Korea Life Travel

Realistic New Years Resolutions to Achieve This Year

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It’s that time of year again – a time where we reflect on the year we’ve had and start gearing up for the next twelve months. After stuffing our faces with turkey, indulging in a few too many Christmas cocktails, or spending more money than we anticipated on gifts, we’ll bust out our pen and paper (or the Memo app on our phones) and start writing those New Years resolutions.


Adding a new year’s greeting to the wish wall at Gwangalli Beach

Are you someone who makes a yearly to-do list and come February you forgot you even made them? I can’t say I was perfect in sticking to my goals but we’re all human; we’re bound to steer off track a little bit. It can be tricky to stick to a plan, especially when there are so many distractions in the way! So I thought this time around, I would look at what I did this past year and see where I can take my goals to the next level. So let’s set some realistic resolutions for 2016! Hopefully you can work some of these tips into your yearly goals.

Resolution #1: Travel, travel, travel

I think I’m well ahead in this department. But for 2016, I want to travel more! It’s true what they say: once you are bit with the travel bug, there’s no slowing down! This past year I’ve traveled to Jamaica, Thailand and Korea (of course).

To kick off 2016, I’m heading to the Philippines for my winter vacation. Next on my travel hit list: Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China. How can I manage to travel to all of these awesome places? Well, once you’re living in Asia, it’s easier (and cheaper) to get around.

Heading south to places such as Thailand, Vietnam and other parts of South East Asia is even cheaper! I suggest subscribing to discount travel apps such as Skyscanner and Hopper. It will send you alerts of the lowest airfares so you can snag the best deal on a ticket. $390 CAD to the Philippines for 2 weeks? Heck, yes! Getting to Japan from Busan can take anywhere from 1-2.5 hours – so it makes for a great weekend destination. Traveling around Asia is totally doable. See ya in the sky!


Flying over my city, Hamilton, on the way to Jamaica

Resolution #2: Be mindful of money


You tell ’em Donna

I’m going to admit something…I love to shop. I can’t help that I’m in a constant “treat yo’ self” kind of mood! H&M Korea has seen a lot of me this year. Well, it’s the only place that will provide me with shoes for my big ass feet! Sorry H&M, it’s not me…it’s you (or is it me?). We’ll have to part ways in the new year (or at least calm down on the spending). It’s time to be SMART with my money. I have to remember one of the reasons why I came to Korea: to put away some coin so I can do things like travel and diminish that debt. I downloaded an app on my phone called Spending Tracker, which is a great tool to help me manage my money and see where I can cut costs. Frugality FTW!


Resolution #3: Keeping up with the cardio

Oh burpees, how I loathe thee. Back in Canada, I used to be a member of a kick-ass women’s gym with great classes taught by amazing instructors. But now, living in South Korea, it’s hard to find something comparable. So this past year I’ve been doing workouts at home, which we all know can be difficult to get into a groove.

There are tons of gyms in Busan, and the Toronto Seoulcalite can tell you about her experiences with her new gym that she loves. But for some reaso,n I feel less motivated going to run/walk the treadmill and lift weights. It may work for others, but it’s just not my cup of tea.



Zumba crew (Photo: Busan Zumba Facebook group)

Plus, it’s helping me with resolution #2; I’m saving moolah by doing lunges in the living room. I stumbled upon the Busan Zumba group on Facebook. And I’m so happy I found this group because I love to dance and group fitness/dance classes are my jam! Every week I join mostly foreigners for a one-hour sweat sesh to some hip-hop, salsa and even some k-pop! For anyone living in Busan and want to join me, leave me a comment and I’ll send you details.


I also downloaded tons of workouts from Natalie Jill, Blogilates and Tone It Up, to name a few. These heart-pumping workouts have been keeping me on my exercise A-game and I hope it continues into the New Year! About those burpees though…

Resolution #4: Give back

Volunteering is something I have not done enough of, but that’s going to change! Not only is it rewarding to help out a great cause, but it’s something you can add to your resume or LinkedIn profile. After doing some research, I found there are many organizations in Busan looking for volunteers, especially in the foreigner community. The Busan Women’s Shelter, Busan Global Village, and the Busan Abandoned Pets Sanctuary are just some of the places you can lend a helping hand. Add ‘Busan Volunteer’ on Facebook to get the latest updates on volunteer opportunities.

