We all want the best of growing older. There’s just one problem: the older we get, the harder it gets to stay well and active. Sound familiar? In this book author Margie Hackbarth reveals the ways affirmations help us set and achieve meaningful goals during this phase of life’s journey. This includes how to recognize and tackle unconscious and deep-rooted age bias. She teaches how to pause to reflect. Then guides readers to shift from reluctantly aging to intentionally aging.
This month I celebrated another trip around the sun, and it was a milestone birthday for me (#60). Woot-hoot! I'm thankful for many blessings and the opportunities to celebrate with a few special people. I was reminded growing older is a privilege. Still, true confessions - I was also a little anxious about starting my seventh decade. Some of you may be thinking I'm quite young yet, and others may be thinking I'm older than dirt! Different people view advancing age differently. I'm human, and I don't know what the future holds. I looked up this prayer, excerpted from my book, "Amaging(TM) Growing Old On Purpose," and it helped to put this birthday into perspective. I'm also sharing this excerpt for my friends who might have a little anxiety about adding another candle to their next birthday cake! I would add - if that's the case, read my book & then you can enjoy your cake & the candle, too :).
Throughout this book you'll find several sample affirmations to help older adults set and achieve goals. I'm sharing this excerpt to help with New Year's resolutions involving a new good habit or perhaps stopping a bad habit. The excerpt outlines four simple steps to reflect and write out what you really want, your new mindset to support your habit, your personal "why," and any new hat you will wear to be more successful. The full affirmation in the book continues with step 5 for action planning and step 6 for encouragement. As you consider ways you want to become a better person this next year, Amaging(TM) Growing Old On Purpose can help you. Read how affirmations can help you coach yourself to success.
Whether you spend time virtually or in-person with loved ones this holiday season, cherish the moments. Be present to others, stay curious about their lives and create some memories. Enjoy!
I came across a "Christmas Senior Jeopardy" card in the greeting card aisle at a local store. Three contestants, Ester, Fern and Earl, were competing with categories such as "Gifts I Forgot," "Holiday Aches and Pains," and "Who Are These People?" I wonder if this were a card for "people of color jeopardy," or "homosexual jeopardy," or "women's jeopardy," or another group of people, would we think it funny? Would it be marketable? Would the copy have made it past the editor's pen? It's unlikely. Why is it okay to poke fun at older adults? I'm sharing this as an example of age bias. When we are able to shift our negative attitudes about growing older there are many benefits, including a better quality of life and better health - for our future selves. Learn more in Chapter 4 in my book, Amaging(TM) Growing Old On Purpose. #Ageism #AgeBias #AgingWell #HealthyAging
Knowing words can be powerful, consider how you can be more intentional with your words. What are some ways you might reach out with kind words to brighten someone's day? Build up a neighbor, family member or other friend? If you send holiday greeting cards, could you add a note of encouragement? Gratitude? Praise for recent accomplishments? Read more about the power of words and affirmations in Chapter Two of Amaging(TM) Growing Old On Purpose.
After the Waukesha Christmas Parade, stories are coming out about how the Dancing Grannies live their lives -- and how their lives faced catastrophe so unnecessarily. For the families trying to make sense of this, may they find some comfort in knowing the Dancing Grannies are teaching us about growing old in healthy ways. Here are a few life lessons the Dancing Grannies have reminded me of: 1) Do what brings you joy and do it often. 2) Be active. Despite the pain, fatigue and common symptoms faced as more years are lived, find ways to move more. 3) Make new friends. If not a sisterhood of fellow dancers, find your tribe, stay connected and support each other. 4) Celebrate special occasions. What are some ways you are celebrating Christmas? Other holidays or events throughout the year? 5) Dress up! Add some color, texture and maybe even pom-poms to your routine. Even better, wear clothing and shoes comfortable enough for dancing. 6) Look for ways to make others smile. 7) Practice makes better. You may need to rehearse, train or sweat a little to accomplish your goals. 8) Give back to your communities. Thank you to the Dancing Grannies. You inspire me.
As you consider all you are grateful for this Thanksgiving, think about the blessing of growing old. It's a privilege denied to many. Amaging(TM) Growing Old On Purpose includes a few poetry lines from Helen Lowrie Marshall, along with other inspirational quotes, Bible verses, stories and research findings to encourage and support older adults.
“… small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” ~ Robert Collier. In my book, "Amaging™ Growing Old On Purpose," Chapter 14 is dedicated to this truth. What small efforts are you repeating to help you move forward? To be more successful with your goals? I challenge you to take 10-15 minutes out of your day today and think about this. Then ask yourself – What new habits are you working on? Have you been consistently practicing? Is there a habit you started, stopped and need to re-start? Have you given up, thinking you are too old to start a new habit? These are not easy questions to answer. Yet, practice makes better! In Chapter 6 I share many ideas for practicing new habits. Open up your copy to Chapter 6 and re-read this chapter to remind yourself. You got this! Then, post a comment or send me a message. Please let me know how it goes for you! #RobertCollier #Amaging™GrowingOldOnPurpose #AgingWell #HealthyAging #AtomicHabits
"Pessimists see the mug as half empty. Optimists are already brewing another cup!" I recently read this fun message on a coffee cup. As much as I would like to think I'm in the cup-brewing category, and while I strive for optimism, as a human being I'm hard-wired toward negativity. It's normal. Fortunately, optimism can be learned! Read more about this in Chapter 6. I share ideas to overcome negative self-talk and ways to develop optimism. I also include a sample affirmation for more compassionate self-talk.
