As we toast the end of 2015, many of us are considering New Year’s resolutions on how to make the next year better. But it’s easy to become overwhelmed when deciding what changes to focus on. Here are suggestions for simple New Year’s resolutions that can improve your life and the lives of others during 2016:
Simple New Year’s Resolutions For Individuals:
• If you are a caregiver for an older loved one, choose one way you are going to prioritize yourself this year. Will you take a weekly yoga class? Sleep an extra hour per night? Decide to finally embrace home care or senior living options so you don’t have to do it all anymore? Making simple New Year’s resolutions around self-care while caregiving will benefit both you and your older loved one.
• If you are over 18 and have not yet done so, create an advance directive. We all need these documents so those who love us will not need to make difficult decisions (that we may not agree with) if we were unable to do so. Don’t fool yourself—even though this guide below is from AARP, every adult needs advance directives: http://www.aarp.org/relationships/caregiving-resource-center/info-11-2010/lfm_living_will_and_health_care_power_of_attorney.html
• Once a month, do something to help you better understand more about how persons of other generations think. For example, if you are if you are in your seventies, peruse the latest copy of Us Weekly in the dentist’s waiting room. It may provide insight on the pop culture stories your teen and adult grandkids are following and help you connect with them in a new way.
Simple New Year’s Resolutions For Organizational Leaders:
• Choose one way to improve benefits for working caregivers. 40 million Americans work at a job outside the home while also caring for an older or disabled loved one. More of your employees will continue to take on caregiving responsibilities in the coming year. Can you create more job-sharing or work from home opportunities? Can you lobby your human resources department to offer resources and create partnerships with outside organizations who specialize in caregiving support? Such employer-sponsored services can assist valued employees to remain productive at work while caregiving.
• If you have an age diverse workforce, choose one way to increase intergenerational collaboration and respect. Might it be offering training and education about the
preferred communication strategies of different age groups?
• Connect with a peer of a different generation to compare management style. We all know that Baby Boomers often work and manage differently than Generation X and Millennials. But instead of rolling your eyes at the way your peer of another generation does things, try to find out what’s working for him or her and why. For example, you could set up a quarterly coffee meeting to discuss each manager’s work from home policies, innovative use of technology, and what they attribute their successes to. Simple New Year’s resolutions like learning from a colleague of another generation can help you become a more effective manager and your employees become more productive.