OK … the world did not end in 2012. The long-term Mayan calendar reset itself just like our calendar did.

Around the world, thousands of people went “5-4-3-2-1 Happy New Year!” Resolutions were made and some were promptly broken, but some people, seniors included, made resolutions that will help them address the next year and possibly the rest of their lives.

This is the time of year many of us take a serious look at how our lives are going (or possibly have gone) and look ahead to how we’d like to make our lives better in the future.

For most of us, we’ll just continue our life as it has been but perhaps take a closer look at how and what we do on a regular basis. The resolutions we make and try to keep generally are about doing things differently. We keep doing the “old” but try to make it new again.

As was pointed out last month, senior programs and centers see a definite increase in activity early in the year. The centers may be doing “everything old” but many seniors are seeing the activities as new again. If a person’s resolutions revolve around health and well-being, a second look may be taken at the fitness programs and health checks offered by a senior program.

Very recent research has shown that hearing and loss of hearing contributes greatly to dementia, so just taking part in hearing testing may help someone’s resolution to be healthier in 2013.

If the resolution were about becoming more active in the community, then a new look may be taken at community participation activities and volunteering.

More seniors than ever are realizing there are many things they can personally do to improve mental acuity by taking part in learning activities, such as piano lessons, other music sessions and just checking to see what is in place for learning. Just listening to music has proven to be good for brain functioning.

The Harker Heights Senior Recreation Program, at the recreation center next to City Hall, will continue “everything old” but make it new again so seniors are able to live up to some resolutions. As far as resolving to be more active physically, the Senior Recreation Program will continue with the “Stretch ’n’ Go” exercise and Texercise at 9:30 and 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. But some new exercises will be added to make it new again.

Exercise to a Latin Beat is now at 10 a.m. Mondays and 8:30 a.m. Thursdays. This is a really upbeat class.

Making the “old” line dancing new, Beginner Line Dance classes start at 10:15 a.m. Tuesday. These are for those folks who have never line-danced before and want to get up and move. Everything is very basic and is as good for the brain as it is for the body.

Pickleball continues to be new to many people even though it has been popular in senior programs on the east and west coasts for almost 20 years. Interested? Come from 11:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and be ready for something new: Bocce and archery! No, not at the same time.

Archery is after Pickleball on Tuesdays and indoor Bocce, or lawn bowling, is Thursdays. More new programs will be added as interests develop.

“Brain conditioning” classes are 1 p.m. Tuesdays. Called “Life Long Learning,” the courses are from The Teaching Company, on DVD, and are taught by highly regarded university professors. The newest course to start Tuesday is about memory and how it affects aging. The lessons are a half-hour long and two lessons are covered each week.

The biggest “new” is the Fundamentals of Photography course from The Teaching Company. Subjects such as choosing equipment, composing photographs, landscapes, group photos, animal photos and more are taught via DVD.

Did you make a resolution to improve your life in some way? Check out the senior program/center in your area. You might be surprised at how easy it is to make your life new again. For information about the senior activities, call the Recreation Center at (254) 953-5657.

Joyce Mayer is the senior citizens recreation program director for Harker Heights. Contact her at mpranch@earthlink.net.

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