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4 New Year’s resolutions every expat needs

The season of New Year’s resolutions is upon us. I’m sure you’re all loving the endless, “New Year, New Me” posts. We’re only 10 days into the New Year guys, plenty of time to fail…. Anyone wanna bet on who’s going to give up and quietly stop posting gym selfies first?

But maybe you’re doing really well in that new fitness class and you haven’t had a single piece of chocolate yet.

You probably have more willpower than me.

Having said that, I did complete my New Year’s resolution last year to run a 10k. I even did 2. Maybe I should challenge myself a bit more in 2020?

This year, I’d like my New Year’s resolution to reflect the fact that I’m living abroad. I want something that’ll encourage me to explore more and embrace the fact that I’m living in America.

When you live abroad, it’s so easy to get swallowed up by the stress of adapting to so many changes all at once. You think that you should be doing MORE, but no one knows what “more” actually is. But you should be doing it all right now or else.

I know this because it’s how I feel a lot of the time. But I’m not one to wallow in self-pity for longer than an hour or two.

So I’m giving myself a few New Year’s resolutions that’ll help me stick to the goal of being settled and feeling happy in my new home….

Travel somewhere new

Not a lot happens in February so let’s go somewhere!

Planning to travel somewhere new may seem like one of the simpler New Year’s resolutions, especially when you live abroad as so many people decide to move so they can travel more. But it’s so easy to let these good ideas slip. So many of them just remain good ideas.

Make exploring one of your new year's resolutions

Often, it’s hard to make the time. Especially if you get into a routine of going to that cafe on Saturdays, it gets busy at work, and you just want to spend time at home.

I get it. But is that extra hour of sleep on Saturday really going to make a difference? Why not go to bed earlier on weekdays and not play video games until half 11? (Cough, cough, David).

YOU CAN SLEEP WHEN YOU’RE DEAD!! Go and see the world.

Try something new

So this is a very vague New Year’s resolution but one that has the potential for a lot of laughs and good stories. For example, eat that random food you always see on the menu but are too scared to try. Or take part or learn about that local cultural tradition you have NO CLUE about, but people always seem to discuss.

This year, I was excited to be in the States for Thanksgiving, and I even had the chance to cook Thanksgiving dinner for my husband’s family. Talk about being thrown in at the deep end… but it was one of my favourite weekends since moving here and I am so glad we volunteered to host it.

My first Thanksgiving meal before turning 25
My first Thanksgiving meal actually went well!

For 2020 I cannot wait to witness the craziness of the 4th of July. Mainly as I can’t wait to mutter “filthy traitors” under my breath for the entire day. Hopefully, I don’t get thrown in a river along with my tea…

Make a new friend

Now this one is easier said than done. It takes time to settle somewhere new and to lay down your roots. But this is probably one the best New Year’s resolutions anyone living abroad can make. Even if you already have a few friends, go and seek someone new who wants to enjoy your local area as much as you do.

They might be a local who can show you all the secret hideaways or a newbie like yourself who won’t judge you for getting lost on your quest to “explore more”. You’ll never know unless you try!

Make a new friend - the best new years resolution
Photo by Amy Sanders Photography

For military spouses like myself, the spouses’ group on base is a good place to start, as mentioned when I wrote about the trials of being a military girlfriend. They get a lot of slack for being cliquey, but these ladies will know exactly what you are going through and *should* be willing to embrace and support you. So give it a shot.

I’ve also found success through Facebook groups in my area and attached to my husband’s base, I’m planning to go to a few exercise classes and there’s actually a version of the dating app bumble for women to make friends. Like with any app, it’s a bit strange and you definitely need to be aware but you just might find your new bestie. It’s how I found my husband so they can’t all be terrible…

Revisit your past year

A new year is a great time to celebrate new things, but it’s also a good time to reflect on the year that’s just gone.

So why not make one of your New Year’s resolutions to take more time to look through old photos or create a scrapbook? Make reservations at that restaurant you always used to go to or revisit some of your old haunts. But maybe don’t venture back to the dodgy bar you and your mates used to get hammered at on Friday nights during university. Some things are best left in the past.

What are your new year's resolutions?
Ringing in the new year!

Tell me your New Year's resolutions!

So what are your plans for the new year?

Going with the generic but admirable, “get fit and healthy”, or are you jumping outta the box for 2020? Tell me in the comments below!

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