Q: Now that my parents have settled into their new retired life, their lives are completely different, and they seem reborn. They worked hard for decades and now deserve to have fun after raising a wonderful family.
Thankfully, they still have their health and happiness. However, they've expressed guilt about spending their hard-earned money. Some family members are not as financially comfortable, and my parents feel responsible for them and want to help.
I think that it's their time to enjoy life after working hard to ensure we had a great childhood. How can I help them realize that they should be able to think about themselves for once?
A: Tell them how much you appreciate them and that you want them to be happy. Emphasize that they've done a great job of giving you the tools to succeed for yourselves.
Thank them for helping you to become the person you now are. Remind them of all that they've done for you and that you are grateful for their guidance and support.
Now it's your turn to follow their excellent example and pass down these lessons to the next generation. Not every person is lucky enough to have excellent role models.
Tell them to spend their money and time on themselves. Retirement is an opportunity for them to pursue their own interests without the stress of working life. Now is the time for them to seek out and discover new passions.
What parents want more than anything is to know that they've raised their children well. Oftentimes, the best way to validate their work is to tell them "I love you."
That's one thing you can never over-say! — Doug
Q: I've made the same resolutions every year for as long as I remember, and I never follow through. By the end of the year, I realize nothing's changed.
How can I turn it around?
A: If you aren't fulfilling your New Year's resolutions, that's because you aren't making change a priority.
First, ask yourself whether these goals are truly important to you.
One reason for failure is because you aren't setting the right goalposts. Another potential problem is having goals that are either too ambitious or too nebulous — bad goals set you up for failure!
If your resolutions are not that important, think hard to find some new ones.
If your resolutions are important, make a concrete plan with an end date and a way to measure success. Be specific.
For example, instead of resolving to read more, choose a number of books and set a schedule. The same principle applies to any other goals you choose.
Set aside a reasonable amount of time every day to dedicate to your resolution. Even 15 minutes a day is OK, as long as you make the time and follow through. You will be reaffirming your resolution every day and keeping it fresh in your mind. You may find that you spend more time on it as the year passes.
Consistency is key! Good luck. — Emma, Doug's granddaughter
Doug Mayberry makes the most of life in a Southern California retirement community. Contact him at [email protected] Emma, Doug's granddaughter, helps write this column. To find out more about Doug Mayberry and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com