I must say, 2015 has been a year of adventure (and changes)! I’m super excited for the upcoming year and what’s to come. As long as I look realistically at my goals, I can really accomplish anything! And so can you!

What are your New Years resolutions and HOW are you planning on sticking to them? Drop a line in the comments below – I’d love to see your list.

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  • Reply
    Stephanie Raley
    January 14, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    Some of your resolutions are quite similar to mine!
    I teach English in Japan so let me know if you need any Japanese travel tips 🙂

  • Reply
    January 12, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Here are my resolutions… https://thoroughlyemily.wordpress.com/2016/01/12/2016-resolutions/.
    And thanks for the resolution reminder!

  • Reply
    2016 Resolutions | thoroughlyemily
    January 12, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    […] been meaning to do a bucket list type blog for a while and was reminded by Expat and the City‘s, Realistic Resolution 2016 blog post.  Here are my 2016 New Year’s […]

  • Reply
    Lili's travel plans (@Lilistravelplan)
    January 8, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    Beautiful list! My resolution is definitely to travel more, too, and give back as much as possible. Oh and I totes understand your problem, I have huge feet, too, hahaha! 😀

  • Reply
    January 8, 2016 at 3:48 am

    Nice list, reachable and concrete goals! Good luck on them =)

  • Reply
    Elaina Ní Bhriain
    January 8, 2016 at 2:58 am

    I must say that I second all your resolutions right there! Put perfectly my friend 🙂 I’m living in Gyeongju, and also run a travel blog while teaching here for the year! Also went to the Philippines for Christmas and plan on going to Japan next, we should meet up and do some volunteering together this year! 🙂

    • Reply
      Expat and the City
      January 8, 2016 at 4:18 am

      That would be awesome, Elaina. Find me in the Female Travel Bloggers facebook group and let’s chat! 🙂

  • Reply
    January 7, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    Great resolutions! Mine are similar…travel as much as possible, give back when I can, and stay active while traveling. It’s easy when you do walking tours around cities, but living in Spain I made it to the gym for a month before giving up haha. So jealous that you’re experiencing Asia like you are, it sounds like a dream – looking forward to many more posts and advice on where I should go next!

    • Reply
      Expat and the City
      January 8, 2016 at 4:17 am

      The great thing about Korea, there’s tons of hills and mountains to hike. Plus outdoor exercise stations (North America NEEDS to adopt this!). I’ll post as much content as I can to help you prepare for a future trip to Asia!

  • Reply
    January 7, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Great goals! Of course travel should be at the top of the list 🙂 It’s the best thing in the world…literally! I’m going to focus on building the life I want to live. Big goal, huh? But I’m so excited to work towards it. Best of luck with your goals!

    • Reply
      Expat and the City
      January 8, 2016 at 4:16 am

      Thanks, Jessica! There’s no goal too big or small… it’s how it makes us feel while achieving it that matters! It’s all about the journey!

  • Reply
    Mel | illumelation ✈ (@illumelation)
    January 7, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    Woohoo, you’re headed to the Philippines! You’ll have a blast. I feel like my resolutions are veeeery similar to yours – less gratuitous H&M buys, more volunteering and contributing awesome stuff to the world. One of my biggest resolutions for 2016 is just to stay positive and happy no matter what situation I’m in, whether at work or travelling or whatever. It gets pretty lonely being an expat so you have to look on the bright side, always 🙂

    Mel | illumelation.com

    • Reply
      Expat and the City
      January 8, 2016 at 4:14 am

      We always need to have a positive outlook on life… no one likes a debbie downer!

  • Reply
    January 3, 2016 at 6:03 am

    Hi!! I’m currently teaching in Seoul and some of my goals for this year are to travel more and do some volunteering work as well!! I’ll be heading to Hong Kong this month and Vietnam next month, and I already started looking into some volunteer opportunities. Great post!!


  • Reply
    Katie Hughes
    December 31, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Travel is definitely one of my goals for 2016 and onwards (completely addicted to it now!). I think giving back is a great goal too.


  • Reply
    December 31, 2015 at 12:37 am

    Great list! All very achievable and rewarding :). Good luck with the volunteer opportunities in Busan. My goals for 2016 are to backpack Central America and be at least conversational in Spanish. Wish me luck!

    • Reply
      Expat and the City
      January 8, 2016 at 4:10 am

      Central America – awesome! I know just a little bit of spanish… dos cervesas, por favor! (hehe)

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