New Year planning

How to make the most of your year ahead

Happy New Year!

I hope you had a lovely Christmas and you’re looking forward to a brand new year in your adopted country.

When you’re living overseas New Year can be a time of excitement and a time of hope – perhaps even more so than if you were living in your native country. There are lots of new experiences to look forward to, new people to meet and the whole wonder of exploring and integrating into a new culture. But if you’re not particularly happy where you are it might be that New Year fills you with fear. Because let’s face it – nothing is worse than facing January 1st with a sense of dread about the coming year.

The New Year traditionally focuses the mind on the year ahead – what plans you have, what’s to look forward to, what shape your life is taking. So how you interpret the coming of a new year very much depends on how you feel about where you are in that present moment.

The importance of planning

Why is it important to plan your year? Well, regardless of whether you’re happy or unhappy living abroad, it’s a good idea to look forward and put concrete plans in place so you ensure you have tangible things to look forward to. This way you make sure that your year is full of things you actually want to do.

It’s important to map out any travel plans so your friends and family know whether to expect to see you or not.  Likewise, you need to know whether people are hoping to come and stay with you or not.  You need to know whether your partner is travelling or not, or how much and when and you most definitely need to make sure you get a family holiday booked in amongst all of that.

Most of all it’s important you don’t let other people take over your diary and that you remain in charge of your year. Putting plans in place will give you something to look forward to and if you are feeling unsettled about where you live, just having some concrete plans will give you that sense of anticipated enjoyment which sometimes is all it takes to switch from dread to excitement.

What kind of year do you want?

Having plans is not intended to take away the spontaneity from your life – in fact, living abroad often makes you more spontaneous.  But the two can run alongside each other.  What I am trying to do is ensure you have a solid foundation of things which are important to YOU and that the year isn’t taken out of your control.

I recognise that when you are living overseas it can be lonely and isolating. I know from my own personal experiences and from clients I have coached, that new year often brought up a whole smorgasbord of emotions – from fear of never fitting in, the hurt at being away from your loved ones, the challenges of being away from everything familiar and the occasional strain that living abroad creates in your relationship with your partner.

Think about it now.

What do you want? Have you even thought about it? Or perhaps following your partner has made you feel your needs are secondary. So imagine you could have the year you wanted, what would you want it to be like?  It might be that you need to check in with yourself to see what’s missing in your life.  For example, what things aren’t happening that you would like to see happening?

Don’t make resolutions, make plans!

Try a new approach to making your resolutions and increase your chances of success by following these ten goal-setting rules.

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