How to fulfill your new year's resolutions locally

From organizing to dating to getting in shape, we have some ideas for 2013

slinn@thetribunenews.com, ppemberton@thetribunenews.comJanuary 4, 2013 

Another year, another batch of New Year’s resolutions.

Whether you want to improve your mind, your body or your community, here are some local resources to help those resolutions stick.

I RESOLVE TO …

Get in shape

With all the snacking, drinking and dining that goes on during the holiday season, most people end up with a few unwanted pounds.

Sweat off those cookies and hot cocoa with a workout at any of the many health and fitness clubs throughout San Luis Obispo County. With locations in Atascadero, Arroyo Grande, Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo, Kennedy Club Fitness serves more than 17,000 county residents, while a number of smaller facilities — such as Equilibrium Fitness in San Luis Obispo and Studio Fitness in Morro Bay — offer a more intimate atmosphere.

Learn a new skill

If you’ve ever wanted to try a new activity, now is the perfect time to start. San Luis Coastal Adult School offers classes on every subject from kickboxing to bread making to quilting, helping students of all ages learn a new language, grow a vegetable garden and polish their parenting skills.

More classes for lifelong learners are available through Cal Poly’s Extended Education department and Cuesta College’s Community Programs. Don’t delay — register today.

Become a better cook

Do you avoid the kitchen? Hate entertaining? Live entirely on takeout? You might want to try consulting a professional.

A number of Central Coast culinary experts — including Jacob Moss and Maegen Loring, executive chefs at Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa in Pismo Beach, and Paso Robles chef André Averseng, owner of Paso Terra restaurant and Dining with André catering company — offer cooking classes to help you perfect soups, sauces and soufflés.

Get organized

Is clutter ruling your life?

If you find yourself drowning in unwanted possessions, don’t dismay.

Grover Beach’s Exploration Station accepts old electronic devices such as cell phones, computers and printers, while books, clothes, jewelry, furniture and other second-hand treasures can be donated to Achievement House Inc., Goodwill Industries and other thrift stores.

Here’s an added benefit: Several shops directly benefit local churches, schools and nonprofits such as Hospice Partners of the Central Coast, North County Christian School in Atascadero and Old Mission School in San Luis Obispo.

Do the write thing

There’s something truly satisfying about putting pen to paper.

Whether you’re working on your first children’s book or polishing off your fifth novel, you should consider joining SLO NightWriters, the ultimate local resource for published and unpublished authors of all stripes. Or you could seek out the California Central Coast chapter of Sisters in Crime, an organization for mystery writers and readers.

To learn about life as a professional scribe, sign up for the Central Coast Writers’ Conference, Sept. 20 and 21 at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo.

Make a connection

Whether you want to meet that special someone, share a hobby or “habla español” with other Spanish speakers, try joining a local club.

Members of the Singles 50 Plus Club meet for movies, dancing and kayaking, the Central Coast Mini Coopers attend races and explore local roads and the Spanish Conversational Group meets weekly to hone their skills. The Ladies Christian Book Group talks about their spirituality, while Atheists United bond over their lack of it.

And if you’re new to the area, check in with the Estero Bay Newcomers Club, which features golf, antiquing, kayaking and more.

Get outside more

Don’t fall into the trap of staying indoors all the time. Take advantage of living on the beautiful Central Coast.

Even if you’re not into the more physical activities, such as hiking Bishop Peak, surfing the waves at Shell Beach or kayaking the harbor at Morro Bay, there are several less strenuous options. You can watch butterflies at Pismo Beach State Beach’s monarch grove, drive toward Big Sur on Highway 1 or take a whale-watching trip.

Broaden my musical horizons

Most people are familiar with the rock and country acts that come to the California Mid-State Fair, the Chumash Casino Resort and the Performing Arts Center, but there are plenty of other places to find great music.

The San Luis Obispo Blues Society regularly welcomes respected blues acts to the San Luis Obispo Veterans Memorial Building. The San Luis Obispo County Jazz Federation hosts performances weekly at the Inn at Morro Bay. And the San Luis Obispo Symphony puts on several classical concerts every year.

Go green

You dig those beaches and mountains, right? How about helping to make sure everyone can continue to enjoy our county’s beauty?

Check with ECOSLO, the Environmental Council of San Luis Obispo, to see when the next coastal cleanup day is scheduled. Help wounded or displaced animals by volunteering with Pacific Wildlife Care or the Marine Mammal Center, both in Morro Bay. Or you can cut down on pollutants by converting your car to biodiesel or installing solar panels in your home.

Find peace

OK, everyone, close your eyes and repeat after us: “Ommmmmm.”

Did that clear your mind? Are you at peace with your inner self?

If not, then maybe you need better guidance. Try finding your happy place during a yoga class at Smiling Dog Yoga in San Luis Obispo, treat yourself to the spa at the Holistic Movement Center in Morro Bay or learn how to turn your focus inward by calling the Transcendental Meditation Program of San Luis Obispo County.

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