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5 ways to make 2019 a happy new year

An older lady waves cheerleading pompoms at an Age UK activity class

New year, new goal

January is a great time to take the first step towards a new goal, whether you want to feel fitter, take control of your money, or try a new activity.



1. Feel your best

Looking after our bodies is important at any age. Maybe you've been thinking about getting fitter for a while. Or perhaps, like many of us, you're feeling a bit sluggish after an indulgent Christmas. Small, consistent changes to our diets and lifestyle can add up to a big difference, making us feel brighter, more energised and shift a few stubborn pounds.

Healthy eating

Eating a healthy diet shouldn't be difficult or expensive. Get advice on how to eat a healthy diet.

Feeling fitter

Everyone benefits from moving their bodies more and it's never too late to get going.

Mental wellbeing

Feeling well is as much about your mental wellbeing as it is your physical wellbeing.

Top tip

Don’t try to change your lifestyle overnight. People are more likely to get disheartened if they set themselves overly ambitious targets. Instead, start small – for example, commit to being active every day, even if it’s just 5 minutes of gentle stretching, and build up from there.

2. Make new connections

Having a natter with friends about the things we love is a joyful part of any day. And as well as feeling good at the time, research suggests that having close ties to others can even help us protect our brains as we age. There are lots of ways to make new connections. Many local Age UKs run classes and activities you could join. Or why not sign up to become a telephone friend through our Call in Time programme? It's a great way to make a new friend from the comfort of your own home.

The first person I got in touch with was a lady called Ruth and I’ve been speaking to her ever since. She’s been like a daughter to me. It just makes me feel good. 

Roy, who is part of our Call in Time programme

3. Manage your money

Getting the finances in order is often top of the to-do list, but it can be daunting to know where to start. A good first step is to make sure you're getting all the help you're entitled to. Why not do a benefits check today, or see if your local Age UK can help you? Even if you haven't been able to make a claim before, it's worth checking again.

Check what you're entitled to

More than £3.5bn worth of money in benefits goes unclaimed every year.

Find out where your local Age UK is.


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4. Try a new activity

It's never too late to learn something new! From yoga to cooking, picking up a new hobby doesn't have to be expensive and can challenge you in new ways, which could be good for keeping your mind sharp. If you have a smartphone or tablet, there are lots of free apps available that you might like to try – such as Duolingo, which helps you learn a new language. Watching videos on YouTube is another great way to get tips and support.

5. Give something back

Doing something for someone else is a great way to feel good – research shows that it can be beneficial to your mental health and wellbeing. Volunteering your time could help you tick off more of your goals in one go – from meeting new people and getting out of the house to learning a new skill. Age UK has lots of opportunities for people to get involved in our work. Why not give it a go?

Volunteer with us

See what you could do to help!

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Last updated: Oct 23 2023

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