A New Year is here and with that simple fact comes everyone’s favorite loaded question: “What are YOUR New Year’s resolutions?” Come on. You know you’ve either asked that question at least a dozen times over the years or been forced to answer it when, really, you don’t give much of a shit about goals or resolutions. Hey, we’ve all been there and will probably have to endure it more often than we’d like.
So, maybe you don’t want to make any major changes to your life. Maybe you don’t have the time or energy to lose the 50 extra pounds you’re carrying around. Maybe that job you hate really isn’t so bad after all. Perhaps many of us are looking at this whole resolution thing the wrong way. We seem to have been conditioned to aim for the gold without first doing the necessary prep work it takes to make attaining those goals really feasible. We’ve also gotten really comfortable with only trying to make significant life changes during “meaningful” shifts in time versus whenever we feel ready or whenever we damn well please.
The neat thing about this all is that life is what you make it, and this approaching New Year you can choose to take small steps that could eventually lead to bigger and better things. “Like what?” you ask. Well, allow us to elaborate…
It’s January 1st and you’ve decided to purchase a really expensive gym membership that you’ve promised yourself you’re going to use every.single.day for ever and ever. And then February rolls around and you’ve managed to go to the gym all of four times. Save yourself the cash and the inevitable shit-talking that will ensure and do one of these things instead:
1. Houston has lots of parks. You should go to them. Run. Walk. Meet some friends and play a game that involves a ball of some sort. Interestingly enough - you can do other things at parks like have picnics, sit and read a book, take your kids and run around without a care in the world. See? The possibilities are endless.
2. Houston also has tons of yoga and meditation centers that you can check out without the commitment of a membership. Check out the Houston Zen Center, Yoga Ananda, or Joy Yoga.
3. Our lovely city also has an incredible resource via The Jung Center of Houston. Locals can sign up for courses on all sorts of topics ranging from happiness to self development and exploration. They also offer a diverse list of workshops and lectures to choose from as well. There are workshops on breathing, poetry, music, yoga, and much more. And if you just want to stop in and look around, The Jung Center also has a gallery with rotating exhibits throughout the year that is free to the public, as well as a bookstore and library filled with books that focus on special focus on psychology, humanities and the expressive arts.
4. It’s not news to anyone who has lived in this city for even a short time that we have a ton of museums. What some of you might not know is that we also have a ton of cultural and community centers and that reflect the uniqueness and diversity of our city. There are enough to keep you plenty busy throughout the year. Places such as: Talento Bilingüe de Houston, Houston Museum of Culture, Asia Society Texas Center, MECA, and India House.
5. Indulge in the arts - be it music, visual arts, or performing arts. Our city has got something for everyone. The Catastrophic Theatre is moving into a new space and is sure to have even more fantastic stuff in store for their audience in the coming year. Miller Outdoor Theatre always has something fun going on. Maybe this year you can venture out beyond the casual show at Fitz and check out an in-store performance at Cactus Music or Vinal Edge. Expand your musical horizons passed the ordinary and indulge in jazz and chamber music performances offered through Da Camera’s 2013 season.
Change doesn’t have to be a tedious task that seems impossible to reach. Approaching your new year with an open mind and a willingness to explore your surroundings is one way to shake things up in a manageable way. Houston is a huge city with a lot to offer and I guarantee you most of us could experience it hundreds of new and different ways and we would still only be cracking the surface of what our town has to offer.