Reflect on 2017, move ahead in 2018: tips from columnist Ivy Chiu

As 2017 approaches year end, the opportunity to reflect on the year that has past, and set new goals for 2018 is a way to start the New Year off right.

In Canada, a common tradition at the end of each year is to set New Year’s resolutions; these are personal goals or commitments that improve one’s behaviour or lifestyle in some way for the year ahead.

As you prepare for 2018, here are five New Year’s resolution ideas to consider.


  1. Get involved in your community

One way to familiarize yourself with new surroundings is by getting involved in your local community. Examples include volunteering, joining a cultural organization, or attending a local event or festival.

Community involvement can provide you with a variety of benefits, including expanding your social network and helping you feel more connected to your local area. Feeling homesick is normal when moving to a new place because it is different and unfamiliar. Exploring your community can help you feel more at home. Your local community centre or neighbourhood newspaper can provide more information about such opportunities.


  1. Focus on your financial health

Upon arrival in Canada, you may have noticed a difference in banking technology or products. Feeling rushed in decision-making or not fully understanding banking terms or requirements at first can often feel overwhelming. Booking an appointment with a financial advisor is an easy way to learn more about your banking services and financial goals. You may even explore other options such as savings and investments that might fit well with your personal financial situation.


  1. Seek out Canadian experiences

Canada is known for its multiculturalism, making it possible to stay comfortable within your home community. As you prepare for the New Year, including a few Canadian experiences in your resolutions can help you enjoy and appreciate what this great country has to offer. Experiencing Canadian culture may include watching a hockey game, visiting well-known landmarks such as the CN Tower and Niagara Falls, enjoying a Nanaimo bar or poutine, or building a snowman when the flurries come.


  1. Focus on your career

Finding employment in a new country can be challenging. Focus on adapting your resumé for the Canadian workplace, building your network, and if needed, upgrading your skills and growing your language proficiency to help you qualify for the career you want. A New Year brings new opportunities; 2018 might be your year to start on a path toward a career you most aspire to.


  1. Keep active

Staying physically and mentally fit is an important part of leading a healthy and balanced lifestyle. By joining a local gym or trying a new exercise class, you can stay active while also incorporating new ways to meet others.

Focusing on your mental health is just as important. Find activities or hobbies that make you happy; whether it’s yoga, reading, cooking or exploring the neighbourhood, exercising the brain will help reduce stress and anxiety, and increase awareness. Life can get busy especially while you adjust to change, so remember to take time for yourself.

May the year ahead bring you joy, success and prosperity.


Ivy Chiu is the senior director, cultural markets, at RBC. Once a newcomer herself, Chiu is interested in helping newcomers integrate to life in Canada. Are you new to Canada or know someone who is? Visit for more advice.