How to make 2013 the best year of your life

You may be tempted to countdown the days until you can kiss the year goodbye, but this is the perfect time of year to reflect on the past 12 months and plan for a happy and fulfilling year ahead.

Here are 10 steps to plan for your best year yet.

1. Reflect on the year that was.

Take a few moments to look back on your year. Where did you experience the most joy or satisfaction? What areas of your life are not working so well? What life lessons did you learn and what did you discover about yourself?

Your answers to these questions will provide vital clues and insights into what you need to focus on and how you can positively transform your life in the new year.

2. Choose to let things go.

We all have old resentments from the past, regrets or mistakes that we carry around with us. They weigh us down and holding onto them is not serving us.

Make a list of memories or events from your past that you are willing to finally let go this month. You may also like to physically declutter items your home (like excess clothing, broken furniture and old paperwork).

By doing this, you will be making space for new dreams to come to you in the new year.

3. Get in touch with who you are.

There is no one single definition of success. In order to live a happy and fulfilling life, you need to get in touch what what you value, what you desire, what you are passionate about, and what your gifts or strengths are. By knowing more about your uniqueness you will be in a better position to set goals that feel right to your soul, rather than setting goals based on the status quo or expectations of others.

4. Create a vision for your life.

Write down what you would love your life to look like in key life areas, like love and relationships, career and contribution, wealth and lifestyle, health and wellbeing, learning and creativity, and soul or spirituality. Let your imagination run wild and map out an overall vision for your ideal life.

5. Set your top goals and plan of action.

Take your vision and choose your top goals or priorities for the year ahead. What would make the biggest impact on your life? What excites you the most? Goals take time and energy, so you need to make sure you are committed to your top goals and know why you want to achieve them; how will it benefit or change your life? Then take your top goals and break them down into action steps you can take each month.

6. Upgrade your mindset to match your dreams.

You need to believe in your ability to kick your goals in order to achieve them. Ask yourself: “What beliefs would help me achieve my goals?” For example, believing that you are capable, resourceful, confident, and of value to the world. Write a list of 5-10 affirmations based on your new beliefs and read them daily.

7. Schedule in time to fill your cup.

A happy life is not just about external goals and achievements. It’s also about making time for doing the things we love – for play, creativity, laughter, relaxation, hobbies, learning, and quality time with loved ones. Take a look at your calendar and make sure you are scheduling in time each week for fun and relaxation.

8. Choose good company.

We are the sum of the five people we spend the most time with. Reflect on your circle of friends. Do they bring out your best? Are they supportive and uplifting? Make a commitment to invest your time in good company over the next 12 months, and distance yourself from people who don’t serve your highest good.

9. Choose a new habit to add to your routine.

We become what we repeatedly do. Reflect on your daily habits and routines. Are they serving you? What is one small positive habit you can add to your routine to set you up for success? For example: Meditation, journalling, yoga, doing a weekly review of your goals, or giving your time for a cause you believe in.

10. Be present in each moment.

Every day is a beautiful gift filled with beauty, blessings and magic. Don’t make the mistake of playing the when-then game, which sounds like this: “When I achieve my goals, then I’ll finally be happy”.

The truth is happiness is a mindset and a state of being that you cultivate through gratitude and enjoying your life now. And when you learn to appreciate and enjoy this very moment, you will have more energy and inspiration to achieve your biggest goals and dreams.

How to make 2013 the best year of your life

What would have to take place to make 2013 the best year of your life? What would you be doing, thinking, feeling, and seeing? I know having the best year of your life is an audacious challenge, but it may be exactly what you need. Setting your sights higher and raising your standards is exactly the route to have a miraculous year. I know that’s the case for me. I have been far too “consistent” in many areas of my life. Yes being consistent is a “bad” thing when it comes to growing into the best person I can be. When we’re consistent it can mean we’re not challenging ourselves enough. Whether it’s health, relationships, or financial goals, which are all areas I am striving to push the bar higher this coming year, to have the best year of your life means raising your standards and living out the new self-image you want to create. What about you? What areas of your life are you ready to make better and reach for your potential in? The three steps below that I adapted from the book Lasting Transformation by Abby Rosen, PhD sum up the process of making lasting change, and how you can apply them for a successful 2013!

