Factors that Contribute to Aging Well

Aging is a topic that I am very familiar with because most of my social work career has been spent working with seniors. Because of that this article caught my attention and am excited to share with you what I learned from it.

The article is named ‘New study finds 6 ways to slow memory decline and lower dementia risk’ and was written by Annabelle Timsit, in the Washington Post. You can read the full article at the link below!


A Study of Hope

There was a recent study in China that took place over a ten year period. The goal of the study was to see if lifestyle and healthy behaviors decreased cognitive decline. There were 29,000 seniors that participated in this 10 year study, which is amazing!! I find it incredible for any study to gather so much data from so many people in such a long period of time!

There were six factors that they looked at to see if they impacted memory decline:

  1. Physical Exercise: Doing at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly
  2. Eating a Balanced Diet: at least 7 of these 12 food items fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, dairy products, salt, oil, eggs, cereals, legumes, nuts and tea.
  3. Alcohol Intake: Not at all or occasionally
  4. Smoking: never have smoked or a former smoker
  5. Cognitive Exercise: at least twice a week
  6. Social Contact: engaging with others twice a week

The study grouped people by how many of these factors they engaged in. The first group engaged in four of the six factors, the second group engaged in two to three factors, and the last group engaged in zero to one of the factors.

The study found that the group that engaged in four to six factors experienced less cognitive decline then those in the other two groups. Annabelle Timsit wrote:

“The results show that “more is better of these behaviors,” says Hogervorst — in other words, the more healthy lifestyle factors you can combine, the better your chances of preserving your memory and staving off dementia.”

Annabelle Timsit, 2023

The study even found that people who had genetic predisposition towards memory loss and Alzheimer’s were seeing less cognitive decline when increasing these healthy behaviors!! I love this because it gives hope that we can make choices that help use to age well and keep our brain thriving!

Are there any of these six behaviors that you plan to increase or focus on in your life?


Timsit, A. (2023). “New study finds 6 ways to slow memory decline and lower dementia risk” Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/wellness/2023/01/26/dementia-memory-loss-lifestyle-habits/

Bucket List Inspirational Story

I recently read this inspirational story, “She found late father’s bucket list, then spent 6 years completing it” by Sydney Page, in the Washington Post. This post is a review of the article and a free downloadable to make your bucket list! Below is a link to the article if you want to see the full story and pictures! Definitely worth checking out!


Inspirational Story

This is a really neat story. Laura Carney’s father passed away unexpectedly after being hit by a car. Laura’s father wrote a bucket list that was found by her brother in 2016, 13 years after his passing. Laura’s father wrote this bucket list of 60 items in 1978 and had completed 6 tasks. Laura committed to completing her father’s bucket list. It took her 5 years and 11 months to complete the list!! What a commitment and such a neat way to honor her father. Laura told author Page that the process of completing the list was also apart of her healing and grieving journey.

Laura completed some pretty incredible tasks including going to the super bowl, driving a corvette, running a marathon, meeting President Carter, and a trip to Europe. Laura shared with author Page that she felt her dad with her and it was a way of keeping his spirit alive. Laura encouraged others to write a bucket list and she worded it in such a beautiful way:

“I really encourage everybody to write down what they want to do,” she said. “It helps you start living more intentionally, and when you’re living intentionally, you feel more of a sense of purpose in your life.”

Laura Carney, written by Sydney Page

What Is On Your Bucket List?

What would be on your bucket list? Below is a downloadable file to get started writing down your lifetime dreams!


Page, S. (2023). “She found late father’s bucket list, then spent 6 years completing it” Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2023/01/20/bucket-list-father-laura-carney-daughter/

Why Do We Procrastinate?

I recently read this great article “What causes your brain to procrastinate and how to face it” by Richard Sima, in the Washington Post. This post is a review of the article and some thoughts about how to face tasks we often procrastinate doing. Below is the direct link to the article being reviewed.


Why We Procrastinate

I am all to familiar with the concept of procrastination. There are times even now that I procrastinate in doing things that are simply not fun. This article was very interesting because it reviewed a study which examined what contributed towards people procrastinating.

In a study done, by Dr. Raphaël Le Bouc, with 43 adults they found several contributing factors that led to people procrastinating. The study found that people were more likely to procrastinate if their brain was convinced that doing the task in the future would be easier. They even concluded through MRI imaging that the part of the brain that makes this decision is the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex.

It was also concluded in the study that participants tended to procrastinate when the task was more difficult and not enjoyable. I can totally relate to this! For some reason when things are harder to accomplish it always feels like there will be a right time to do it in the future or to avoid doing to the point where I simply forget about it. This actually happened to me at work a couple of months ago where I was trying to figure out how to make a transition and was way overthinking and procrastinated. But in reality when I finally took care of it, it took 15 minutes to do. It was my perception of how hard the task was going to be that made it more difficult then it actually was.

Another finding that was concluded in this study is that people are more likely to do tasks for smaller rewards that come sooner then larger rewards that you have to wait for. This is I’m sure no surprise to any of us because we live in a world with instant gratification. The idea of doing more work with less immediate reward takes a lot more patience, discipline, and strategy. When I’m working towards goals that have bigger rewards but are far out in the future I often have to give myself a lot of pep talks to stay motivated and stay the course. It’s hard!!

How We Can Face Our Tasks

The study concluded that to decrease procrastination there are two main strategies to use. The first is to consistently remind yourself of the task. The second is to confront the idea that it will be easier in the future with the truth that it will be the same effort as completing the task today.

I actually started a to-do list journal for work last year and it has helped me a lot with procrastinating. I have a to do list for each month and one for each week. This allows me to stay on track and make the most of my time.

Comment below with your thoughts about the article and what helps you not procrastinate!


Sima, R. (2023). “What causes your brain to procrastinate and how to face it” Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/wellness/2023/01/05/procrastination-help-brain-tasks/