New Year’s resolutions for expats


Living abroad presents many opportunities for personal growth, which is the essence of New Year’s resolutions.

Many people have a love/hate relationship with New Year’s resolutions. It gives you a chance to reflect on the past year and evaluate what aspects in your life work well and which areas could use a little improvement. It’s inspiring and intimidating at the same time, hence the love-hate relationship.

Living abroad presents many opportunities for personal growth, which is exactly the very essence of New Year’s resolutions.  

Here are four expat friendly resolutions that might not only give you the chance to improve yourself, but also your connection with the place you’re living in:  

Take your foreign language to the next level

This is an obvious one for expats. The eternal struggle of learning the language. Many expats will confirm that they’ve been stuck around the same level for longer than they’d like to admit. Even if you get by, you’re still missing out on a world of experiences and opportunities by not being fluent, or having the confidence to communicate. Not only does improving the language makes you feel more confident and capable, it also offers you the opportunity to get more involved in the local community (plus it is good for your brain!)  

There are several ways to improve your language abilities such as language classes, going to language exchange evenings or downloading a language learning app on your smartphone.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

From time to time you will be confronted with the annoyances of living in a place where things are sometimes done differently. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you’re having a bad day.

Instead of letting the setbacks frustrate you, try to see the good in everything. You came here for a reason after all. The struggles are all part of the journey and the good far outweighs the bad. When you find yourself struggling in the workplace, don’t keep your issues to yourself. Talk to your employer about what they can offer you in terms of extra support.

Go with the flow

This resolution goes hand in hand with the previous one. Embrace the insanity and quirks of your adopted home. When things don’t go the way you’d expect, go with the flow. Also why not change things up by stepping outside your expat bubble. Try the local food or attend cultural events. It all gives you an opportunity to learn more about the country you’re living in.

Who knows? By incorporating habits of your adopted country you might start living more healthily or find a new food that you love!

Meet the locals

It’s easy to live life abroad in an expatriate bubble. Of course there’s nothing wrong with having fellow expats as friends, as they are the ones who completely understand what you’re experiencing. But being friends with the local people gives you insights into the culture in a way that you just wouldn’t have otherwise.

However, it can be difficult to make friends with the locals. You could join a sports club or find a language tandem partner. Apps such as Meetup are also great for helping you expand your social circles. It gives you the opportunity to get out of the house, participate in activities and meet other like-minded people who share your love of whatever you end up doing.

Do you have any New Year’s resolutions? Share them with us!

Image: [Kat]