Step 1: Self-awareness – What you need and what gets in the way

First off, determine where you are now compared to where you want to be. Rate yourself in each area of life (emotional, physical, mental, spiritual, social, financial, etc.) and determine what is working and not working. At this point, determine what has been getting in the way of making change for you. Figure out what you need to do and what needs to be different. To move beyond the patterns and habits that keep you stuck you will need to develop awareness of your blind spots. These are those defense mechanisms and interference’s that get in the way of us becoming the best person we can be. Many times they are unconscious and we aren’t aware of them until we really examine ourselves. So, select an area you want to make a change in. Then list everything that has been getting in the way of you making the change. Interference’s can be external or internal. External interference’s may be related to our environment or the other people in our life. Internal interference’s can be anything from anger, doubt, fear, shame, or general negative thinking. Become aware of both how your environment and self-image can get in the way of your future success. Now that you know the obstacles you will face they can no longer be excuses.

Step 2: Behavioral Change – Set your goals

Once we become aware of the blind spots driving our decision making and behavior we can deal with them. Some interference’s can be changed but many will have to be pushed through. Your lifelong pattern of fear and doubt won’t simply disappear. You will have to take action to garner courage and confidence. You will have to do things differently to get different results. Changing behavior is an important step to shifting habits and beginning to build momentum. This would be where you set your long-term goal or lifestyle change for 2013. Maybe you want to run a marathon, double your sales, or start a new career. What are your goals for 2013? What patterns do you want to reverse and what seeds do you want to nourish? After you set your goal, it is important to build the confidence, competence, and sense of control that the change will persist. Here are a few suggestions that I adapted from Brendon Burchard’s book The Charge to help stimulate change: Mix up your routine – Get out of a rut by changing the way you do things. Routines often become habitual and we may not even realize how we’re doing things is getting in the way or slowing us down. Bring novelty into your routine to keep you engaged and break your unconscious patterns. Try something new – Seek out new and inspiring experiences. As you reach toward your goals, absorb yourself in uplifting activities, and push yourself to do things that are beyond your usual practice. Find inspiration and joy as you pursue change. Meet new people who share similar goals and value – The people we surround ourselves with may be the most important aspect of making change, and that area many people neglect. Network and connect with people who already have achieved what you want. If you want to get in shape spend time with healthy people, and remove yourself from unhealthy people. Learn new skills – What new skills can you learn this year that will aid in your success. Often making change, particularly a challenging change, requires learning new information, skills, and competencies. Become excited about learning and set a goal to learn as much as you can to support you in your goals.

Step 3: Transformation – Make change last

This last step is the key to making long-term change. Transformation refers to changing from the inside-out and reinventing our self-identity and personality. This comes after we have done the work to gain awareness and started to alter our lifestyle. Transformation is lasting because we have changed our self-image and default way of responding. We are able to deal with interference’s and they no longer pose an insurmountable obstacle.

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly. – Richard Bach

As you push yourself to set challenging goals and recognize that you can be successful, your self-image will change regarding what you’re capable of. You will hold yourself to higher standards and your decisions and behavior will reflect this. The way you see yourself and the way you live your life will become congruent and you will then be the best-version-of-yourself.

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35 Fast Tips to Make This Your Best Year Yet

I’m sitting on an airplane thinking about what the best performers and most successful people do to continually outperform everyone around them.

As we enter what I hope will be the single best year of your life yet, I’ve come up with 35 Tips that I invite you to concentrate on. Share these tips, reflect on then, post them where you can see them – and allow them to infuse your mindset:

