Create an exercise routine

It sounds so simple, but we all struggle with it. Even though we run out of excuses not to go, we still find ways around it.

But here’s the thing. Establishing an exercise routine really helps with motivation, happiness, and simply feeling better about what’s going on in our lives.

It may not be the same gym, the same people, the same classes, or whatever, but you always get the same results. Establishing an exercise routine is a great way to survive the first year of living in a new place, because all you need are educators and a plan.

When you are done, you will think more clearly and feel more comfortable about the day. Even if only to find out how to work on the washing machine.

Keep a schedule

By keeping a schedule, you are responsible. Everything else around you has changed, but who and how you control it has no control over it. Add everything to a planner so you can progress on unpacking, settling in, decorating your home, meeting the neighbors, or anything else that will help keep your mind focused on the future versus the future.

Having a plan will give you a goal along the way, which will leave you a little lost and lonely when you arrive. In addition to helping you keep track of what you’ll be doing in Year 1, it has a plan to give you something to look forward to. (Hint: schedule these items on the list!)

Say yes to everything

If you’re outgoing, it probably sounds dreamy. Or if you’re an introvert like me, saying ‘yes’ to a social event takes us seriously out of our comfort zone.

But here’s the deal. You have to meet people. You don’t feel settled until you’ve found the person or tribe you’re hanging out with. Finding the person or people you can trust is critical when you need a cuppa conversation or even a Thanksgiving dinner.

Whether you’re sticking to old traditions, starting new ones, or doing a bit of both, it is very important to have local friends in your life to share these traditions and new experiences with to survive the first year.


There is something about participating that immediately lifts your heart and soul. Find a cause or cause you believe in and go for it.

For me, I chose to participate in ongoing events to raise money for cancer organizations – both local and foreign. It made me feel connected to so many people and that I was serving a very important purpose. It removes any restrictions you may feel when you miss your home and your family.

Sharing your purpose by doing good to others is a great way to increase your happiness and therefore live less on the go. You will be more focused on your charity goal than anything else.

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