Betty Finney is an active and happy woman in her 80s, with a mission. A former advertising and PR executive and event promoter until well into her 60s, she wrote a book called Growing Young and launched a campaign last summer to urge others to grow young too as they add years to their lives. It’s a good goal, and she’s mapped out several steps to follow to achieve it. Here are 5 of those steps:
1. Do New Stuff
That’s it in a nutshell; try things you haven’t tried before – a dancing class, zip-lining, a wine connoiseur’s course. Anything you find interesting and that either you haven’t had time to do before, or that you’ve been too shy or too afraid to try. The time is now – why not?
2. Improve Your Physical Conditioning
Unless you’ve been super conscientious, chances are your conditioning is less than what it could be. Make a new resolve not to fall into the trap of thinking that you’re too old to get in shape or “look good.” Toning and conditioning does wonders for your overall look in big ways, like weight loss, and subtle ways, like the color of your complexion. And it will make you feel better, quite literally. Once you follow a regular regimen of walking, weight lifting, bicycling, or whatever appeals to you, you’ll start feeling so much better when you take on a flight of stairs or have to walk up a hill.
3. Eat Like A Health Nut – Because You Are One
It’s not so much about what you avoid eating as it is about what you make a point of eating. Be sure to eat as many whole, unprocessed, nutritious foods as possible; green leafy vegetables, nuts, fresh fruit, lean meat, and so on. Sure, you already know this is important, but sometimes it’s easy to fall prey to thoughts like “What does it matter; it’s not like I’m going to the prom next week.” Well, it does matter. It’s your body and it needs all the best fuel and care it can get, moreso the older you get. Respect it with good fuel and good care.
4. Set Goals You Can Meet
Don’t be discouraged because you can’t run 5 miles a day anymore; so if walking is your speed now, then walk, and enjoy it. Map out new routes for yourself, or work on increasing your time by small amounts; anything to continuously improve by achieving reasonable goals. Don’t compare yourself to you at 30. Compare yourself to you yesterday, and revel in the fact that you’re getting better.
5. Free Yourself To Pursue Your Dreams
If you’ve always wanted to write, or play an instrument, or offer your expertise to a good cause, do it. Don’t ever say it’s “too late.” That’s in your head, not in reality. Look forward toward your dreams, not backward at your “what ifs,” and life will always be fresh and exciting.