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Expat Tips: Embrace Change

Change can be hard, but it is an essential part of developing and growing as an individual. Whether you embark on an expat adventure or want to change an aspect of your lifestyle, here are five tips on how to make this change more manageable.


List What You Want to Achieve

A great way to get off to a good start is to think about what you want to accomplish. Are you planning on moving abroad? Or are you wanting to try out a new hobby? No matter how big or small it is, having an idea in your head about what you want to achieve is fundamental to future success.

 A personal endeavor of mine this year is to reduce how much waste I produce. With global warming becoming an ever more pressing issue, my end goal is to be as environmentally friendly as possible. Just keeping this end goal in mind, is the first step to making change.

Break It Down into Chunks

Once you have a clear idea of what changes you plan on embarking on, you may find it really helpful to break down this mental image into smaller logical pieces; having an idea is one thing but having a fully thought-out plan will help tenfold in making your dreams become a reality.

In order to break your vision down into chunks, I would highly recommend getting some sort of organizer. This can either be a physical weekly planner or an app you have on your phone/desktop/tablet. Either way, making note of what steps you need to take and when to go about taking them will make life a lot easier. Personally, I opted for a digital planner (a step in itself to reduce paper consumption) and I have jotted down a few ways in which I can reduce my plastic consumption. I have also set daily reminders, which help me to remember the small things such as packing my water bottle.  

Whatever means you end up choosing, setting up a plan with small manageable steps will make reaching your goal seem a lot less abstract and overwhelming.

Commit to It

It can be hard to maintain the levels of positivity you had at the beginning of your venture but with the right approach and mentality, it is still achievable! I find that rewarding myself for when I successfully complete parts of my plan, is a great way to keep up my motivation. I know others who also find that being constantly reminded of their end goal really helps them to keep going.

Surround Yourself with the Right People

We are surrounded by a whole variety of different people every day. Some bring absolute joy to our lives and we can’t wait until our next meeting. Others are quite the opposite and can have a draining quality.

Changing something in your life is far easier when you are surrounded by the right group of people. We feed off other people's energy which is why we should take great care in who we spend time with. Even if it’s just one person you can confide in, you will be a whole lot more likely to keep positively working towards your goals and succeed.

If it’s a new hobby you’re trying out, joining a group or an organization could be really beneficial. Alternatively, if you’re thinking of embarking on an expat adventure, InterNations is always there, with a group of global minds who can answer any questions you might have. Whoever you choose to share your journey with, make sure they are someone supportive.

Take it Easy on Yourself

Sometimes when making a change in your life, you may discover that it is not as idyllic as you first anticipated. Don’t be disheartened or take it out on yourself! Life is a rollercoaster ride and sometimes it takes a little detour. If we knew every twist and turn it wouldn’t be as half as exciting!

To see the rest of this ongoing video series with our resident expat expert Lauren, visit our Facebook page. There you can share your feedback with us or even ask for advice — we may just use your question as the starting point for the next video!

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