  1. Remember that the quality of your life is determined by the quality of your thoughts.
  2. Keep the promises you make to others – and to yourself.
  3. The project that most scares you is the project you need to do first.
  4. Small daily improvements are the key to staggering long-term results.
  5. Stop being busy being busy. This New Year, clean out the distractions from your work+life and devote to a monomaniacal focus on the few things that matter.
  6. Read “The War of Art”.
  7. Watch “The Fighter”.
  8. In a world where technology is causing some of us to forget how to act human, become the politest person you know.
  9. Remember that all great ideas were first ridiculed.
  10. Remember that critics are dreamers gone scared.
  11. Be “Apple-Like” in your obsession with getting the details right.
  12. Take 60 minutes every weekend to craft a blueprint for the coming seven days. As Saul Bellow once said: “A plan relieves you of the torment of choice.”
  13. Release your need to be liked this New Year. You can’t be a visionary if you long to be liked.
  14. Disrupt or be disrupted.
  15. Hire a personal trainer to get you into the best shape of your life. Superstars focus on the value they receive versus the cost of the service.
  16. Give your teammates, customers and family one of the greatest gifts of all: the gift of your attention (and presence).
  17. Every morning ask yourself: “How may I best serve the most people?”
  18. Every night ask yourself: “What 5 good things happened to me this day?”
  19. Don’t waste your most valuable hours (the morning) doing low value work.
  20. Leave every project you touch at work better than you found it.
  21. Your job is not just to work. Your job is to leave a trail of leaders behind you.
  22. A job is not “just a job”. Every job is a gorgeous vehicle to express your gifts and talents – and to model exceptionalism for all around you.
  23. Fears unfaced become your limits.
  24. Get up at 5 am and take 60 minutes to prepare your mind, body, emotions and spirit to be remarkable during the hours that follow. Being a superstar is not the domain of the gifted but the prepared.
  25. Write love letters to your family.
  26. Smile at strangers.
  27. Drink more water.
  28. Keep a journal. Your life’s story is worth recording.
  29. Do more than you’re paid to do and do work that leaves your teammates breathless.
  30. Leave your ego at the door every morning.
  31. Set 5 daily goals every morning. These small wins will lead to nearly 2000 little victories by the end of the year.
  32. Say “please” and “thank you”.
  33. Remember the secret to happiness is doing work that matters and being an instrument of service.
  34. Don’t be the richest person in the graveyard. Health is wealth.
  35. Life’s short. The greatest risk is risk-less living. And settling for average.

I genuinely wish you the best year of your life.

Hey, it’s Mel! I’m SO glad you’re here and I am so excited about my new course Simple Steps to an Incredible Year.

I created something special for you . It’s 100% free and I’m giving it to you in honor of the fact that you just survived one of the most challenging years of your life. Between the pandemic, the political environment, the challenges of remote work and distanced learning and how hard it’s been to not be able to see your friends, colleagues and family – you deserve a medal and a simple way to reset your mindset, energy and your vision for the future to something AMAZINGLY positive.

Every year, I create a NEW online course that helps you dream big and take control of your life. It’s my way to give back. This year, given the unique challenges of 2020, I have created a brand new, FREE course to help you move forward from the most challenging and important year of your life to date.

2020 had something important to teach you and in my four module free course, you’re going to learn what it is and how to use to help you make 2021 an #incredibleyear.

This course is entirely free, and being a part means you get:

– 4 Modules of exclusive video content, emailed weekly starting December 28, 2020

– Almost 2 hours of content

– 4 PDF worksheets to help you apply the lessons in your own life

– Support from a global community of people just like you completing this course

Last year, more than 300,000 people took advantage of the course I launched a year ago. This year, I want YOU to join us in this brand new FREE online experience.

This life-changing, FREE experience is for YOU. And feel free to share with your kids, your team members, your students, and anyone in your life who deserves to have next year be a great one.

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If you’re feeling beaten up by 2020 or are looking to reinvent yourself in 2021, this course is for you.

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This course is entirely free, and being a part means you get:

– 4 Modules of exclusive video content, emailed weekly starting December 28, 2020

– Almost 2 hours of content

– 4 PDF worksheets to help you apply the lessons in your own life

– Support from a global community of people just like you completing this course

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I have nothing to sell you; my only objective for this program is that YOU have the best year you can.

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Get imaginations flowing by doing something different to make your history lessons memorable. Photograph: Alamy

Get imaginations flowing by doing something different to make your history lessons memorable. Photograph: Alamy

Last modified on Fri 13 Sep 2013 12.30 BST

When I think about what makes a truly excellent history lesson, it often has nothing to do with what Ofsted criteria the lesson hits.

A lot of pressure is put on teachers to produce outstanding lessons, but the best lessons I’ve taught have often be those where the students connect directly to the past using real historical artefacts, or where I’ve taken a real risk with our activities. Although this may not exactly tick Ofsted criteria, it gets students engaged in what they’re learning, which is actually what they want to see.

You don’t always need to do written work in class. I once brought in a suffragette badge and sash to show a group of year 9 students studying the campaign for the vote. We sung along to sister suffragette and everybody tried on the badge or sash. I borrowed some hats from the drama department and for 45 minutes everyone took turns at being a suffragette. Nobody did any writing, but for months afterwards the students said it had been their favourite lesson.

