As most of us do at this time of year, I have been looking back on the last 12 months. I’ve been wondering where the time has gone, how the changes have happened so quickly and what’s to come for the new year. We plan, think about how far we’ve come and how much further we’d like to go. Then I remembered that the words ‘new year resolutions’ are often thrown around after Christmas and it occurred to me that as expats, we are likely to have similar aims and goals for the future. Based on personal experience and talking to other expats, I’ve put together a few expat new year resolutions that you could consider to keep you on track for the next year.
Make Keep a routine
Making a routine is never the problem, it’s keeping to it that requires the hard work. But a routine can help with settling and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As an expat, I’ve found that routine makes life abroad seem more ‘normal’, rather than as if I’m on a really long holiday. Keep check on yourself, write your activities down, ask your friends to check in with what you’re up to, reward yourself at the end of the month. Be strict with yourself and do what it takes to get into such a rhythm that you look forward to sticking to your routine.
Make a new friend
It’s easy to become comfortable but part of the reason you decided to move abroad was to be pushed out of your comfort zone. Whether it be making friends with another expat or with a local, keep pushing yourself and continue to grow your community.
Join a community
It’s nice to be part of something. Whether that be volunteering, yoga classes, a gym or art classes. Being surrounded by people with the same interests as you can be motivating and allow your skills to develop. So why not join a community for the new year?
Improve your local language skills
Ugh yes, it’s this one. Again. Rather than telling yourself you’re going to ‘learn the local language’, I would aim to set yourself tasks that you’d like to be able to accomplish in the local language. Here are a few examples:
– Ordering food at a restaurant
– Going to the post office
– Having a serious conversation
– Talking to multiple people at once
Realistic language goals mean we are able to reach them and it motivates us to set more 🙂
Contact home more
Some of us struggle to keep in touch with friends and family at home once we are no longer living nearby. Make a conscious effort to send that text which takes up no longer than 30 seconds of your day, or set aside a day of the week to spend ten minutes talking to your parents. It will make them happier than you’ll ever know.
Do something new
Explore, go somewhere you’ve never been before and try out a new food. Need tips for where to go? If you’re based in Frankfurt, the Frankfurterin e-book provides information on 52 places in Frankfurt that you’d recommend to a friend, rather than being your typical travel. I’ve read it myself and think for just 3 euro, it’s worth a purchase.
If you are good at setting yourself new year resolutions but are not so good at sticking to them, you could take a look at my post on meeting aims and goals to help make your year successful.
I wish you a prosperous 12 months and a happy new year!