With the dawn of the New Year, many people look to set goals they hope to achieve over the course of the next 12 months.
Those goals can include a plethora of things, including quitting smoking, getting finances in order, spending more time with family and much more.
One of the more common resolutions is to look after one’s physical health by doing things like signing up for a gym membership.
At this time last year, Alberta fitness facilities were closed due to COVID-19 restrictions set out by the province — making this goal slightly less attainable.
“Last year (was) definitely a different story,” said Scott Boyd, senior operations manager of the Cor Van Raay YMCA.
“People are very excited to come in, get their fitness journey going.”
To incentivize staying active beyond the first month of the year, the YMCA is offering free February memberships for any new members joining in January. Boyd added those who sign up will also get a complimentary fitness orientation.
But joining the gym isn’t on everyone’s to-do list. For some, learning or refreshing a new skill is something they want to accomplish.
According to James Zeck, owner and director of the Lethbridge Music Academy, January is a busy time for their operation.
“It’s a really cool time where lots of people are sort of looking to do new things, and one of those things happens to be music,” Zeck said.
“A lot of people are setting goals and resolutions to pick it back up again.”
Guitar and ukulele are among the more popular lessons, with both the young and old demographic coming in to pick up an instrument.
“Music is really cool because it’s so multi-faceted,” he explained. “It’s a great way to sort of (intellectually) keep things fresh, it’s really good for your mind and your brain, but it’s also a great way to learn good-setting, and to learn personal accountability and diligence.”
Zeck added the academy is offering waived registration fees for the first couple weeks of January to help those teeter-tottering on the idea.
When it comes to other hands-on skills, the Allied Arts Council is offering a variety of classes at CASA this year.
“We’re delighted to be able to offer art classes (at) the community arts centre (in) downtown Lethbridge,” said executive director Suzanne Lint.
“If you’ve never done art or engaged in art, maybe 2022 is the year you’re going to have an art experience either hands-on or just as an audience.”
Popular classes include pottery, painting, cooking and its newly-added sewing class.
Lint said participants can feel safe and connected through in-person experiences abiding by strict COVID-19 protocols.
“Sometimes you lose track of your creative self, and having an opportunity to work with your hands to create something is really really important for peoples’ spirit and emotional and mental wellbeing,” she explained.
“Whoever is setting any goals, whatever they may be — best of luck to them and good luck with those new habits,” Zeck said.