It’s a brand new year and time for a brand new set of resolutions. While it is true that many resolutions go unfulfilled, this may be because they are overly ambitious or unrealistic. The ambitious ones require a great deal of discipline, while the unrealistic ones call for big changes in lifestyle.Whatever your resolution, the key is to increase control over your life, and in that spirit, we offer you a few resolutions that are achievable and will make you feel more empowered.
Live More Healthily
The benefits of a healthy diet are numerous, and the resolution to eat more healthily can do you a world of good. Eating healthy food can not only give you a slimmer waistline, but can also help prevent disease and reduce your stress levels. Eating more healthily doesn’t mean that you have to give up your favorite foods. However, after the indulgence of the festive season, many people look forward to eating healthy food. It’s a good idea to figure out where to shop for fresh produce. The area where you are living may have some great farmers’ markets where fresh, seasonal produce can be obtained.
Also, look for healthier alternatives in the local cuisine. Sign up for a food delivery service, or look for healthy local recipes if you like cooking. Many countries and cities also have healthy restaurants where you can sample food that’s not only good for you, but also delicious!
Exercise is a classic resolution, and also one that is frequently broken. The key is to engage in exercise that appeals to you. Also choose the mode of exercise that best fits into your schedule. If you live in a bike-friendly city, you can get your daily dose of fitness by cycling to work. A brisk morning walk is also a great way to begin the day. If you’re more of an evening person, you can take a walk after work. Check to see if your neighborhood is safe to venture out in by night. If there are national parks nearby, you can go hiking. If you live by the ocean, take up swimming. You can also take up yoga or an aerobics class to stay fit.
Starting a new lifestyle routine is easier when you start small. Instead of signing up for fitness classes five times a week, try incorporating just 15 minutes of exercise every day. Once this exercise becomes a habit, you will be better prepared to make bigger changes in your lifestyle.
Leave The Office On Time
Studies have shown that working for longer hours can raise the risk of stroke by 30 percent. Long hours can be counter-productive and affect the efficiency of the workplace in the long term, if employees become burnt out.
Of course, it’s not always possible to leave work at a decent hour, and you may have days when your workload means you must stay late. It could be that you feel guilty about leaving earlier than your colleagues. However, effective time management means that you allot yourself personal time beyond the workplace. It also helps to get organized and create more productive ways to cope with large workloads. Delegate work and avoid spending too much time on social media during work hours.
Try to avoid bringing work home with you. It can be incredibly de-stressing to get home and do something you like, such as watching a movie or going out for dinner with the family. Keeping a good work and life balance is integral to good physical and mental health.
Stay In Touch
Living overseas can pose a challenge to keeping in touch with those back home, especially if you are in different time zones. However, making an extra effort to stay connected with your dear ones is important. Moving abroad can be a stressful experience and you are likely to go through a transition period as you adjust to a new lifestyle. Staying in touch with family and friends back home can give you the motivation and support you need. It also lets them know that you care about them.
This year, challenge yourself to write an email or make a phone call to a friend every week. This way you will be able to stay in touch with more people. You might want to think about keeping your family and friends updated about your life by writing an email describing the latest goings on in your world.
Make New Friends
An expat’s life is a busy one what with managing an international career, adhering to long schedules and networking. All of this can make it difficult to socialize. Many expats find themselves surrounded by other expats in their new countries through expat communities and clubs. However, living overseas can be a wonderful opportunity to make new friends. This can be challenging, especially if the language and culture are different from your home country, but making friends with local people is an important step in embracing a new lifestyle.
Befriending locals will help you gain insight into the culture and traditions of your new home in a way that might not otherwise be possible. Professional networks and associations are present in most major cities across the world and are a great forum for meeting new people in the same professional circles.
If you’re a trailing spouse who has a successful career in your own country, but are now looking for new opportunities, these networks and associations can be helpful. You might also meet people to socialize with outside of the work arena. For example, a great way to make friends is to participate in a sport or hobby. Many sports and hobby clubs welcome members from different backgrounds and abilities. Local sports club can help you stay fit, along with expanding your social network. These clubs range from mountain climbing and chess, from yoga to book groups. Bars and pubs are also good places to meet locals. Many bars have organized activities such as karaoke nights and quizzes where expats and locals alike can get to know one another.
