Here we are, 29 days into 2018. How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions?
Several Green House Living staff members reported that, thus far, their commitments to their resolutions have been strong.
“I’m not very organized,” said Mary Grace Amende, a shahbaz (similar to a certified nursing assistant). She said she struggles with this as a busy mother who works full time. “I’m trying to just do a little at a time, and in the past several weeks, I think I’m doing well.”
As a diabetic, Janice Gosch, RN, is striving to stay fit.
“I want to stay on top of my game with exercise,” she said. Gosch prefers to walk outside and uses a recumbent bike when it is icy.
If you’ve had a few missteps on your path to keeping your resolution, it’s not too late to revisit the goal and reinforce it. Ginny Rieger, occupational therapist and co-owner of Teton Therapy, said using “SMART” goals can help make you achieve your resolution. Rieger explained that SMART means specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time frame.
“Writing it down really helps so it sticks in your head and doesn’t go to the wayside,” Rieger said. “You need to have a plan for how you are going to accomplish it and how you will pay for it.”
Are you what Rieger calls “a chronic starter?” Do you set goals but never reach the finish line?
“Being patient with yourself is huge, understanding that you have to keep your eye on the prize, but it’s OK if you don’t hit the goal every single time,” Rieger added.
As folks age, resolutions evolve.
Rieger explained that, for seniors, “many times the goal is to maintain their independence and stay as functional as they can be.” She likes to take into consideration both the patient’s goal and the caregiver’s goal.
When working with her senior clients, Rieger always collaborates with the person to determine the goal — what is important to the individual — and then writes it down. At each visit, the plan to meet the goal is reviewed. Rieger said this plan is specific about the kind of exercise and how many times it needs to be done weekly to reach the goal.
“It’s a homework type of thing,” she added. Rieger is there to help, but ultimately progress toward the goal is up to the individual.
While some prefer to have the start of a new year — a clean slate — to set goals, Rieger said she is always setting personal goals. One of her goals is finding balance between having family, kids and a business to run. She has a bedtime goal of 10:30 p.m. and in the last year made a goal to eat out less as she is a convenience eater.
“My husband has helped me make weekly menus,” she said.
Unlike the staff, Green House elders didn’t seem to be particularly interested in making 2018 resolutions. When asked if she made a resolution this year, Millie Nelson, an elder at Green House’s Watt Cottage, laughed.
“No, I always break them so I don’t bother to make them,” she said. “I was always too nonchalant about them.”
Millie explained if there was something she needed to do — like be consistent about taking her medication — she could make up her mind and be diligent about it. She didn’t need to wait until the first of the year to make a resolution.
“I used to make resolutions,” said Gladys Trott-Kamping, who resides at Green House’s Whitney Cottage.
“Somehow life always had a way of interfering when you are raising kids,” Trott-Kamping explained. “It’s better not to have a resolution then to have one you have to kiss goodbye.”
Dee strauss is director at Green House Living for Sheridan.