It’s a new year and a new decade, with lots of exciting things to come for us all, no doubt. The practice of making New Year’s Resolutions may not be as common today as it used to be, but there’s still lots of value you can take from setting yourself some goals and ideals to try and live by for the New Year.

Of course, many of them will fall by the wayside as life takes over and our best intentions get overpowered by temptations. But that’s no reason not to try, because even if you only keep up a good habit for a month or two, that’s still better than nothing.

So, here’s some suggestions for how you can make 2020 your best year yet:

1. Declutter

We all gather a lot of clutter in our lives, whether it’s things we think will one day be useful or things we don’t want to throw away because of who gave them to us, even though we know that they will NEVER be useful. So why not take this opportunity to get rid of some of the junk? You don’t even need to invite Marie Kondo to visit to help you, because our interior designer Anna Perivolari has some tips to get you started.

2. Get more exercise

If you’re like us, this will have been on your New Year’s Resolutions list for many years now and will have been the first to be abandoned every time. So why not start simple by aiming for the amount of exercise recommended for over-65s by the NHS? At our retirement communities, along with an on-site fitness suite, we offer wonderful outdoor space for homeowners to explore while staying active, including taking country walks on our Exercise Trails.

3. Try volunteering

Another excellent way to stay fit is to try volunteering, which also comes with plenty of other benefits. It’s an excellent way to stay active, meet new people, learn new skills and give back to the local community, and there are many organisations who welcome volunteers, so you’re bound to find a role that interests you.

In the Aberdeenshire area you can find roles with National Trust Scotland, the Scottish Wildlife Trust or the Aberdeenshire Museums Service, amongst others. Meanwhile, you can find volunteering opportunities around Stow-on-the-Wold via Volunteering Gloucestershire or Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.

4. Sort out that garden

You don’t have to be Monty Don to have a nice-looking garden, which is why it’s one of the great British hobbies. That’s why we’ve made sure our cottages at Brio Landale Court and our bungalows at Brio Beechwood Park have gardens, so homeowners don’t need to give up their love of gardening. But not everyone was born with green fingers and having busy lives can get in the way of our best intentions, leaving gardens looking a bit… neglected. So why not pledge to yourself that, this year, you’ll get out in the garden, because it’s good for your mental and physical health.

5. Do something you’ve always wanted to do

For young people today who want to experience the world before settling down with a job or going to university, there’s the concept of a gap year. But what if you’ve worked your whole career without that gap and there are still lots of things you want to try or places you want to visit? Why not make the most of your retirement and go and do them now? Learn a new skill, go on a trip you’ve always wanted, be the person you’ve waited to be. Why not start now?

6. Embrace technology

The pace at which the modern world moves can be overwhelming for anyone, with new technological advances coming along, becoming the MUST HAVE THING and then being forgotten in what feels like the blink of an eye. But that’s no excuse for falling behind, because there’s so much value in so much of it, whether using it as a way to keep in touch with young family members or just to make your own life easier. Our Brio community homes include smart technology to do just that.

So why not use FaceTime (between Apple devices) or WhatsApp to video chat with family and friends? Or get yourself a smart speaker like an Amazon Echo so you can ask Alexa to play your favourite songs? Here’s some other suggestions for apps that you might like to try out this year.

7. New year, new home

One resolution you might have been making for a while now without acting upon is thinking about moving to a retirement community. If your home is getting too much to look after, or you’ve found yourself isolated from friends and family, why not make 2020 the year that you make the decision to move. Moving to one of our Brio Communities means joining a ready-made community with everything you need on your doorstep and we’ll also take all of the stress out of the move too.

Which of these suggestions will you be trying for 2020?

It’s going to be a big year at our Communities at both Chapelton, which is currently seeing its first homeowners move in, and Stow-on-the-Wold, which will be opening this year. You can come and visit them and see our stunning show homes if you want to get a taste of what life in 2020 could really be like for you, simply get in touch with our team.

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