We've all done it. After over-indulging, lazing around and partying hard during the festive season, New Year's resolutions actually seem appealing.
All that lovely healthy food, fresh fruit juice and rejuvenating exercise looks refreshing. It's a brand new year and time to do those things we've been putting off. This year, those resolutions are real; this year, we'll keep them; we know we can do it! Then mid January rolls around and we've slipped back into our familiar ways.
The secret to keeping New Year's resolutions is to make sure they're enjoyable. Forcing yourself to go for a run every morning when you hate running is doomed to fail. Making yourself suffer through a pile of lettuce instead of the burger and chips you so love - ditto. Dragging yourself to tedious night classes when you'd rather be relaxing on the couch - non-starter.
Another tip is to tackle your life-changing ambitions in baby steps. You're not likely to master kite-boarding in one lesson if you've never done anything like it before, and losing weight doesn't happen overnight. The point is to enjoy the journey, without obsessing about the results.
This guide will help you find enjoyable ways to put the most common New Year's resolutions into practice, and show you why it's easy to stick to them when you're in Perth.
1. Be More Active
Being active in Perth couldn't be easier. You only have to pop down to the beach and before you know it, you're pacing along the sand and wading into the surf. Go exploring and decide which is your favourite beach!
Scarborough beachfront has had a significant facelift recently, creating a fabulous seaside holiday vibe, complete with outdoor pool, playgrounds, skate park, cafes and bars. Trigg Beach is the one for surfing, while Mettam's Pool has underwater treasures amongst the rocks for snorkellers, great for beginners.
While City Beach and Cottesloe remain big favourites for swimming, you'll find South Beach to be more protected for calmer waters. Walking along the beach waist-deep in the ocean is a fantastic way to maintain your New Year's resolution to get fit while soaking up the refreshing sea air.
Following the picturesque walks and bike paths along Perth beaches is another motivational way to get active while enjoying the beautiful coastline. Alternatively, go for a walk or follow a cycle trail in the Swan Valley, stopping off to sample fresh produce and gourmet delights along the way. It's OK to eat chocolate - your exercise will burn off the calories!
The Swan River is another massive opportunity right on our doorstep to enjoy life whilst you keep moving. Fulfil your New Year's resolution by jumping in a kayak and paddling your way around the placid estuary, peering into bays and coves, and getting a whole new perspective on Perth. Go to Water Wanderers for group and self-guided trips along the Swan.
Another amazing spot to kayak is around Penguin Island and Seal Island off the coast of Rockingham. The water is protected from swell by the islands, and you'll get up close to the little fairy penguins and sea lions, as well as an array of bird life. Check out Capricorn Sea Kayaking for more information.
2. Eat Healthy
Yep, we all over-indulge at Christmas, and the New Year is detox time! The good news for those with this New Year's resolution is that healthy eating in Perth is just as enjoyable, with a long list of cafes and restaurants serving up delicious options created using fresh local produce.
You don't need to limit your healthy eating resolution to dining out either. There are lots of farmers' markets around Perth selling organic local produce direct from the source. So if you're self-catering, head down to your nearest market, enjoy the camaraderie and fill your bags. Fresh seasonal produce to look for this summer includes apricots, nectarines, figs, plums, melon, tomatoes and capsicum.
Fremantle is a safe bet for your healthy eating New Year's resolution, and you'll find some exquisite restaurants and cafes in the Swan Valley and Perth Hills that make the most of local produce. Try the Swan Valley Cafe for delicious vegan, raw and dairy-free dishes, and Millbrook Winery, Jarrahdale, where ingredients produced on the estate are served up in the restaurant.
In Fremantle, head to Manna Wholefoods deli and cafe to be sure of the tastiest organic food, and the Raw Kitchen to get your fill of healthy nachos, pizzas and pasta. Acai bowls and smoothies are excellent choices for healthy summer refreshment, available from Acai Brothers and Ohana Acai.
