Happy New Year!

While we are living in challenging times it is important to reflect on all

the good things happening around us, too. It is also the time of year when we set goals for ourselves and often come up with New Years resolutions.

More than half of us resolve to eat healthier and lose some weight every year. Those goals are always important — even more so as we age. Fortunately, we have lots of opportunities to help you keep some of your goals.

Our partners at the Green House Project at Nay Aug Park in Scranton have just launched their new Outdoor & Active Older Adults program. Don’t let the word “outdoor” scare you off. This is a blended program offering a variety of healthy activities for the mind, body and spirit.

The mission of Greenhouse embraces healthy eating and healthy living. If you love plants, why not try a make and take class and bring home something you created. If you feel like you need to get out of the house but aren’t interested in a class, try a guided nature walk or go on a meet the growers tour to see some of our local farms and the products grown and made right in our community. They also offer artistic outlets for those who love to draw, sketch, scrap book and write.

If you want to do more physically, there is a series of yoga classes for every level. Chair yoga is a safe and great way to feel better and keep moving.

The most adventurous program they have to offer is kayaking for beginners. If you are like me and it is something you always wanted to try, this is the perfect opportunity.

These programs are just a few of the things happening at the Greenhouse Project. Because we live in different times, there are virtual options available for many of the programs we just highlighted. If anything piques your interest, give them a call at 570-344-9186 or check them out on their website, scrantongreenhouse.org.

Remember, no matter what age we are, we are never too old to stop learning, try new things or make new friends. Many brave souls head to these classes without knowing anyone attending — that’s not easy for all of us. Of all the programs we see and provide, this is probably these are by far the most welcoming, understanding and accepting. If you are nervous, just come and watch, talk to someone who attended or connect with Jane Risse and her group of amazing volunteers. The Greenhouse Project is at 200 Arthur Ave., Scranton — inside Nay Aug Park.

Our goal to help you keep those resolutions doesn’t stop with one great partner organization. We still offer some fantastic programs at both the Carbondale and Greater Scranton YMCA. These programs range from Silver Sneakers to yoga. The Scranton JCC is another great place that we offer programs.

All these locations keep an ever-changing schedule of classes for our active older adult community. You need to be registered at a Healthy Aging Campus to participate in these classes for free so please visit us at the Oppenheim, Hillside, Jefferson Township or Fallbrook campus to learn more.

Your physical and emotional well being is very important to us. We want to hear from you if there is something you want us to try and offer. Already we are exploring golf, academic classes, pickle ball and a few other activities just because we have heard from constituents who are interested in these endeavors.

I know phone calls are easy, but sometimes things get lost in translation. A great way to express our ideas and keep minds and grammar sharp is to send a letter to our office. They don’t need to be formal, they can be short and sweet, but they are a great way to ask for the AAA to explore the idea of a baking and cooking class or a spot to watch a ball game with some friends. Hearing from you helps us make these ideas a reality. You can address them to me or to the office in general and you will get a response.

The most important thing to remember is to stay active and connected. There are countless ways to do this, and people who can help you do this if you need it. To all those reading this, I wish you a happy, healthy and safe New year. Mask up, get your booster and we hope to see you at one of great, safe programs.

Jason Kavulich is the director of Lackawanna County’s Area Agency on Aging. For more information on services available call 570-963-6740.