that once you grow older, you should retire because you’re no longer as desirable to employers as younger people are.
Keeping a part time job can be beneficial to older people because of the social interaction and the boost in happiness. There are plenty of employers who are looking for older people because they know older employees are more mature and less likely to blow off showing up for work.
Getting older equals become crabby or negative is a myth. Older people don’t automatically become snappish and unhappy. As you get older, you’re going to have trouble with your cholesterol and your blood pressure is another myth people buy into.
Happiness is what affects your health, which in turn affects your aging. Happier people have lower blood pressure and tend to take better care of themselves, which means better cholesterol management.
It’s a myth that growing older means you can’t have plenty of experiences, both extraordinary and ordinary. As someone who’s growing older, you know the value of the big moments and the little moments in life.
You know that it doesn’t take a lot to be happy, that you can find enjoyment in all areas of your life. A myth about aging says that when you grow older, you need to start limiting what you do.
They say you shouldn’t travel and you shouldn’t get involved in activities like volunteering, mentoring or teaching. But growing older gives you a great opportunity to travel, to start a second career and to do things you enjoy.
It’s a myth that you need to be careful with your body as you get older, that because you’re aging, you shouldn’t engage in cardio or high intensity workouts. You can exercise and you can exercise heartily.
Many older people discover that they can get in better health in their 60s than they were in when they were in their 20s. Exercising can prevent cells from dying off. Be as active as you can be.
Another myth is that you should spend most of your free time with your family. Limiting social interaction isn’t good. You need to have a circle of friends outside of your family. People who do this find that it boosts their happiness level.
It’s a myth that you shouldn’t engage in group activities. Getting involved in regularly scheduled activities with other people not only helps prevent cognitive decline, but staves off loneliness and boosts happiness.
When you get older, it’s too late to be in a committed relationship if you’re not already is a myth. Having someone in your life that you can partner with can raise your level of happiness.
You should just live however you want with no goals in mind is a myth. When you have a reason or a sense of purpose to your days, it can raise your level of enjoyment out of life – especially if you’re helping do something for others such as volunteering to help tutor teens or serving food to the homeless.
Other common myths are that it’s too late to give up a bad habit such as smoking or excessive alcohol consumption. It’s too late to start exercising. It’s too late to change your life. It’s okay to let yourself go. It’s never too late to reach for happiness and in the process extend your life expectancy.