How many times have you broken a New Year’s resolution? Probably many times.
Another year is ending. You look back at it, counting all the plans you had to accomplish, but failed…
With the arrival of a new year you start making new resolutions. Promising yourself to keep them no matter what. But then again, something stops you from completing them. There are a lot of reasons for it, probably a major one is – the wrong mindset that change is really, really hard.
But rather than dwell on the missed opportunities of 2017, it is the right time to focus on the possibilities of 2018.
A team of researchers has found one of the best techniques to make your New Year’s resolutions happen. It is called the Question-Behavior Effect. The basic idea is to ask yourself questions and then answer them, instead of making statements.
The key is that the effect of a simple question, such as “Will I travel?” causes a psychological response that influences your behavior, through reminding you of the benefits of travel.
Questioning creates a sense of obligation, feeling of discomfort and thus your behavior is motivated to change. The answer will result in action.
The effective ways to increase the strength of this technique are:
- Ask yourself questions in writing form, via computer or a paper-and-pencil survey.
- Try to keep them simple, without providing a deadline.
- Answer with a response of – Yes or No.
SETTING YOUR GOALS
So will you travel in 2018?
Your answer is YES, right?
Then the next step is to try to know yourself better by discovering your personal goals. Because when we are more aware of our interests and wishes, we provide ourselves with the right tools to get to the finish line.
Ask yourself some more questions that will propel you forward.
WHAT DO I LOVE TO DO?
When you are ready, grab a notebook or a computer and make a list of things you love to do. Write down all the things that immediately come to your mind. It can be a messy list, don’t worry, the main aim is to give yourself time to identify the things that fill you up and to think through what you enjoy doing.
Hiking new trails in the hills?
Going to the art exhibitions?
Looking for rare books in the book stores?
Interested in the fashion trends?
Or you love to explore new tastes of wine?
Ask yourself what you are curious about, what you would like to try doing. Doesn’t matter what you will put on your list; just make sure you write from your heart, putting value on the things that interest you. Thus, when you travel you will be more focused on doing things that inspire you and not doing stuff others say is a “must do”.
WHERE I WANT TO GO?
There’s nothing like expanding your horizons and making memories that will last a lifetime. If you don’t know where you want to travel, you have to figure out where to go. Let your research focus on the cities you would like to visit, activities and events that best suit your needs.
Choose the time of year you want to travel and pick a date – it can be during the summer holiday, during the winter season, or that only time you can get off work.
Every travel planning starts with a detailed research of your destination. Gathering information from the websites, travel blogs, reviews, can help you a lot. You can look at Wikitravel page or at the CIA World Factbook, both have useful information about all the countries around the world and data with risk factors and other social issues.
WHAT MY BUDGET CAN AFFORD?
How much do you need to start travelling and how much do you have?
- Stressing about your budget is the most common reason that can stop you from traveling. It is very important to be realistic about what you can afford. Go through your bank accounts to see what your finances look like. While doing this don’t judge yourself that you spend a lot. This is not about regretting, this is about awareness.
- So if your ‘pocket’ cannot afford much, saving money is the best option to accomplish your resolution. Tracking your expenses will help you understand where you can cut back.
- It is recommended to develop money-saving habits. For example, cooking for yourself, instead of buying prepared meals or eating out, can save between $100 and $200 every week. It doesn’t mean you have to give up having beer with your friends on Friday night, but just make sure you reduce unnecessary spending, that nothing stops you from working towards your goal.
- Plan your trip ahead of time, so your travel experience is free of stress.
WHO SHOULD I TRAVEL WITH?
While travelling alone can give you an unforgettable experience, you still need someone who will call you and say: get ready; we’re going on an adventure. Visiting new countries, exploring cultures, cuisine, meeting locals together with your friend or partner, is always a fun and has many benefits. You will always have someone to share your experience with.
Sometimes, unexpected things may occur – car can break down, luggage can be lost, flights cancelled or delayed. Traveling with a friend allows you to see the light in every situation.
And being on a trip with your loved one, even if you live together, can expose a side you never knew about. You can learn how they treat other people or how they react in certain situations. The main benefit is that traveling can strengthen your relationships. It is the truest test of trust.
But there is something you need to know. The person you travel with can make or break your trip. Being stuck in an unknown country with a person who has completely different view on things, could never be a pleasant thing.
Not all people share the same vision, and actually that’s OK. It is normal to split from time to time during your trip, but if you decided to travel together, you need to spend time – together.
Talk before you go! Have a conversation about your expectations, travel preferences and differences. You will adjust your plans and find a compromise that will suit you and your friend before your trip starts.
2018 – a year of achieving your goals
The only thing that might be standing between you and your New Year’s resolutions is your personal choice to make them happen. Remember, if you truly prioritize travel, then nothing can stop you to see the world.
Choose the date, call your friend, pack your bags and let your desire to explore the world lead you to the greatest adventures.
And when you will get back home from your trip, ask yourself: “What’s my next destination?”