What do the people who have the most experience with New Year’s resolutions resolve to do in 2015? According to this collection of centenarians –- people who have lived 100 years or more –- drink, save, love, and be healthy are high on their lists.
“One-hundred-year-olds have made and either kept or broken more resolutions than anyone on the planet,” said Jamison Gosselin, vice president of marketing, communications, and resident enrichment for Holiday Retirement, a provider of more than 300 senior living communities, who conducted the research. “So, we thought, why not share 15 resolutions for 2015 from our expert New Year’s resolution-ists—tips that may even be the key to longer life.”
Some are counterintuitive, some are surprisingly simple. Either way, here are 15 New Year’s resolutions for 2015 based on centenarians’ life experiences (and by the way, we especially like number 6!):
1. Drink whiskey and eat meat.
Dell Lyle, a centenarian from Bloomington, Ind., and Vernon Whittern, a 101-year-old from Grand Junction, Colo., swear they have lived as long as they have thanks to drinking Kentucky’s finest and eating steak.
2. Eat more sweets.
Gretta Clark, a 103-year-old from Fort Gratiot, Mich., says the key to a long life is to “eat dark chocolate and give lots of hugs.”
3. Spend less time with your spouse.
Though 1 in 5 centenarians say you should spend more time with your spouse, 6 percent say spending less time together leads to a happy marriage.
4. Be stubborn.
Lola Brey, a 100-year-old from Billings, Mont., says staying ornery and stubborn led to her longevity.
5. Take your kids to task.
One in five centenarians say today’s parents should be stricter and discipline their children more.
6. Ladies, never admit you are wrong.
Harriet Lee, a 101-year-old from Roseburg, Ore., says the key to a happy marriage is to “never let a man know he's right.”
7. Make your bed every day.
Ms. Lee also attributes her long life to a simple daily chore: making her bed.
8. Put your kids to work.
More than 50 percent of centenarians think today’s youth do not understand the value of hard work.
9. Fix Washington.
Even though 2015 is not an election year, it is a great opportunity to become a political advocate. According to centenarians, you can start by fixing military spending, the size of government, and politics in general.
10. Spend more time with people you love.
If they could go back and change one thing about their lives, 1 in 3 centenarians would spend more time with loved ones.
11. Spend less. Save more.
One in four centenarians say they regret not starting to save money at an earlier age. Centenarians also think adults today will most regret spending too much money (15 percent), followed by not saving enough money (13 percent).
12. Do what you can, when you can, how you can, for as long as you can.
This year, Vivian Hamilton, a 100-year-old from Sherman, Texas, vows to keep that resolution.
13. Get to the gym.
Nearly 9 in 10 centenarians say that physical activity has contributed to their health and happiness.
14. Be nicer.
Kay Wood, a 102-year-old from Ocala, Fla., says her resolution for 2015 is “to just be nice to people.”
15. Make it through the year.
Keep it simple in 2015. Follow 101-year-old, Grace Currie’s lead. The Surprise, Arizona, resident resolves that this year she will “live to be 102.”
And then there are those who may be the wisest of all, who say go sans resolutions. Dorris Weller, a 100-year-old from Sherman, Texas, does not plan to make a resolution. She says, “It’s worked for 100 years, so just keep moving every day.” Jeunette Nelson, a 102-year-old from Spokane, Washington, plans to stick to her motto, “Just live from day to day. Take one day at a time, and enjoy it the best you can.”
These recommendations were pulled from a recent nationwide survey of 100-year-olds, as well as individual interviews with centenarians across the country.
“The survey and resulting report is just one way we celebrate the lives of those seniors who we have the privilege to serve every day at Holiday Retirement communities,” said Gosselin. “The nuggets of wisdom shared, especially from those aged 100 or more, offers a candid look at the world through the eyes of people who have experienced so much in life.”
Still looking for the right New Year’s resolution? Request a copy of the report, “100 Years of Wisdom: The Perspective of Centenarians,” at 100yearsofwisdom.com. The survey and individual interviews were conducted by Holiday Retirement. For more information about Holiday Retirement, please call 800-322-0999 or visit www.holidaytouch.com.