More Cowbell! A Will Ferrell Guide to Seniors’ New Year’s Resolutions

No matter what age you find yourself at the beginning of 2015, it’s never too late for a fresh start! And who better to give you a motivating pep talk than the man, the myth, the legend—Will Ferrell?

1. “We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy cane, candy corn and syrup.” – Elf

If you’re not an elf, skip dessert! While you might enjoy the jolt of energy and bold flavor that sweet treats offer, the empty calories and crash that follow can lead to long-term harm, such as high blood sugar. Try weaning yourself off the dessert habit by choosing fruit or a sugar-free option instead.

2. “So many activities!!!” – Stepbrothers

If you’re like every other American, vowing to be more active is at the top of your resolution list. Don’t let it become overwhelming—little changes in lifestyle go a long way. Just taking a short walk every day leads to better cardiac and mental health, flexibility and weight loss. Start a walking club with friends or others in your retirement community!

3. “HEY MOM! CAN WE GET SOME MEATLOAF? What is she doing back there? I never know what she’s doing.” – Wedding Crashers

It can be difficult to keep up with your busy family members. Make a point of staying in touch by hand-writing letters. Not only is this art form classic and sweet, but it also provides sentimental keepsakes for years to come. Begin a pen-pal exchange with family members far away. For those who visit more often, start a journal full of memories that you can share each time you see each other.

4. [playing jazz flute] “Little Ham ‘n Eggs comin’ at ya, hold on people, hope ya got your griddles.” – Anchorman

Remember how much you used to love crocheting? Why did you ever stop? Rekindle an old hobby and share your talents with others. Donate scarves to your local homeless shelter, share your favorite recipes with family members or play the jazz flute for your retirement community’s upcoming party.

5. “I’m not sure what to do with my hands.” – Talladega Nights

Volunteering in your community can bring a newfound sense of accomplishment and fulfillment to your life. Whether it’s at a soup kitchen, animal shelter or simply making a point to visit the shy new member of your retirement community, connecting with people in a meaningful way benefits everyone.

6. “I’m very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.” – Anchorman

Improving your cognitive health is fun and easy! Reading more (especially books which truly interest you), doing crossword puzzles or cracking open the Sudoku book every morning not only sharpens your mind, but can be a social activity, as well. Start a club and share the experience!

7. “Actually a pretty nice little Saturday, we’re going to go to Home Depot … maybe Bed, Bat, & Beyond, I don’t know, I don’t know if we’ll have enough time.” – Old School

No matter where you go, you should have a comfortable and accessible home to come back to. Resolve to make your home as safe as possible. This especially means guarding against trips and falls. Here are a few simple home improvements to make in 2015:

  • Clear up clutter on the floor and move electric cords out of walking paths.
  • Secure throw rugs with anti-slip pads.
  • Have adequate lighting in every room and add nightlights throughout your home.
  • Install grab bars around the tub, shower and toilet.
  • Get a safety mat for the bottom of the tub.

8. “I see you have learned to work the Google on the Internet machine.” – Blades of Glory

Learn how to use today’s technology! Especially when it comes to keeping in touch with friends and family, computers are on your side. Facetime and Skype transport your loved ones right to your home using video chatting. Facebook is a non-intrusive way to see what people are up to, and you can message through their chat application. Before you feel intimidated, know that these programs are designed for easy use. Though it may seem overwhelming at first, after a short time you’ll be clicking and typing away as fast as your grandchildren.

9. “You can take away our phones and you can take away our keys, but you can NOT take away our dreams.”

“That’s right, because we are, like, sleeping when we have them!” – A Night at the Roxbury

Seniors require just as much sleep as their younger counterparts—that’s right, seven to eight hours. To get a more restful night’s sleep, you need a healthy diet, exercise and good mental health during the day. Some general tips:

  • Don’t use the computer or television the hour before bed.
  • Use relaxation techniques such as meditation as you wind down for the day.
  • Have a light snack before bed, such as whole grains or warm milk.

10. “I have a fever, and the only prescription—is more cowbell.” – Saturday Night Live

While you can try the cowbell, the only way to stay completely healthy is to have regular checkups with your doctor. Not only can he or she screen you for underlying issues before they become problems, but your doctor can also answer any questions you have, to make sure 2015 is your best year yet.

Shayne Fitz-Coy is the Co-CEO and President of Alert-1, an aging-in-place technology company headquartered in Williamsport, Pennsylvania with offices nationwide. Shayne has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Harvard College and a Master’s in Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Shayne hails from Maryland, and now calls the Bay Area home.

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