Posted December 31st, 2013
We’ve come to that time in the (Gregorian) calendar when we take a moment to stop, reflect on the previous 365 days, and make promises to ourselves to become better people in the year to come. Though these promises are made with the best of intentions, New Year’s resolutions are notoriously easy to break--research shows that just 8% of us actually succeed in achieving our New Year’s Resolutions.
Want to finally join that elite 8% this year? Here are some of the most common New Year’s resolutions and some ideas on how to keep them this year.
1. Get into shape
Losing weight and getting healthy top many people’s resolutions list, yet enthusiasm for fitness often fizzles by February. To stay committed, join a program like Budokan to enter a supportive community of active peers with professional fitness instruction, or intern with an association like Netanya Hoops for Kids. If those options aren’t right for you, use one of the free outdoor gyms located in parks and on beaches all around Israel, or sign up for Crossfit Tel Aviv, which offers a discount for Masa Israel participants!
2. Learn a new language
Becoming bilingual is classic goal for people dedicated to self-improvement, yet it often proves too difficult to find the time and resources to truly commit to learning a new language. Everyone knows the best way to achieve fluency in a new language is to immerse yourself in a foreign country, so why not make the leap this year and study Hebrew (and/or Arabic) in Israel? All Masa Israel programs include ulpan (intensive Hebrew courses), but programs like Kibbutz Ulpan allow you to study Hebrew for hours each day while experiencing the quintessentially Israeli kibbutz lifestyle.
3. Get a better job
Though the unemployment numbers are less dreary than in recent years, finding a job you love that pays well can often be tricky. Getting your foot in the door to your dream industry is the first step, and gaining impressive experience is the second. In Israel, interns are entrusted with real responsibility from day one, getting their hands dirty as an integral part of the team. Thousands of young adults have come to Israel to intern in the entertainment industry, the fashion world, the highest offices of government, high-profile start-ups and tons of other sectors, which helped them get noticed by awesome employers back home, so get a head start on this resolution by exploring an internship in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or Haifa.
4. Help others and give back
The holiday ethos reminds us how fortunate we are and encourages the spirit of giving. Yet as the snow melts, so do our feelings of goodwill towards all. Make volunteering a priority this year and you’ll reap the benefits. Whether you’re interested in coexistence, education, community involvement, or sustainability, a service-learning program in Israel will connect your with your cause while providing a framework of education and introspection to help you process the experience.
5. Stop procrastinating
Don’t let this year’s resolutions become next year’s resolutions. Spend five-to-ten months in Israel interning, volunteering or studying and make this year one you’ll never forget. And with grants and scholarships offered by Masa Israel, there’s no better time than now.