These wise words recently came to my inbox from #HopeForTheBrokenHearted: "The more you pray, the less you'll panic. The more you worship, the less you'll worry." There are many benefits to strengthening your faith while growing older, and I talk about this in Chapter 12. You will also find tips and strategies to improve your prayer life.
There is no shortage of wellness information available today. We are inundated with messages to expand our healthy aging knowledge base. This includes evidence on falls risk factors. Yet, there is often a shortage of motivation, confidence, and perseverance to apply this knowledge, practice and hard-wire healthy behaviors. In Chapter 9 I share my own falls story, which was sort of embarrassing, because I have a lot of knowledge about falls risks, yet this knowledge didn't translate to my own behaviors. In this chapter, "Practice Makes Better," I discuss how to reach new goals by practicing new habits. Reading this chapter would be a step in the right direction if you want to fill the gap between falls prevention knowledge and your own behaviors.
Some readers have told me they smile a little when they see a pan of cookie bars after reading my book. I agree it is sort of funny how devoted my extended family was (and somewhat still is) to this dessert-in-a-pan. I came across this recipe from AmbitiousKitchen.com for a no-bake, low-sugar and high-protein version of a family favorite, and I thought I would share it: ¾ cup peanut butter or almond butter (look for a brand with no added sugar); ¼ cup honey or maple syrup; 1 tablespoon melted butter – or -- coconut oil; 1 teaspoon vanilla; 1/3 cup ground flaxseed meal; ½ cup protein powder. Mix the above crust ingredients and pat into an 8”x 4” loaf pan, lined with parchment paper. Then, melt a 2.5 ounce dark chocolate bar (85% cocoa) on very low heat until melted. Spread the melted chocolate over the crust. Chill approx. one hour before cutting into small squares. #Amaging #HealthyAging #AgingWell #AmbitiousKitchen.com
I want to give a shout-out to Google and the National Council on Aging (NCOA) for collaborating and creating age-friendly tips and strategies to move toward more inclusivity in marketing entitled, "All-In with Google." Quoting their materials: “The concept of aging is changing. Aging is not what it used to be. We are not only living longer, but we are also healthier longer, and our biological age is becoming increasingly lower than our chronological age. This is known as the “Longevity Effect.” People who are 65 today have more vitality and energy than people of the same age in previous years.”
What's the first sign someone needs encouragement? They are living and breathing. This Q&A came from my Pastor in a recent sermon, and he shared helpful ways to encourage others: Smile more, be hopeful, be generous, listen more and pray more. Everyone needs encouragement, and this is discussed in Chapter 2: The Power of Words and Affirmations. Encouragement is also an important part of the Amaging(TM) Affirmation framework, also introduced in Chapter 2.
If you want to be more physically active, try exercising more resourcefulness! Resourcefulness and consistent physical activity go hand in hand. If you struggle with resourcefulness consider the following four tips I adapted for older adults from the Harvard Business Review. 1) Redefine the possible. Mindset matters. 2) Turn innovation inward. Make the most of what you have to work with. 3) Get specific about what you will do and when. 4) Celebrate your accomplishments, big and small!
In Chapter 2 readers learn about an Amaging(TM) Affirmation framework to help older adults achieve goals. I like to describe this framework as a way to coach yourself through an incredibly challenging phase in life's journey. One coaching question in this framework relates to the type of person you need to become to be successful, "What new hat will you wear?" When launching this book I took on two new roles, an author and an entrepreneur. Some of my "new hats" include the hat of a long-term planner (prioritizing next steps), the hat of a marketer (exploring creative ways to connect with readers), the hat of a bookkeeper (getting to know spreadsheets intimately), and a few other hats, like a learner, a project manager and a more disciplined writer. Fortunately, the last coaching question in this framework recognizes sometimes wearing new hats can drag you down! “How will you encourage yourself?” While I have many, here's one example of a motivating quote that has encouraged me while trying on my new hats, "Results happen over time, not overnight. Work hard, stay consistent, and be patient." What's motivating you? What dreams or goals do you have that an Amaging(TM) Affirmation could coach you through -- one step at a time?
Older adults, like all humans, have an insatiable thirst for inspiration, motivation and direction. Revisit this book every time you feel thirsty!
Amaging(TM) Growing Old On Purpose includes multiple affirmations on topics important to older adults. This sample affirmation supports a daily planning habit. As our age increases, time becomes a more and more precious commodity. Planning becomes essential. If you struggle with consistently blocking time for what matters most to you, give this affirmation a try! (You're welcome :)
Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers recorded, "You Can't Make Old Friends" as a duet in 2013 to celebrate their longtime friendship. The heart-warming lyrics tell the story of a special connection between old friends: "It was you and me, since way back when. But you can't make old friends." In Chapter 9 I talk about the importance of having good friends and being a good friend while aging. I also share tips from my research on how to make friends. While it's true you likely can't make old friends, you can definitely make NEW friends. And friendship is not the only benefit. The effort you devote toward friendships can result in better health and well-being during this phase of life's journey.
