With the holidays in the rear-view mirror, many of us are scribbling lists of ways to improve ourselves in the New Year: Lose weight. Change jobs. Spend less. Save more.
But why not try something completely different this year? Rather than resolving to change yourself, how about embracing yourself?
It starts with your age: Once you've embraced your age, work your way toward embracing and loving your shape...your looks...everything about the way you are now. That's the essence of positive aging.
I predict that positive aging will continue to pop up in all sorts of national conversations in 2014: political, cultural, emotional, economic. Given that people over 50 constitute the largest demographic in the history of the world, it's high time politicians, marketers and the media pay close attention to who we are and what we want. And if we get loud enough, they'll have no choice but to "Lissen up!" That's when change will happen.
We live in a society that worships youth. Hence the pressure too many of us feel to take drastic - often costly - measures to look younger. But aren't we overdue for a change in how we view aging? Does anyone honestly believe we can turn back the clock with a few "simple" Botox injections?
The good news (IMHO, of course) is that more and more men and women are striving to create a societal sea change in how we view aging. On Facebook, Twitter and other social-media "public squares," individuals are discussing a realistic approach to how we can (and will!) live our lives to the fullest after 50.
To do my part to accelerate this paradigm shift, I came up with a few basic ideas that I hope will inspire you to live the fullest life possible in the new year and beyond. (Did I miss anything? Please comment below!)
- Be fearless after 50.
- Embrace your age, no matter what it is.
- Note, but don't obsess on, what others think.
- Use your voice for positive change.
- Embracing your age and wanting to feel pretty, healthy and fit are not mutually exclusive.
- Whatever you do, do it for the right reasons.
- Get angry about ageism - and take action to combat it.
- Acknowledge the potential power of your actions.
- Support and encourage other people over 50; there's a good chance they feel as you do.
- Be a role model for the next generation: Show them how to embrace your age for the rest of your life.
Last, love yourself and your life. Stay as healthy as you can. Move your body. Stay informed - and engaged. Use your mind. Tame your finances. Be bold; be brave. Walk with confidence, and live with style. I can't think of a better recipe for optimizing life after 50!
For more tips on living your best life after 50, subscribe to AARP's original (and free) web series, "The Best of Everything." You can also check out my book and website of the same name. Keep me posted on how you're doing on Facebook or Twitter (@BGrufferman).
Photo credit: Best of Everything