Fremantle Markets are always a great choice for fresh produce and gourmet foods, and there are also plenty of places for a night out around Perth that will help you switch from alcohol to freshly squeezed juices and increasingly popular mocktails.
3. Learn to ...
Have you ever set a New Year's resolution to learn a new skill, but fallen by the wayside all too soon? The important factor here is to choose a skill you can practise easily, and have fun doing it! Here are a few suggestions for ways to do this in Perth.
Learn to draw or paint at Fremantle Arts Centre. There are lots of quick workshops or short courses for beginners, as well as those wanting to refresh or hone their skills. You don't need to take yourself too seriously - just have fun with it and see what emerges! There's no end goal here, other than exploring your own imagination. Once you've built a bit of creative confidence, you can practise to your heart's content until you're ready to do another workshop.
Practise your photography skills simply by roaming around mindfully and experimenting with the settings on your phone or camera. Instagram is a great place to go for ideas, and if you use the #SeePerth hashtag, you'll soon find yourself part of a sharing community. This is a wonderful way to follow your New Year's resolution in Perth by being creative and learning as you go.
Perth is one of the easiest places to learn a new watersport, and summer is the time. Master kiteboarding, surfing or the amazing water jet experience on jetpacks, flyboards or hoverboards. Your New Year's resolution is likely to turn into an addiction, ensuring a long-term learning adventure that will keep you fit too.
After all that delicious festive food, you might feel inspired to improve your cooking skills. Perth has several fascinating and fun cooking classes in a wide variety of cuisines that you can enjoy in a small group. For ideas, go to the following link: Best Cooking Classes in Perth Then try out some recipes on your friends - one of the best ways to connect with others, give something of yourself and have a great laugh. You'll feel like a million dollars!
4. Increase Wellbeing
Wanting to improve our wellbeing is a common New Year's resolution that can mean many things. Often, we're not sure how to achieve it, so a good place to start is with what we already know: a sense of wellbeing often springs from mindful activities, nurturing ourselves, dancing and singing, connecting with others, and being around animals. These are all excellent resolutions that you can achieve and stick to in Perth, no matter what your age or gender.
Yoga at a Perth beach or a refreshing day spa treatment will give you a boost after the festive flurry. Look up Mala Yoga at South Beach for their summer classes right on the foreshore, where you can breathe in the ocean for added rejuvenation. There are classes at numerous spots around Perth that you can attend on an ad hoc basis to keep up your New Year's resolution and increase your sense of calm and balance.
Day spas worth visiting for a cleansing detox and pampering include Crown Spa Perth at Crown Towers, Cove Spa in South Perth and Bodhi J Wellness Spa Retreats at various locations around Perth. Treatments designed for men are on the menu too. Be kind to yourself and visit regularly to feel nurtured.
If you believe you can't dance or sing, think again! One of Perth's latest crazes is the pub choir, where anyone and everyone can join in a good old singalong, a fun and fulfilling way to put your New Year's resolution into practice. Learn a new song each session and surprise yourselves when the whole choir sings in harmony. You'll be having such a good time that it's guaranteed to sound fabulous, and to give you a happiness boost. Try Clancy's Fish Pub in Fremantle or the Rosemount Hotel in North Perth.
Dancing is another feel-good fun New Year's resolution, and even those who have two left feet can get up and give it a go. Whether you go for the dance hall craze with swing at the Mustang Bar or jazz at the Laneway Lounge in Perth CBD, or get into the sounds of local bands at Mojo's in North Fremantle and Rodney's Bait & Tackle in Mosman Park, make sure you dance like no one's watching.
And finally, that soothing feeling that comes from interacting with our furry friends is something worth chasing. Feed the kangaroos at Caversham Wildlife Park, visit the Cuddly Animal Farm in the Swan Valley or sit amongst the kitty cats at the Cat Cafe Purrth in Subiaco.
Most importantly, get out and about to connect with those around you and our wonderful environment. Pursuing all these resolutions will enrich your life and boost your health.