Using real life sources is powerful too. I once gave my A-level students nineteenth-century copies of the London Illustrated News. They worked in teams, thumbing carefully through looking for any pictures relating to the British empire. Every time a group found one, we gathered around the table and all discussed the imagery. Seeing the reality of how iconic the empire was in victorian Britain really brought the topic to life.

Asking students to lead the learning is also fun. When teaching a year 5 taster lesson about the first world war, I borrowed some helmets and bayonets excavated from the Somme. The students held the helmets, which had bullet holes in them, and we talked about what it would have been like to be there. I asked the students what questions they had about the battle, and the lesson continued from this point.

So if you’re thinking about ways to spice up your history lessons here are five tips:

1. Take your students out of the classroom into another building in the school, or, if possible, outside. Whether it’s the drama room, library, or an IT room, variety really is a wonderful thing. Do something different when you’re there too – let the students explore history on their own by setting up an investigation or a mystery, for example. If you can’t move location, try hiding sources around your classroom. Give students a historical problem, and let them discover the hidden answers.

2. Introduce some drama to your lesson. Re-enacting historical events is always fun – use the tables and chairs to create scenery, borrow some props from another department and have 10 minutes where everyone shelters from an air raid, crouches in a trench or watches the coronation of Elizabeth I. Some schools do a fantastic job of introducing drama into their history teaching, and this often translates into good results too.

3. Bring in something from home – a book you love, an artefact you own, some pictures of a museum you visited, a postcard or a poster from your wall. Work this item into a normal lesson, use it as an introduction. The students will love your enthusiasm, and it makes the lesson more personal.

4. Play a game with the students. I have had plenty of success with bingo, University Challenge and hang-man. These make great starters and plenaries, and once regular fixtures in your teaching, students look forward to lessons where they can have fun.

5. Hand the teaching part over to the students. Give them a topic and get them to prepare an activity in groups. You can then let them teach the class. This may sound scary but invariably produces excellent results, even with troublesome classes.

It’s hard to do this type of teaching every day, particularly with the pressure of exams and challenging behaviour in some classes. But some things are worth trying, even just once a year, with each class. Students like the fact that teachers are willing to take a risk, even if the lesson is disastrous, at least we tried something new.

Joanna Duncan teaches history at Mill Hill School in London.

A creative strategist, consultant and writer who specializes in cultivating human potential for happiness, health and fulfillment. Read full profile

How to make 2013 the best year of your life

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How to make 2013 the best year of your life

Do you have a life plan? Have you ever thought about how to make a life plan? Most people haven’t, but they should.

We are not talking about a 50-page business plan with maps and checklists. A life plan is really just meant to be general summary of where you are now in all the areas that matter to you, where you want to improve and what you’d like your life to look like in the future.

Don’t be scared off by the title. It may sound ominous, but creating a life plan does not need to be a difficult or lengthy process. It’s worth an hour to get the life we want, instead of chasing the wrong things and working hard, only to find that we have been following the wrong path.

The Process

How would you rate your life? – Are you satisfied with the way your life is right now? Somewhat satisfied? Not at all satisfied? The answer is for your eyes only. No one else needs to know. Be honest.

What is going on in your life now? – Briefly summarize the current state of your life. Consider your health, career, relationships, finances, spirituality, and emotional well-being. Add any other areas of life that are important to you. Don’t take too much time with this. Just write down what your life is like right now.

What makes you happy? – Think about what you enjoy. Think about things that are going well in your life. Include activities, people, and situations that bring you joy, satisfaction, or just make you laugh.

What are the drains? – Pinpoint the drains on your energy and happiness. Determine what people, behaviors, choices or situations cause stress, anxiety, or a negative mood. We all have life toxins; people or things that suck the life out of us like vampires draining our life force.

What isn’t working in your life? – Think about where you want to improve. Identify your obstacles to living a fulfilling and happy life. Consider the lingering challenges in your life; health, fitness, weight, lack of organization, an unsatisfying or dead-end job, a difficult or damaging relationship. Perhaps, you simply need to manage your stress better, get more balance, or just learn to laugh again.

What would your ideal life look like? – Describe in detail what kind of life would truly make you happy to get out of bed in the morning. Describe what you would be doing, whom you would be with, and how you would be feeling. Be honest and be clear. It’s important to be really clear about what you really want in your future.

What do you need to do to get that life? – Think about what needs to happen for you to get from where you are now, to where you want to be. It doesn’t have to be a detailed action plan right now, just some general goals or ideas to work toward. You can get more detailed later, but you need to define a target. Consider what habits you’d like to adopt or what ways you might change your attitude or environment.

