There’ a conventional wisdom that as we age, we become less driven and goal-oriented, and instead find meaning in a wider set of experiences. In fact, staying motivated can be difficult at any age, but it is especially hard when you are getting older. TIs Losing Interest and Motivation Inevitable As We Age?
A study by the Families and Work Institute found that workers begin losing their ambition to get promoted or seek out more responsibilities around age 35. Researchers attributed this decline in motivation to the demands of having children.
Then, in many case, there is the psychological impact of aging. People often struggle to accept their changing looks. A once beautiful woman, for example, may be so distraught by her thinning hair and sagging face that she sees no point in taking up some new activity or meeting new people. Indeed, some aging people are so upset by their changed appearance that they feel too ashamed or too embarrassed to socialize.
So what can we do about it to stay motivated as we age?
One key component to stay motivated is to remain interested in the world around you, and to feel that you still contribute in some way. Though it may sound a little mawkish, sending money to a charity, comforting a bereaved neighbor, or simply smiling at a waiter and saying thank you, makes that difference. You are never too old to do some good in the world.
Connect with the “new”
Stay in tune with technology and scientific progress. Indeed, this is an excellent way to bond with the younger generation, who may be only too pleased to show you how the latest gadgets work. Don’t become rigid and fixed. It is important to keep your mind open, adaptable and receptive. Avoid turning into one of those tedious old grumps who constantly assure the younger generation that everything was better when they were young.
Find New Purposes and Goals
The point is to find and always keep searching for news goals. And these new goals can range from the big to the small. If you really struggle with motivation, start very small indeed. In Okinawa, for example, the elderly are encouraged to choose an “Ikigai” for the day, meaning a purpose or goal. This could be something as trivial as calling a friend. Above all, avoid self-pity. The more you wallow in self-pity, the harder you will find it to get motivated. No one owes you anything.
Happiness does not need to age
What makes us happy does not always change over time. And part of finding our own happiness is letting go of others’ expectations of us also and figuring it out for ourselves. It’s OK to let some dreams go that don’t make sense. Staying open to our own development and being flexible to set our own path might be what ambition looks like as we age. Ironically, this enhanced perspective may be one of the qualities that allow us to be better at what we do.
Age is NOT an excuse to avoid exercising and staying fit
Your fitness levels are integral to overcoming so many aging ailments. From falling energy levels through to weight gain and finishing with disrupted sleep patterns. So get down to that gym, walk around your park or work out. And be sure to make it a daily occurrence. Set your eyes upon that weight loss goal, aim for a measured amount of muscle gain and sign your name up for that half marathon.