New Year, New You
It's the season for starting fresh, making promises, and setting goals. But instead of joining a gym or deciding to save more money, what if we resolved to join a local CSA or start a local art collection? This year, we've crafted 13 resolutions specially for Austinites to help us better enjoy the city and our community.
Swim in Barton Springs more often.
Once you’ve lived in Austin for a while, it’s easy to become jaded about how cool this place is. Here’s the thing: not every city has a gorgeous spring-fed pool in the heart of downtown. If you’re not swimming in Barton Springs all the time (or at least once a week), what are you doing?
Learn a new language.
Acquiring new skills as an adult is always a magical feeling, but learning a new language is akin to a superpower. This year, brush up on your high school Spanish, soak up some French before your next trip abroad, or even learn Portuguese. There are plenty of language learning resources in Austin, but our favorite is Freestyle Language Center for their ultra-modern, interactive approach.
Hone in on a cause.
In a city replete with volunteer opportunities, you may feel too overwhelmed to know where to begin. Make 2018 the year you dedicate to a cause that you hold dear. Volunteer as a dog walker once a month with Austin Pets Alive!, become a court appointed advocate for foster children with CASA of Travis County, or drive for Meals on Wheels. If you're feeling overwhelmed, we suggest perusing KUT's Get Involved site, which spotlights area nonprofits, and offers insight into each individual mission.
Have a new culinary experience once a month.
Quit ordering the same boring pizza and eat somewhere new instead. Lean into your inner foodie and vow to try out a new restaurant once a month. In a city with such a killer food scene, there’s no excuse not to.
Start a local art collection.
As a card-carrying Austinite, you probably already attend the East Austin and West Austin Studio Tours, but have you started an art collection yet? There’s artwork available at every budget during Austin's studio tours or in the countless galleries and locally-owned shops around town. This year, if you come across a piece that resonates with you, snatch it up. Not only do you pick up a swoon-worthy piece, you put cash directly into the pockets of Austin artists.
Finish the full Town Lake loop.
You’ve been telling people for years that you’ve done it, but now’s the time to actually do it. Set aside a Sunday in 2018 to walk, run, or bike the full 10-mile loop around the shores of Lady Bird Lake. This is a wonderful way to soak up the scenery and reflect on the beauty of Austin, while also acquiring mad bragging rights.
Take a class.
If you're into the idea of acquiring new skills this year, being by perusing UT’s informal class listings for programs ranging from Backyard Chicken Keeping to Beginning Drawing to Communication Tactics for Introverts. You can also attend a wilderness survival workshop at the Earth Native Wilderness School in Bastrop, or hone your cooking skills at the Sustainable Food Center.
Channel your inner cinephile.
In a city that prizes film culture as much as Austin does, it’s time to get acquainted with the French New Wave, languish in a Terrance Malik movie, and finally see a Fellini film. Luckily, the Austin Film Society’s programming can help you do all that and so much more.
Join a CSA.
Austin is home to several farms that offer CSA memberships (sorta like Blue Apron, but with local produce). This year, sign up for a customizable share to show your support. And, even if a CSA isn’t your thing, there are enough awesome farmer’s markets in Austin to keep you supplied in eggs and veggies for the entire of 2018.
Get politically active.
You live in the capital of Texas, one of the nation’s most politically interesting states, regardless of your affiliation. Now’s the time to get involved at a grassroots level with issues that you care about. Attend a city council meeting, march in a protest, canvass for candidates, volunteer for the city, vote in local and state elections, and follow your elected officials on social media.
Take a walk.
In a city like Austin, it can be tough to ditch the car and hoof it. Set off without an end destination in mind and take note of the little things that make this city great on your journey. Don't like the idea of just randomly walking around? The city of Austin's newest art project is a choose-your-own adventure that will take you on a walk throughout downtown.
See more live music.
The next time your friends try to drag you to a show at the Mohawk on a Tuesday, just go. While you're at it, catch a jazz show at the Elephant Room, snag tickets to your fave artist at the Moody, or take a two-stepping lesson at the White Horse.
Adopt a dog.
Just stop fighting it, you know you want to. Head to the Austin Animal Center or Austin Pets Alive! to adopt your new best pal.