A new year is a great time to look ahead to the future—especially if you’re entering into your well-earned retirement years. There’s just something about the flip of the calendar that inspires self-reflection and planning. It’s a natural time to think about the resolutions that will make your next journey around the sun your best one yet.

When you’re ready to write out your resolutions, consider what will help you to live happier in this next chapter, and keep these questions in mind.

  • When are you happiest? Maybe you’re happiest when you’re spending time with your significant other or friends and family. Maybe you love being outside and connecting with nature. Maybe your happiest times are spent on a golf course, tennis court, or bike trail. Jot down the feel-good times that you want to experience more of this year.

  • Where are you happiest? Where you live can have a tremendous impact on your state of mind. If you’re considering a location change this year, what type of climate are you drawn to? Sunshine and year-round warmth, or a taste of all four seasons? What kind of community makes you feel right at home? Would a 55+ community be the best fit, or do you prefer an all-ages environment? If where you live today doesn’t feel like your happy place, it may be time to make a change.

  • What makes you unhappy? Sometimes, the best resolutions help you to kick the negatives in your life to the curb. Think of this next chapter as the “you” chapter. This is the time to focus on what you love, and to release the things that may be dragging you down. Make sure you’re not holding onto the negative unintentionally. If you are, think about how you can start to let go.

  • What do you want to do more of? This is a fun one! In the busy years of raising children, building careers, and saving, it’s easy to lose sight of what you enjoy doing in your little free time. In retirement, however, you’ll have a lot more time to do what you love—or discover what that is. Do you want to start painting again? Learn to play pickle ball or tennis? Make more friends? Spend more time in the great outdoors? Why not live in a place that lets you do more of what you love everyday?

  • Who is important to you? Your relationships are so precious and this period is certain to bring about more change. Are you looking forward to spending more time with friends? Family? Your spouse? Are you hoping to make new friendships in the year ahead? Does where you live today fit with your relationship wants and needs?

There are no rules when it comes to writing resolutions—but you won’t go wrong by focusing on how to better yourself and live happier! Once you’ve done a little brainstorming, make a separate list, and keep these tips in mind:

  • Make resolutions brief, not overwhelming.

  • Be specific.

  • Write a few detailed steps that will help you to reach your resolutions.

  • Add dates.

Writing out your resolutions may help you to see that it’s time to re-prioritize your schedule—to allow more time for the people and things that you love. You may find that you want to pursue a new passion or take up a favorite hobby again. You may also discover that you’re ready for a fresh start in a new community with people who are as excited about this next chapter as you are.

If you know you want to Live Happier at a new community in 2020, but aren’t sure where to start, our Live Happier Guide may be just what you need. This go-to guide covers every aspect of what can feel like an overwhelming process—and makes it fun! Download the Live Happier Guide today and resolve to find your happy place in 2020.

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