The start of a new year brings with it a string of resolutions that are usually broken within a few weeks. As 2017 gets underway and we reflect on the past and the future, Marissa Carruthers takes a look at reasonable resolutions that deserve not to be broken.

Shake up the Social Life

Living in Cambodia can come coupled with a super social life. The country is forever welcoming new faces from all walks of life, with events and activities taking place every night of the week, making Cambodia a socialite’s dream. However, the transient nature can leave residents fatigued – waving goodbye to yet another close pal really does become tiring after the umpteenth cycle. But don’t let this get you down because making new friends is great for your health, and the more you have the better. Why not make it your New Year’s resolution to tap into the country’s constantly changing cosmopolitan collection of people and make a new friend a month. Make a conscious effort to attend more social events, chat to that stranger sat at the bar alone and tap into those friends of friends that you still haven’t met.

Enjoy New Flavours

Shedding the festive pounds and getting in shape are common resolutions – and are often where failures occur. Instead of cutting foods out of your diet, why not try adding more instead. Is your diet as varied as it ought to be? Even the most health conscious often fail to fill their bodies with all the nutrients it needs. Make a resolution to try a new food each week – something that really shouldn’t be that hard considering the abundance of tropical fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts and other edibles available at the markets. Phnom Penh is also home to restaurants from across the world, so if you’ve never sampled Russian, Canadian, Nepalese or Jamaican food before, then there are plenty of places to get stuck in and enhance your enjoyment of food.

Break the Routine

For those who call Cambodia their second home, remember when you first moved here and everything was exciting and new? Saffron-robed monks strolling down the street was enough to stop and stare, motos packed with six people made the jaw drop and the traffic was truly out of this world; eyes darting everywhere, the brain unable to absorb the colourful chaos that dominates the streets, but somehow now this is all normal? It’s easy to get stuck in a rut. Life starts flying by in a routine-filled daze. In 2017, vow to do something different every day. Shake up the routine, take a second to remember where you are, where you’ve been, why you’re here, and don’t fall into the trap of saving for that something special. If you want to pop open that bottle of champagne while watching the amazing sunset from your balcony – do it.

Learn a New Trick

Ever heard the adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”? Well, it’s nonsense, and learning a new trick whether young or old comes coupled with benefits. Mastering a new skill increases self-esteem and can earn some serious social kudos. Why not nurture your inner child and learn that thing you never got round to as a kid? Whether it’s how to ride a bike, rollerskate or do a handstand, get learning. Pick up a party trick that will really impress the crowds at that next birthday bash, or set some records to smash, whether that’s a personal fitness record or a random entry in the Guinness World Records. Did you know that the current record for the longest kiss is a whopping 58 hours, 35 minutes and 58 seconds and the  longest hug is 24 hours and 33 minutes?   

Do A Good Deed

Many resolutions are self-centred so extend this, indulge in some altruistic behaviour and focus outwards in 2017. Plan to do one good deed a day, whether it’s dishing out a compliment, helping the woman at the market pick up her fallen fruit, signing up to donate blood or taking part in one of the regular pop-up litter picks that take place across Phnom Penh. There is also a multitude of ways you can use your skills to better the lives of Cambodians, just make sure you do your research well to ensure you’re helping not hindering others. The knowledge that you’re making a difference will go a long way towards your own happiness and sense of achievement.