More food for thought

What do you really want to accomplish in this life?

What kind of person do you want to be?

What is most important to you in life?

Why do you want whatever it is that you want?

How would you like to be remembered?

What will your life be like if you never change the way it is right now?

How to make 2013 the best year of your life

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Don’t let the new year sneak up on you. Now is the perfect time to follow these 5 ways to start the year off right, and take charge of what you are getting out of life.

How to make 2013 the best year of your life

#1 Do a yearly review

Take stock of where you’ve been and appreciate all of the accomplishments you’ve made in the last year. In a typical yearly review, you should answer these types of questions:

  • What went well for me last year?
  • What accomplishments did I have?
  • How did I improve my life?
  • How did I improve my relationships?
  • What did I remove from my life that is now making me happier?
  • What do I wish I had taken more time for?

Keep track of these questions and your responses in a journal that you can refer back to in the future: your answers year over year will be very enlightening.

Ask these types of questions about all the important areas of your life, such as family, relationships, financial, career, home, etc. These questions will help you appreciate all you’ve accomplished in the previous year, and you can use this information to start the new year off right, and set better goals for the next year.

#2 Finish what you started

Which projects, errands, and general list of to-do items do you have left over from the previous year that you can complete in 2 hours or less? Do them now to clear your mind of the old items.

Keeping projects around like pets doesn’t do us any good—they just weigh on our minds, and people will spend hours thinking about something that will only take 10 minutes to take care of. Cross those things off your list and give yourself a fresh start.

#3 Be realistic

Dreaming is fabulous and highly recommended, but if you want to accomplish some improvements in your life, you need to be realistic. As much as you may want something, it’s very likely you don’t really believe you can have it. (If you did you would already have achieved it.) We have to turn a dream into something we can picture accomplishing before it can become a reality.

Take your dream and start breaking it down into milestones: if you want to work from home, what are the steps you need to take? Break those steps down further so you can create a game-plan and start working towards accomplishing that dream.

#4 Focus on what you really want

Speaking of dreaming, ask yourself what your dream looks like. What are you doing in the dream? How are you living? Who is in the dream with you? What does a typical day entail?

These questions will help you define what lifestyle you really want, and give you ideas about how you can achieve that lifestyle. For example, if you see yourself relaxing by the fire with a good book and a cup of tea, ask yourself why you aren’t spending more time that way now. What things are in your way and how can you re-arrange your priorities in order to have the lifestyle you really want?

If you think that what you want is more money, keep digging at that response. What would you do if you had endless amounts of money? Would you travel, volunteer, or live simply and quietly away from it all?

We often think that money is an end goal, when really we are just stuck in a rut, and we think we can’t do or have what we really want unless we have more money. Challenge that idea and dig to find those things that you really want, and aim to pursue them now.

#5 Put yourself at the top of the list

Using the information you gained above by determining what you really want, put yourself at the top of the list this year. The old adage is true; we really can’t help others until we help ourselves. Taking care of yourself and striving to reach your own goals will make you a better spouse, friend, child, and parent.

Our examples have a far greater impact on those around us than anything we might say, and taking care of your own health and well-being means you’ll be around longer for your loved ones too! Be sure to make time for yourself each day to work toward your goals, or to attain the lifestyle you want.

How will you start the year off right? Share your plans in the comments below.

9. Learn to honor yourself.

How to make 2013 the best year of your life

The world is full of opportunities, but sometimes too much thinking can get in the way. Changing your life for the better is about picking a destination and taking one step at a time to get there. If you try to take shortcuts, you may actually end up making your journey longer and more arduous. Getting serious about making improvements is a great start, and taking action is the next important step.

