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(Larry D. Moore/CC)

The past year was a whirlwind of a year and one that has given Austinites plenty of time to think and reflect on how they want 2021 to look. With only so much we can do, New Tear's resolutions are a traditional way to set goals and improve yourself. With a rocky start to 2021, maybe you fell behind in your new year planning. This is the perfect time to infuse the new year with good changes to yourself and the area around you.

So whether you're looking for a resolution to adopt in 2021 or don't know where to start, here are some resolutions that can help you better yourself and the community at the same time.

Read more

With the pandemic giving us so much more time at home, reading has become a hallmark activity for people of all ages due to its ability to transport the reader anywhere, mask or not. Austin has no shortage of local books stores to support, so you can find something to read all year. For those who like to break the spine of their book themselves, get a brand new book from Austin's most famous book store, Book People, on 603 North Lamar Blvd. If you love the experience of walking through cozy bookshelves, check out South Congress Books on 1608 S Congress Ave. Finally, for the lover of a home library, check out Recycled Reads on 5335 Burnet Road, so you can collect your books at a fraction of the new price. Bonus points if you check out Austin-based authors like Olga Campos Benz, Sarah Bird, Elizabeth Crook or Jennifer DuBois.

Volunteer in the community

After spending so much time at home and watching the community struggle in the midst of COVID-19, 2021 offers a unique opportunity to help out in a renewed way. If you've made it to the new year wondering how you can help your fellow Austinites, maybe check out one of these resources. For an easy way to directly help the community, donate convalescent plasma with We Are Blood. Those who have recovered from COVID-19 can donate convalescent plasma, which is infused with virus-fighting antibodies that can help current patients recover. If you have a hidden talent, are good with your hands or are innovative, ATX COVID-19 Exchange, a project put on by Dell Medical School allows people to submit their needs and find a solution via crowdsourcing. Finally, with so many people struggling, the Central Texas Food Bank is always looking for volunteers who can help out in these trying times. From the kitchen to the warehouse to the garden, there are plenty of opportunities for all kinds of talents.

Try new things

​Out with the old and in with the new, as they say. Austin said goodbye to too many staple businesses last year and it is important now more than ever to show support to the community industries that keep Austin weird. Whether you're stopping for a horchata cold brew and cachapas con queso Guayanés at Filipino/Venezuelan restaurant Cuatro Gatos, scouting for the perfect vegan Tex-Mex at Lick It Up or trying to get your hands on a Japanese Wagyu burger brought to you by Luck's Wagyu Burger Shoppe, the possibilities are endless if you expand your search enough.

Get outside more

Use this time to soak up the sunny Austin breeze on Lady Bird Lake—you can even do so in a bougie retro boat from Retro Boat Rentals ATX. If you're looking for a little bit of peace and quiet, explore the waterfalls of Pedernales State Park. Of course, if you want to see the outdoors but don't want to be too far from the nearest highway, there is always Zilker Park.

Learn something new

People discovered new hobbies like crazy in 2020—sourdough bread, dalgona coffee and crocheting all around—so there's no reason not to continue the trend in 2021. If you're not sure where to start, find a topic that interests you and connect with a local group who can help. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center offers virtual classes on designing a rain garden or trying yoga with singing bowls. Take a live-streamed art class through the Dougherty Arts Center or maybe even get a feel for the delicate art of glass blowing with Ghost Pepper Glass classes.

We've already made it through 2020, so we might as well be our best selves in 2021.


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