Maybe you set your New Year’s resolutions on January 1st and you’ve been sticking to them ever since. Maybe you set them, but things have since gotten a little… less-than-sticky. Or, if you’re like a lot of us, maybe you’ve been preoccupied by the seemingly endless stressors going on in the world today and you totally forgot to set a resolution at all.

Wherever you are with your 2020 journey, we get it. We’re all for self-improvement and positive changes, but we don’t necessarily think that it’s essential to start on day one and stay consistent all year long. If you’re feeling a bit more motivated now than you were a week ago, we have some suggestions for belated New Year’s resolutions that will not only help you achieve your goals, they’ll also help the city (and its independent businesses) in the process.

If your resolution is…
To read more:

If you want to put down the remote control and curl up in bed with a good book, the best way to get motivated is by stocking up on books that will make you actually want to read. Start with a stack of fun, easy novels, then work your way up to some heavier volumes as the year goes on. You might also set accessible goals for your reading habit, like starting with one book per month and building it up naturally as you go.

Check out: White Whale Bookstore; the Carnegie Library; a monthly book club

If your resolution is…
To get out of your comfort zone:

We’re all a little guilty of getting in a rut when it comes to where we eat, where we go on the weekends (if anywhere) and the places we frequent, but 2020 could be your year to mix things up a bit. Start a new hobby (ceramics class, anyone?), make a vow to check out a new restaurant each week, or even start riding a bike to work instead of hopping in your car. We say if it makes you a little uncomfortable, go for it!

Check out: A bike rental with HealthyRide; a class at Workshop PGH (Bonus: check out Urbanist’s list of 2020 openings next week for a new batch of restaurants and shops to visit!)

If your resolution is…
To get your health in check:
It’s probably the most common New Year’s resolution: to get “fit”, lose weight, or some variation on the theme. Instead of focusing on the numbers on a scale, we’re all about improving your overall wellness in order to feel better and kick start some healthier habits. Start a morning meditation habit, schedule a weekly yoga class, and replace some of your grab-and-go burgers with a few of the (equally delicious) plant-based fast-casual options around the city.

Check out: Frick Park hiking trails; Ascend indoor climbing gym; fast-casual food at Choolaah IndianBBQ, meat-free meals at B52

If your resolution is…
To show up more for your community:  
There’s really no reason to ever be bored in Pittsburgh, and one of the best ways to fill your social calendar in a feel-good way is by showing up for your friends, neighbors and co-workers. Got a friend with a band? Buy a ticket to their show!  Want some new art for your apartment? Support a local artist by commissioning a painting!  It’s easy to toss those invites aside when they come in or admire a friend’s passion projects from afar, but it’s far more enjoyable to support your people so that they can continue to do the things they love.  

Check out: the Downtown or Penn Ave gallery crawl; goods from local makers at PG&H; your friend’s show/exhibit/poetry reading/whatever

If your resolution is…
To volunteer more:
It’s easy to feel pretty down about the state of the world today, but the only real way to make anything better is by taking a hands-on approach. If you’re looking for volunteer opportunities, start by making a list of the causes that are most important to you, then being honest with yourself about the amount of time you’re able to commit. If you set yourself up for success, you’ll be much more likely to stick with that volunteer commitment.

Check out: volunteer with 412 Food Rescue; foster an animal through The Foster Farm; create a better community by making calls for a local political candidate

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Welcome home, Hazel Grace! 💗💜

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If your resolution is…
To revamp your finances:
You don’t need to sacrifice your lifestyle (or your social life) just to save a little bit more money here and there. Instead, make smart changes like setting a budget for going out each month, planning fun new recipes to make at home or even buying designer clothes secondhand instead of paying full price.

Check out: late night discounts at Umami; Legume’s $50 cheap date night; the You Need a Budget app

If your resolution is…
To live in a more sustainable way:
Just like you want the best for your own life, you should also want the best for the planet in 2020. Making small changes like cutting down on single-use plastics, going meat-free one day a week (or more), or making a vow to stop shopping at fast fashion retailers are all great ways to live more sustainably in the new year.

Check out: An Ugly CSA; secondhand and vintage clothing stores like Ruhling/Woven and Mello & Sons; local restaurants that have earned the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurants designation, including Reed&Co, Dinette, Driftwood Oven, Threadbare Cider and many others

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The best gift 🎁

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