There is so much push for New Year’s resolutions and for a fresh start in the New Year. We often hear: New Year, New You! But we have to question why a new you is even necessary!

There are certainly some things from this past year I would like to forget, but ultimately, I believe we can use past struggles as an incentive for growth. The good and the bad from this past year should all be a part of your story. It’s what brings you to who you are now and who you will be in the New Year.

Rather than looking at the New Year as a time to become a new self, we should look at it as an opportunity to become the best version of ourselves that we can be. That may mean some things should stay the same, and in other areas, we can work towards improvement.

A healthier lifestyle is one of those areas most people strive to improve. One way to work towards that is by examining how to eat in a healthy way for your body.

Senior Concerns is hosting a Zoom Webinar called Healthy Eating for Older Adults on January 17th from 3 to 4pm. This will be presented by Bridget Harvey-Elliott, a registered dietitian, who has worked more than 30 years in the nutrition and dietetics arena. She will discuss the impact of aging on nutritional needs, explain the benefits of a Mediterranean-DASH diet as an intervention for Neurodegenerative delay, and share which specific foods to limit or include in your diet.

Register for the Zoom Webinar here or call 805-497-0189 for more information.

Another way to be the best version of yourself is to add purpose to your day. If you feel that you are active and engaged and satisfied with your day to day lifestyle, then give yourself credit for this. Allow yourself to be proud of how you have built your schedule.

If, on the other hand, you feel lacking in this area, consider what you can add in this next year. Consider volunteering for an organization that works towards a mission you believe in. Think about getting involved in an activity or hobby that engages you. Perhaps there is something you always wanted to try and now is the time.

Think about what in this past year brought you the most joy, and find ways to increase that next year. It might have been spending time with family and friends, or exploring nature, or cooking new recipes. Whatever you identify, think about how you can do more of what brings you joy this next year.

This is not creating a new you, this is finding ways to make the best you possible.

January 1st may just be another day, but it is thought of as an opportunity. An opportunity to rethink how you want your year to be. This does not need to add pressure to make big changes. Rather, if anything, it can feel like a fresh start, a blank slate for the year to decide how you want your days to be filled.

Use this opportunity as a time to praise yourself for all the things you enjoy and are doing well, and a time to rethink and improve the aspects of your past year that you did not enjoy. Of course, there is plenty we cannot control, so when we can, we should seize the chance to make small changes to increase our joy and wellbeing in this upcoming year.

Martha Shapiro can be reached at Senior Concerns at 805-497-0189 or by email at

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