By Marcelle Benedicta, Work and Travel Employer Relations Manager

Everyone always talks about New Year’s resolutions in early January. And usually in a matter of weeks, those resolutions will be forgotten. And come December 31st this year, we’ll feel guilty about breaking those New Year’s resolutions and we’ll be talking about the following year’s resolutions … Again.

Sounds like a frustrating and never ending cycle, yet we always seem to be repeating this. I’m guilty of this as well. But, I’ve come across several articles online about New Year’s resolutions and wanted to share some of my favorite tips with you:

Make your resolutions specific

Instead of saying “I want to learn about other cultures,” think about how you can accomplish it; which countries you want to focus on, etc. In other words, put your resolution in action. How we apply this in our office: We organize a monthly “Lunch ‘n Learn” event that focuses on a country where we have exchange participants. Everyone brings a dish from that country (recipe links provided in advance) and then we play a trivia game with questions relevant to that country. It’s super easy and we walk away smarter! Or, if you typically hire seasonal workers, you can supplement your local hiring by bringing international students who can be here on the J-1 Summer Work Travel program. Think about the value that you’re bringing not only to your customers, but also to your local workers!

Partner up

Just as it is easy to find friends who are into trying out different foods, it can be easy to find friends who are also looking to get healthier in 2014. I’ve found two partners here at the office: one for the gym and one for a weekly dance class. We keep each other accountable and we have fun together… Talk about motivation!

Quality is key

I used to have resolutions that are as long as the toilet paper rolls. Guess what … When you can’t even see the end of the list, that’s demotivating. Plus, it’s always better to be spectacular in one thing than to be mediocre (or fail!) in 100 things. How about we focus on just three (yes, 3!) important things and work our hardest to achieve them?

Focus on what matters

A few years ago, I came across “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin. Sometimes we just get on the daily grind – on autopilot – and we’re always saying how busy we are. The book reminded me of finding things that make me happy and then helped to focus my energy in accomplishing them. We can all start by creating our “happiness list.” How much time are you dedicating on doing those activities?

Love the you ‘now’

So what if you’re not at your ideal weight and your clothes feel a little tight? That doesn’t mean that your family and friends love you less. That doesn’t mean you’re not meeting your performance goals at work. That doesn’t mean you can’t belt out Madonna at karaoke. You are great the way you are now and there’s no reason why you can’t “love the me now.”

Hope these simple tips will inspire you to keep your New Year’s resolutions. Sending warm wishes to a happy and adventurous 2014!