GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

December 28, 2012

Senior Lookout: Looking online for help with our resolutions

Senior Lookout
Anne Springer

---- — Someone is bound to ask the dreaded question this week, “Did you make any New Year’s resolutions?”

If you are like most of us, you made the same ones last year, didn’t keep them, and don’t wish to be reminded of your failure to spend more time with family, lose weight, stop smoking, stop procrastinating, get out of debt, take up a new hobby or get better organized.

Even more depressing for those of us of a certain age, statistically, young people seem to do better at keeping their resolutions than the older set.

Perhaps it’s because they are ever so tech savvy, or maybe it’s just easier if you only have to lose five pounds instead of the 55 that may have piled on over several more decades of fast food dinners and holiday parties.

Maybe they do have an advantage with the techie thing, though. After all, there is an app for just about anything these days. Consider the new “social dieting” game available for iPhone users (http://www.dietbet.com/). It’s an app that lets people join a game in which users register their starting weight, and bet money that they can lose 4 percent of their starting weight by the end of the game. Those who are successful split the pot.

Statistics already tell us that women are more successful at their resolutions if they tell their friends and receive support, so maybe it would also work if they did it with cyber-friends, who knows?

In the productivity category, for all the procrastinators, is another iPhone app called “Commit” (http://thinklegend.com/commit/) that helps people set aside time for an activity, receive a reminder to do the activity, and a way to track your commitment.

Android users can also find apps to help with habit-setting for success. “Routinely” by Braavos Development is available through Google Play (https://play.google.com/store/search?q=Routinely). These apps might be great to help men stay on task, because statistics tell us that men do better at keeping resolutions when they break down goals into manageable chunks. Success at each level seems to breed more success.

Perhaps our failure at resolutions is due to the ones we pick. When you first started reading, chances are that you were not surprised by the list of resolutions at which we often, right?

But, what if we simply chose some more unusual resolutions? A chance Google search revealed some interesting choices from a blog post at Realbuzz.com. It is suggesting these: get your photo taken in five interesting places; break a record (it doesn’t have to be strenuous, it could just be something silly); make a new friend each month; try a new food each week; or change a routine (example: wear something you wouldn’t ordinarily wear).

Whether you decide to make New Year’s resolutions or not, if you succeed have fun with it, and if you don’t, realize that, according to Wiki, you are with the 90 percent who will fall off the “resolution cliff.”

Not to worry, there’s always next year.

Anne Springer is the public relations director of SeniorCare Inc., Cape Ann’s local area agency on aging. To reach SeniorCare, call 978-281-1750.