Here, then, are 10 tips to help you start improving your life:

  1. Be grateful for what you have. When you stop to remember what you have instead of worrying about what you may not be getting, it changes your perspective for the better.
  2. Start your day the night before. The most successful people I know end their workday by making a list of what they have to do the following day or two ahead. This allows the subconscious to work on things while you sleep.
  3. Be ready to grow up. Adults have the ability to learn to delay gratification, but we also have a choice as to how to behave when things don’t go our way. If you remember to take the high road, you’ll end up where you want to be.
  4. Drop the attitude. If you think the world owes you a living, you might want to reevaluate your position. It is quite possible that, by feeling entitled, you are pushing away things and people you might like.
  5. Don’t ignore your emotions, but remember that feelings aren’t facts. Emotions need to be honored—they don’t have to be justified—but just because you have a feeling doesn’t mean that you are right.
  6. Watch out for negative thinking. Sometimes we get into negative feedback loops and don’t even know it. If thoughts of being helpless and hopeless continue to enter your mind, you might just need to take a nap or perhaps talk with someone who can help.
  7. Set up and stick to a routine. We are creatures of habit; and good habits, such as getting regular exercise, make us feel better. Maintaining good habits also helps us feel that we have some control over our lives. Just do it.
  8. Drop your resentments. We all have them. Whether they are toward our parents, partners, or peers, resentments take up too much psychic space to allow us to function properly. By choosing to drop them, you will make your life much lighter. But the hardest part is making the decision to let your resentments go.
  9. Know who you really are, and learn to honor yourself. We all fake it from time to time and once in a while, this can be a good thing, but never compromise your personal values and always strive to be your best self.
  10. Enjoy a part of every day. Look for those little bright moments that happen all the time but that we often fail to recognize. Make a point of seeing some good in every day, and you will change your life.

Start with no regrets and move on from there

by Barbara Hannah Grufferman, AARP | Comments: 0

How to make 2013 the best year of your life

Getty Images/Hero Images

Staying engaged with friends, and making new friends and connections, is important to your overall well-being.

En español | One of the keys to living your best life after 50 is to steer clear of regret.

Accept the results of your earlier choices but understand that it’s probably time to make some adjustments to how you live your life going forward.

Think about your future and imagine what you would like it to be. Not sure where to start? Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Am I staying engaged with the world and the people I care about?
  2. Am I taking care of my body, mind and spirit?
  3. Am I making “me” a priority?
  4. Am I in control of my finances?
  5. Am I having fun?

Here are 10 tips that will help you answer all those questions with a yes:

1. Keep networking

Whether you’re working, retired or thinking about reentering the job force, networking is essential. Engaging with people on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and face-to-face in industry groups will keep you current and connected. Keep your résumé up to date, too.

2. Build a personal board of directors

Life after 50 is filled with change and can be confusing. Whether you’re looking to switch careers, pursue a relationship (or end one) or buy a house, having a trusted posse to review life’s bigger questions helps. Invite several nonjudgmental friends who will encourage and guide you. And do the same for them.

3. Don’t smoke

This is a no-brainer, but it’s shocking that we still see smokers on the street. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death, according to the American Lung Association. If you’re over 50 and still smoking, get help to quit.

4. Have safe sex

Don’t think because you are over 50 you are immune to sexually transmitted disease. You are not. Make sure you know the scoop on your partner before you proceed, even if you’re in a steady relationship. Use condoms. Discuss your risk factors with your doctor and get tested for the most common STDs, especially when you start a relationship. Insist that your partner do the same.

5. Move your body

Give your body, mind and spirit the daily gift of movement, whatever it is. Even going out for a brisk walk will put you on the right path. It’s not about being skinny; it’s about being strong and as fit as possible.

6. Strengthen your bones

Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones that we associate with aging, and rightly so. Getting adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D (which helps the body absorb the calcium) is essential. Equally important is doing strength-training exercises to build muscle mass and bone density. Added bonus? Your body will be toned and strong.

7. Save more and spend less

The more money you have saved after 50, the less stress and anxiety you’ll experience. A big fear among those over 50 is not having enough money to live well later in life. (The AARP Retirement Calculator can help you see how you’re doing.) The sooner you start saving more and spending less, the better you will be down the road. Take the advice of the top money experts: Use a fee-only financial planner to get you on the right path.

8. Be a person of action

We’re all busy with family, work and friends, but that’s no excuse to stop thinking about causes that are important to us and to the world. We have wisdom and ideas. Don’t just pass the baton to the next generation. Hold it with them so we can solve the world’s problems together.

9. Hug your inner kid

Smile, play, laugh, have fun with family and friends. Take up a hobby or activity, perhaps one you can do with others who care about you.

10. Embrace your age

Don’t fight aging. It is a very powerful concept — letting go of your younger self, and embracing and loving your aging self. Treat yourself with kindness and respect, and take care of you — body, mind and soul — as you would your children, your family and your friends.

Read Barbara Hannah Grufferman’s “best of everything” posts on the AARP Blog.