Making New Year’s Resolutions

Ever wonder how everyone else prioritizes their personal goals for the year ahead?   Based on an independent nationwide survey, here is a list of the Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for 2012:

  1.    Lose Weight
  2.    Getting Organized
  3.    Spend Less, Save More
  4.    Enjoy Life to the Fullest
  5.    Staying Fit and Healthy
  6.    Learning Something Exciting
  7.    Quit Smoking
  8.    Help Others in Their Dreams
  9.    Fall in Love
  10.    Spend More Time with Family

A glimpse of this sort is always revealing.  Yet what most strikes me is how extended travel – preferably measured in months rather than weeks – can help realize most of those goals.

Consider your own extended travels – solo or with others.  My bet is that nearly every one of the goals has been reached at one time or another through hostel travel.  Or they can be.

 

When you put on your backpack and head to some place out of the ordinary, you’ve already done the organizing and saving, and are ready for the adventure of a lifetime.  On top of that, you’re walking rather than driving, living on a budget, and if you’re staying in hostels, you’re meeting new people and constantly learning about different ways of life.

I can speak from personal experience for nine of the Top 10.  (I have never smoked, so can’t claim #7; but yes to #9, I met my wife through hostels.)

When I took my first extended backpack trip years ago, “to travel” was my New Year’s resolution.  Yet I quickly realized it was a way to reach other bigger goals.

The survey reports about half of all Americans usually make New Year’s resolutions.   And while of course there is mixed success in achieving them, people who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t. 

So here’s to the value of New Year’s resolutions for setting personal goals in 2013, and to hostel travel as a rewarding way for helping to achieve them.

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