Be successful without New Years resolutions

Canadian Winter

Beautiful pic from the train window on a professional development trip to Boston. Now get going!

Have you made New Years resolutions to improve yourself and have a successful year? Did you break them or feel like you’ve already fallen off track? Maybe you just said forget it and figured there’s always next year. However this year is going for you, I’m here to tell you that you can have a great year without making New Years resolutions.

This year, I don’t have a list of amazing countries I’m going to visit or incredible things I’m going to do for 2014. That’s not to say that 2014 isn’t going to be an incredible year of learning, exploring and adventure. It just means that if I stay open minded, look for opportunities instead of waiting for them, and be happy with what I’m doing now, this year will be incredible.

When you start traveling and working overseas it’s easy to get distracted with what to do next.  It’s easy to find yourself feeling that every year you can, “go bigger and better,” which can easily distract from what’s happening now. For me 2014 is about trying to enjoy the now while actively pursuing new experiences and adventures.

Two years ago I only planned to travel for 3 months and ended traveling for 12. I didn’t have a list of countries I was going to go to, or amazing things I was going to do. In fact, although I had already traveled extensively, Borderless Travels didn’t even exist.

It’s the adventure of living in the now and being open to the future that makes each year exciting. Of course, you can’t sit and wait for the next thing to come up. You have to work hard to keep motivated and look for new opportunities.

To achieve success each year a great strategy is to mix short term plans with long term goals. Think about where you are and what you’re interested in doing in the future. Once you figure that out you can then start to look for new opportunities.  Just remember these aren’t formal plans, they’re an outline, so you need to be flexible and adaptable because plans change.

How does this work? Let me give you a personal example; my long term goals are to continue building Borderless Travels while working as a teacher and pursuing new work opportunities. This means that, as I continue to supply teach, I’m also looking for new part time and seasonal work opportunities.

I’m interested in learning more about acting so I’ve taken a job as an extra with a local talent agency (which might help with Borderless Travels videos). I also want to improve my skills as a trip facilitator and tour guide with the two companies I work for. This means that during the winter I will be participating in professional development with the two organizations I currently work for. In turn, this will help build my confidence as a leader while I learn more about new travel destinations. At the same time, I’ll also make new connections and meet great people, which is how Borderless Travels got started in the first place.

Staying active and learning new skills is also a great way to keep a healthy mind and body so you can be successful this year. Find something active that you’ve always wanted to do and sign up for it! If you pay, you’ll play. For me, playing hockey, improving my swimming skills, and learning how to rock climb are my ways of staying active. To do this I’ve had to sign up for several courses at my local university, hockey arena, and climbing gym.

By getting or staying active you’ll be more focused and you’ll have something to look forward to each week. It’s also a great way to meet new people and make connections that might open new doors for you.

Starting a new year is always fraught with what you did wrong last year and need to improve this year. Instead, forget about the resolutions that will fix all those “problems” from last year. Look at your long term goals, create flexible short term plans, get active, and learn something new. I guarantee you’ll feel better and be more successful. Just make sure you keep an open mind and look for new opportunities, don’t wait for them.

Happy New Year,


What are your short term plans and long term goals?

Tell us about new things you’re going to learn and ways you’re going to be active this year!


Ian Yacobucci

Traveling the Trans-Siberian, mountaineering the Himalayas, or teaching in Tokyo, I'm always trying something new. As a someone who's worked, studied, and traveled to 40+ countries around the world, I'm here to share my experiences so you can do the same.

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