• Patty Hopker

Essential Questions for this New Year

As we begin this journey into the new year, we need to ask some tough questions and assess where we are in our lives emotionally and physically. 2020 Was a very challenging year for everyone, including those in the Senior Years. Staying safe at the expense of everything vital to us had to take precedence.


Exploring our feelings is not necessarily a favorite activity; however, our feelings and emotions are usually the driving force in every action we take or don’t take.


Our physical body’s condition influences our daily perception of discouragement, frustrations, and happiness, so we need to explore our emotional needs and our bodies’ needs to create our new year’s plan of renewal.


Let’s get out a pen and paper and do some outlining to help shape the direction you would like to go this coming year. Just one discovery might open a whole new world to you.


  • What feelings or emotions do you want more of in your life?

  • What can help you to generate more of those feelings every day?

  • What relationship(s) in your life could use a little more attention from you?

  • Do you want more of a certain kind of relationship? Why?


You don’t need to change everything in your life to benefit from getting what you want emotionally. Sometimes it could be just one small change or one activity that can make all the difference in the world to your happiness.


What needs to happen is allowing something new to begin and to be open to your motivation for something different. It doesn’t even need to be a change. It could be just expanding on something that works for you now.


That something could be meditation, spirituality, exercise, or being in a more social environment.


  • What one area in your life do you want to contribute more?

  • How can you optimize the health of your body to maximize your abilities?

  • What can you do to generate positive emotions in your life?

  • What small change can improve your life?


A key point here is to continue to brainstorm happiness ideas. A leading way we continue to grow as human beings is by continuing to contribute to the world. Your dreams can become realities at any age.


Put yourself out there, write your memoirs, motivate another person to participate in a 5K run/walk with you, volunteer to tutor students, or at hospitals or veterans organizations. Don’t stop visualizing how you wish to contribute.


There is always something that will ignite that little spark deep inside you that gives you that “feel good” feeling. There’s something for everyone. It doesn’t take moving a mountain to accomplish your objective--positive emotions.


This little exercise works no matter what physical limitations you may have. When you feel good emotionally, those endorphins make any physical pain more bearable.


So my final question for you is--what can you do today to move forward? If you have the desire, if you have a dream, go for it. Enjoy what you have to give. Now make your plan.


So begins a new year filled with hope, strength, contribution, and movement forward to create more happiness in our lives. Have a Happy New Year!





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