You’ve probably heard the saying, “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” However, it requires diligence and perseverance, which it takes to succeed long-term.
To live a long and healthy life, some precautions must be taken, like maintaining a healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercises, a balanced diet and good sleep. Regular checkups and screenings are important as well.
There are seven keys to living a successful, long life.
- Always keep learning
It is never too late to start learning. Giving yourself the gift of longevity requires more than just strong old-new muscles. Your mind is also a muscle, and it has to be kept strong as you age. It’s one thing to do crossword puzzles and things that require you to use your mind, but another thing to constantly challenge your mind. Do you want longevity? You’ve got to keep learning.
- Stay Connected
The old saying “It’s lonely at the top” is especially true for seniors. Being highly connected to family and friends is one of the best predictors of emotional well-being for the elderly. Maintaining deep relationships with your loved ones can help you delay disease and maintain mental function as you age. Interact with family and friends regularly. Though it may be tempting to socialize with very different people from you, surrounding yourself with people who are like you (age, race, gender, income, etc.) can make you feel more supported.
In addition to meeting friends and family in person, try to stay connected with loved ones in other ways. Don’t underestimate the power of technology in maintaining your relationships. Whether talking on the phone or video chatting, using these communication methods can help you feel closer to your loved ones.
- Get the right help while you’re still healthy.
Please take a few moments to think about your future and ask yourself what you want it to look like. If you already have a vision of your ideal place in your life, this exercise will help you design a road map for getting there.
- How do you want to live?
- Who do you want to be around?
- What activities do you want to spend your time doing?
- What do you want to be doing when your children stop by for a visit or when that special friend calls for a game of bridge?
Acknowledging what is important will help you design the right plan for getting there. During this process, think about the steps necessary to achieve this ideal lifestyle while preparing for the possibility that your health may decline, or you may fall out of favour with friends and family members who are responsible for helping you. Get the right help while you’re still healthy to maintain as much independence as possible. Consider all of the available options – different types of assistance, different providers, and different levels of assistance. In addition to different companies offering home safety goods and services, consider asking people in your social network if they can help provide transportation and other assistance.
- Develop a consistent exercise routine.
If you have never exercised regularly before, start with small steps such as a brisk walk. As your exercise strengthens, add sessions of something more strenuous such as aerobics. Watching your diet regularly. This is where it starts. A good diet is nutrition-rich and low on sugars and fats. In addition, avoid sodas and other drinks with added sugar. Maintaining a positive, upbeat attitude. This can be interpreted as keeping a positive mental outlook. While you can’t control the circumstances of everyday life, you can certainly control how you react to them. Finally, stay on top of your medications and health appointments. You are only truly healthy when all of your organs function correctly and not just most of them.
Health matters from start to finish; how successful you are at caring for yourself determines how close you come to maximizing almost everything about this stage of life—and the later one too.
- Be grateful for all that you’ve achieved.
You may have heard the old saying, “the journey is the destination.” This means that thanks to the endeavours and challenges you had to face along your way, you are a much stronger person today. Take the time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished. Each step gives you invaluable experience. Chances are pretty good that when you look back at your life in 20 years, things might not appear as challenging as now. Plus, today’s challenges are tomorrow’s opportunities.
- Set Up a Savings Plan Early On
We all have heard the adage “time is money.” The sooner you start saving for retirement, the better off you will be down the road. A great way to save for retirement is through your 401k. You will be able to start saving early and receive tax benefits, but you’ll also be able to invest in a wide variety of securities. Another great perk – you can take a loan against it. The earlier you start saving, the sooner you can access those funds. And any money you save now will be worth a lot more later on down the road. So, if possible, set up an automatic withdrawal plan as soon as you get your paycheck and allocate 10% of your income to pay yourself first.
You’ll also want to consider how much you need to live comfortably. It’s important to set up a savings plan that allows you to have the income you’ll need after retirement. This is especially important if you plan on doing any travelling once you retire.
This final note is directly from your peers, the seniors we interviewed; they had the following things to say:
“Just do it! Go slow at first, but don’t hesitate.”
“Live each day as if it is your last.”
“Remember that everything comes to an end, including life.”
Though several of our interviewees said that they live each day to the fullest, they also emphasized planning for the future. As Vivante Living said, “You can’t live in the past or for the future—you have to live for today and make what you can out of it.” This means making sound financial choices about your health care and living arrangements in the future. It also means setting and working toward long-term goals that you genuinely want to enjoy your retirement years and know that you are making an impact.