Get Your Cultural Resolutions On

Psychologists maintain the best way to keep a resolution is to go small. We don’t jump from marathoning Netflix to running marathons over night. If you’ve had lofty goals that don’t last past mid-January try some of these ideas:

1. Set Up Regular Date Nights for Yourself
The new year means new openings at many local art galleries. Take some time for yourself after a busy holiday season and enjoy a centering stroll through a few exhibits. Inspired By Trees opens on January 6 at A6 Studio & Gallery and will give you a new appreciation for the forest. Tumalo Art Co. is open seven days a week in the Old Mill and will show their annual Winter Salon through the end of the month. Find the hidden treasure at the Lubbesmeyer Galley of fiber and paint in Old Mill District, second story loft or visit Desperado for a fashion indulgence.

Downtown Bend is a trophy of inspired art at Red Chair, Franklin Crossing, Mockingbird, Sage Custom Gallery and the Oxford Hotel. For a winter adventure Sister’s Arts Association (SSA) and a Hood Avenue Arts District are tangible proof that the arts community is not only alive, but thriving.

2. Hunt for Treasure
You won’t find any black sailed ships on the Deschutes, but we live in a cove of natural and artistic beauty. Stave off those post-holiday blues and keep an eye out for subtle wonders in your day, whether it’s a signature Central Oregon sunset or a captivating work of art downtown.

3. Explore a Class or Activities You’ve Never Done
New pursuits help sharpen your mind and keep your routine fresh! Winter is here and brings a variety of sports to get you outdoors and stay active. Bring out your inner artist by signing up for a group painting class, where you can sip drinks and socialize with friends while engaging your creative side. The Workhouse offers monthly classes on soap and jewelry making, perfect for yourself or great gifts for friends. Cascade Fine Art Workshops Features Watercolor Magic (get on the waiting list now) or try Sagebrushers Art Society Intuitive Painting classes with Vicki Johnson and Painting As A Process with David Kinker exploring historic use of process and other indirect painting techniques.

4. Nama-stay at Home
Practicing yoga and stretching in the morning and before bed can increase mood, promote better sleep and energize you for your day. A quick internet search will bring you loads of videos that are simple to practice at home. For those looking to join classes, many yoga studios offer community classes at a reduced cost or one month memberships for those looking to test the waters.

5. Learn Something New
Education is a lifelong pursuit! Each month the High Desert Museum holds a Natural History Pub at McMenamins, hosted by experts in their field. Enjoy food and drinks while deepening your knowledge of local history. This series is free and popular so don’t wait to RSVP each month. COCC and OSU-Cascades regularly hold free multicultural and educational events open to students and the general public.

6. Enjoy a Show
The Cascades region is home to a thriving theatre community. Going to a show lifts the winter doldrums, inspires creativity and best of all, entertains. Watch the classic story of Little Women brought to life at Cascades Theatre from January 20 to February 4. At 2nd Street Theatre, Hand to God, an unique show about a crazed church puppet, opens on January 13 and runs until January 28. Annie The Musical will play at the Tower Theatre from January 27-29 and again on February 3-4.

7. Healthy Meals at Home
Although the myriad of restaurants in Central Oregon are delicious, there is nothing like a meal cooked at home. There a several markets that focus on in-season vegetables and locally raised meats. For those with exotic flavor, Savory Spice in the Old Mill is stocked wall to wall with spices and handcrafted seasonings to give your meal an extra zing. Cooking with family and friends is fun, cost-conscious and healthy and there are a few more hands to help with the dishes.

8. Volunteer
Volunteering is an great way to connect to your community and encourage growth within ourselves and others. Become a mentor at the Boys & Girls Club in Redmond or Bend or help build fences for chained dogs as a part of Fences for Fido. There are organizations for every interest and ability and many just ask for your time. Check out powered by Better Together for listings of organizations looking for volunteers.

9. Phones Down
We live in the most stimulated time in history. In every moment there is a buzz or chime that calls for our attention. Take a minute to disconnect from digital devices and reconnect to those around you. Turn off the phone or stick it in a drawer at home and be present with those around you while spending time with friends.

10. Live Music
If you feel cooped up in January, now is the time to expand your musical tastes. Take a chance to see world class musicians perform at Jazz at the Oxford Hotel or at the Mt. Bachelor Riverhouse Jazz Series. Selected members of the Central Oregon Symphony will perform at a free concert on January 22 at COCC. The Old Stone Performing Arts Center, Tower Theatre, McMenamins, Sisters Folk Festival Winter Series and Crows Feet Commons feature talented musicians regularly throughout the year.

Make New Year’s goals. Dig within, and discover what you would like to have happen in your life this year. This helps you do your part. It is an affirmation that you’re interested in fully living life in the year to come. ~ Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go

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