I found it helpful to write this short excerpt on a sticky note and post it on my Mac while writing this book. The research pulled me in many different directions relating to healthy aging, positive aging, the value of affirmations, ageism and other interesting topics. I was easily distracted! Eventually, I found this sticky note and guiding purpose helped pull me back on track! For a limited time this book is available for free on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Please let me know how well I stayed on course.
Make plans, set goals, decide not to quit, and if you aren't dead yet, then don't give up! This is great advice for older adults who often face increasing struggles as age increases. Older adults are at risk for more complex health conditions and require new coping skills. Many older adults have added frustration if mobility or independence declines. And, older adults are at risk for financial worries and constraints due to fixed incomes. Read more about how affirmations can help encourage older adults in my book, Amaging (TM) Growing Old On Purpose. For a limited time, you are invited to read this book for free on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Learn more here: https://www.netgalley.com/widget/349848/redeem/9307aca646ba9fa4315fcb349ca2cc36c4dc185c96115333c947551cade66ab8 .
When this cringe-worthy headline floated through my social media feed, curiosity got the best of me - sadly. It was unsettling to read how age might be factored when selecting hair color, makeup, or jewelry, when deciding how deep your neckline or how high your hemline might be, or how tight or baggy your clothing fits. It underscored a fixed mindset, "You are too old for (fill-in-the-blank)." I was, however, encouraged to think about things people of ALL AGES probably should not wear, and I drafted an age-friendly list: Do not wear anything uncomfortable. This includes something that feels too tight, scratchy or just doesn't hang right. Seize the day and ditch the uncomfortable! Wear proper footwear if you want to stay active and avoid falling down. Shun things that make you feel sad. Pick clothes, hair and makeup that are fun and bring a smile to your face! I intentionally made this a short list to foster freedom of grooming expression! I invite you to read more about age bias in my book, Amaging(TM) Growing Old On Purpose. In Ch. 4, I discuss aging perceptions and health. Those who have positive attitudes about aging live longer!
Words have the power to build up and the power to tear down. Do you choose your words to encourage? To show kindness? To compliment? Or perhaps unintentionally to tear down? Words matter. Choose well!
If your answer is "no" you are in the majority. In this chapter, "Setting Amaging(TM) Goals as We Age," I talk about the challenges and the importance of moving past life's bad experiences. One way to do this is by planning out your day. Every day. As our age increases, time is a more precious commodity. What small steps will you work on today to move you in a good direction? Use the fill-in-the-blank Appendix in this book to write out your own Amaging(TM) Affirmation. Distract yourself from life's difficulties and encourage yourself.
This excerpt includes a short list of common obstacles that prevent people from reaching goals, and it's a condensed list! If I had given this section more attention, the list would no doubt be longer. If you took some time to reflect and consider examples of obstacles that stood in the way of your forward progress, what would top your list? What, if anything, prevented you from reaching your goals? Has your list increased over time with more years lived? Amaging(TM) Growing Old On Purpose focuses on using affirmations to support goals while aging. My hope is that you will read this book and learn how to use affirmations like a morning and evening "tidal wave" to help sweep away any obstacles that are getting in the way of your important goals.
Does it sometimes feel like a struggle to look on the bright side? Put on a happy face? Shake off an upset? Get past the critical stories running in your head? If yes, you are not alone. Humans are hard-wired to be more pessimistic than optimistic. We all need affirmations, especially older adults whose challenges often increase exponentially as more years are lived. Pre-order your copy of Amaging(TM) Growing Old On Purpose to learn more about using affirmations to support goals during this phase of life's journey. Paperback & hard copy will also be available soon.
I thought about someone from my past often while writing this book. Her name was Ginny, an amazing older adult who left a lasting impression on me. Ginny modeled how to help others, stay positive, work hard, have fun and most importantly, be kind. As you read my book, I hope it sparks some thoughts and recollections about the older adults in your life. Who inspired you? In what ways? Have you thanked them? If not, perhaps you can open up your calendar right now and carve out a chunk of time in the next seven days to reach out.
Inspiration for this book came early in my career when I had the honor of working with older adult hospital volunteers. They left a lasting impact on me - in a good way! Then, years later I took a position as a geriatrics service line administrator. I was fortunate to learn from geriatrics and aging industry experts about healthy aging, positive aging, and the detriment of age bias on our health. I thought people need to know about this! So, I wrote this book! It is intended for anyone who might not be looking forward to adding another candle to their next birthday cake, perhaps feeling sadness, assuming their best days are behind them, or possibly feeling regret for unfulfilled dreams, and perhaps feeling more physical aches and pains. If this is you, I encourage you to read this book! Then you can enjoy your cake - and the candles, too!
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