The Chinese Idiom to Improve Your 2022 New Year’s Resolutions

Almost 3 weeks have passed since 2022 began, so we thought we’d check in on how everybody’s New Year’s resolutions are going! This is usually when we start slacking in our goals – the “新年 xīn nián ” (new year) is not so “ 新 xīn” anymore, and sticking to a “愿望 yuàn wàng ” (resolution) may not seem as motivating as it did before.

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新年愿望 (xīn nián yuàn wàng): n. New Year’s resolution


zài què dìng xīn nián yuàn wàng shí , nǐ bì xū qiè hé shí jì .
在   确   定    新   年     愿     望     时,  你必须  切  合 实 际。
You must be realistic when choosing a New Year’s resolution.
què bǎo nǐ yǒu yí gè jì huà lái shí xiàn nǐ de xīn nián yuàn wàng.
确    保  你  有 一 个 计 划  来  实   现  你 的 新   年     愿    望。
Make sure you have a plan to achieve your New Year’s resolution.
…oh, did you think those example sentences were just for fun? They’re actually 3 GREAT pieces of advice for sticking to your goals as we continue on in 2022. You might have heard them before… but we bet you’ve never heard them in Chinese!
We’ve already mentioned the number “three” twice so far in this article, so here’s one more: today we have 3 suggestions for how to improve 2 common New Year’s resolutions so that by the time you get to January 1, 2023, you’ll be able to say, “Yes! 2022 was a success!”, or, “是的! 2022 年是成功的!”(shì de ! 2022 nián shì chéng gōng de!)

1. 减肥(jiǎn féi )– losing weight

One of the most common life changes people want to make is “losing weight”. In China, this sentiment is “我要减肥 wǒ yào jiǎn féi”. While this sentence literally means, “I want to lose fat”, it’s used to mean, “I want to lose weight” in general. The problem is, most of us start an extreme diet that we can’t stick with for more than a few weeks, or go to the gym 7 days a week which, if we’re not used to it, is probably not going to be very fun and may even result in an injury.

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If shedding the 斤 (jīn) – kilos – is your goal, try these approaches instead. Remember, we’re going for long-term change, not something extreme that we won’t be able to keep up!

Make 1 diet change at a time.

This might be eating vegetables at 2 meals instead of 1, drinking a big glass of water when you wake up, or choosing another serving of protein instead of fries. Stick with the 1 change for 4 weeks before you add another. Then repeat!
– If you’re not used to exercising, start with

no more than 3 times per week.

This is just enough that you’ll get used to doing it, but not too much that you’ll have to drastically alter your schedule or burn out quickly.

Pick a physical activity that you enjoy.

If you’re going to make a change, enjoy it! Doing something you don’t like will only make it more likely that you’ll stop doing it.

2. 和家人朋友多联系(hé jiā rén péng you duō lián xì)Keep in Touch with Friends and Family

Before you know it, it’s the end of the year, and although you’re spending some time with the people you care about during the holidays you realize that you barely talked with them at all since the summer. Unfortunately, sometimes it seems like the easier it gets to keep in touch with people – whether by writing a “电子邮件 diàn zǐ yóu jiàn (email)”, sending off a “短信 duǎn xìn (text message)”, or hopping on a quick “视频电话 shì pín diǎn huà (video call)” – the less likely we are to actually take the time to do it!

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If you’d like to be better about keeping in touch with people, give these a go:

Set a reminder to call a family member each week.

Every phone and email client has a reminder app, so put it to use for something other than taking out the garbage or turning in that Chinese homework assignment (hint, hint!). It may feel like cheating at first to ask your smartphone to tell you when to do something so personal, but if it’s going to help you maintain your connections and relationships, do it!

Pick a person or small group to see or speak with regularly.

If someone else is involved in the decision to meet up, that will help keep you both accountable! It doesn’t need to happen every 5 days, every week, or even every 2, but put something on a calendar and check in a week before to make sure you’re still able to do it. Better yet, ask them to check in with you, too!
– A simple one to round it out, but one we probably don’t do enough:

next time a friend asks you to do something, say “yes!”

And make sure they can hear the “!” in your voice. We often let too many things that we feel are urgent get in the way of maintaining our human connections, so the next time someone makes the effort to connect with you, make that the priority for the day. The more you get used to saying “yes” to things, the easier it will be to do!
Consistency, consistency, consistency. If we had to choose one Chinese expression to sum up what’s needed to succeed this year (or at pretty much anything!), it’s this:
tiān xià wú nán shì, zhǐ pà yǒu xīn rén.
天    下  无  难  事,只 怕   有   心 人。
There is nothing the determined person can’t accomplish.
What are your New Year’s resolutions for 2022? Let us know what they are and we’ll tell you how to say them in Chinese. Let’s work hard to fulfill our New Year’s Resolutions this year!

You May Want to Learn More :

“5 Classic Chinese Stories of Gratitude”
“Three Foods to Eat During the Double Ninth Festival”
”Three Classic Mid-Autumn Festival Legends You Must Know”

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