Document Your Experiences
The expat life is an adventurous one filled with diverse experiences. Why not record all these experiences in a diary or blog? Writing down your adventures will create a great resource to look back on in the future. Years from now, you may be happy to re-discover all the experiences you had while you lived overseas. Challenge yourself to write 500 words every day. These can be about anything, from homesickness and culture shock, to trying out a new cuisine. You might want to make it a photo journal where you take a photograph a day.
Learn A Language
Learning a new language can be a rewarding experience which helps keep the brain active. Even if it is not necessary for you to know the local language, moving abroad is the best chance to improve your skills. This takes time and dedication, but once you are fluent in a second language, you will reap numerous benefits. Irrespective of age, learning a new language is exciting and brings many advantages.
Being bilingual gives you a competitive edge in the job market. Many companies in different countries prefer to hire bilingual employees, as this can benefit the company when engaging in international business. Bilingual employees can also close the gap between two countries or cultures.
Speaking two languages has also been shown to have a positive impact on brain health. Studies have shown that learning a new language can delay the onset of conditions such as Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, acquiring a commonly spoken language such as French or Spanish enables you to travel more freely around the globe without the need for translators. Interestingly, research has shown that when people learn a new language, they also develop a greater understanding of their first language, as the new knowledge places a focus on grammatical rules.
Expats with knowledge of the local language can delve deeper into a new culture and enjoy many aspects of that culture, such as music, history, food and art. Learning a new language also gives you a satisfying sense of achievement. Here are some tips to get you started.
Start learning the language before you move. It is often assumed that expats pick up the language after they move, as they will start hearing the language being spoken. However, it’s not that easy, and many find that trying to learn the local language after moving can be rather overwhelming. A better idea is to take a language class or audio course before you leave. This will make it easier for you to start conversing with the locals right away.
Moving overseas can be a busy time, but once you arrive, make sure to allot some time to keep up your language learning. Also, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, as most locals will be happy that you are making an attempt to speak their native tongue.
A great way to increase familiarity with the language is to watch the local news or soaps, as these will help you pick up new words.
Learning a new language can be hard and takes time. However, don’t give up, as it will be worth it in the end.
Participate in a language exchange where in addition to learning a new language, you can also meet new people.
Giving back to others is always a rewarding experience. Everyone has some way in which they can support those in need. For instance, if you’re a good salesperson, you could work on fundraising opportunities. If you enjoy teaching, you could find someone who might benefit from your mentoring.
There are numerous charities on the lookout for volunteers, and you can choose from a wide range of activities from teaching underprivileged children to caring for stray animals. Doing voluntary work is also a great way to meet new people.
Try Local Foods
Depending on whereabouts you are living, you may be able to find some of your favorite foods. There may be specialty stores or fast-food chains you can visit if you are homesick or if you are simply craving some treats from back home. Today’s global economy makes it easier to remain loyal to the foods of your choice. However, it could be that you are missing out on the experience of trying out a different cuisine. This year, make it a point to avoid import stores and instead eat more local food. You may be pleasantly surprised, and find that some of these affordable, local delicacies become food that you love.
Learn A New Skill
New year’s resolutions are usually about self-improvement. So why not learn a new skill or take up a new hobby? Having a hobby can trigger creativity and reduce stress, in addition to helping you meet new people. For instance, you could try rock climbing for building your stamina and upper body strength.
You might want to increase your reading or take up gaming. Get onto the internet to check out the available activities in your area. There are bound to be hobbies or skills that can help with your physical exercise, while also putting you in contact with like-minded people. Think big! From snorkeling to playing with a Frisbee, you are likely to find an activity near you that you will enjoy.
You may feel like you’ve already travelled a great deal in relocating overseas, but travelling for pleasure is something else entirely. If you have children, take them along. Families can bond immensely during travel, and your little ones will get the opportunity to have rewarding experiences. Studies show that children who start travelling when they are young learn important life skills. They also become enthusiastic about exploring new cultures, in addition to learning how to be prepared for dealing with emergencies. Taking your children along will also give you and your spouse the chance to discover what are traditionally known as ‘kids’ places’, such as Disneyland, which can be great fun for the whole family.
Good luck, and happy new year!
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