8 New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Want to Keep

Forget about the standard vows to lose weight and save money. Reinvigorate yourself this year by resolving to try something new 

Credit: Flickr / Andy Graulund

Besides confetti, kisses and champagne, the new year also means making resolutions, and soon thereafter, breaking resolutions. But these ones, you’ll surely want to keep

Lose weight, save money, declutter, exercise. Sure these are worthy resolutions, but you have to admit, they’re standard fare and aren’t likely to get you hopping out of bed every morning eager to tackle.

Rather than setting yourself up to fail, why not venture out of the ordinary and do something you’d never thought to try or never even knew existed? Have you always wanted to don some body armour and wield a medieval sword, learn to bargain better, or, you know, fly? Well maybe this is your year.

Take 2013 up a notch and make a resolution you’re sure to keep.

Credit: Academie Duello

Take up Sword Fighting

Learn to defend yourself, or at least entertain your friends, with some sword fighting skills. If you thought swordplay was something better left to children – or Game of Thrones – the instructors at Academie Duello will have you thinking again. Skilled in an array of martial traditions from Medieval to Renaissance and Early Modern, instructors teach participants the art of medieval weaponry, warrior fitness and even mounted combat and archery. Beyond the ancient art of sword and shield they also teach unique self-defense classes like umbrella self-defense – where students learn to use Vancouver’s most common accessory to ward off threats.

Credit: Flickr / tanakawho

Learn to Communicate with Animals

Sort out your pet problems once and for all by learning how to communicate with your four legged friends. Gentlecare Natural Pet Products offers Animal Communication Workshops to teach pet owners how to better understand not only their pets, but also all animals around them. Learn two-way communication, how to receive messages and helpful insights to bring you and your pet closer through animal telepathy. Understand animals beyond their physical characteristics and connect on a deeper more personal level. For $250 (certificate included) you are officially an animal communicator.

Credit: Flickr / prorallypix

Blow Your Own Glass

Tired of replacing your broken glasses with cheap sets from IKEA? This year, learn to make your own glasses, and more! Blowing glass is a hands-on experience that yields breathtaking results. Step up to the furnace and watch as the molten glass is transformed before your eyes, bending and shaping into your own unique creation. Try a mini workshop at Granville Island’s New-Small & Sterling Glass Studio, or learn from Vancouver artist Brandon Hammond at his studio.

Credit: iStock / berekin

Drive a Hard Bargain

If you are hoping to save money this year, without curbing your spending too much, then you’ll love this class. Get the best deal on anything you buy by learning how to bargain. You’ll find out how to save money on everything from travel, clothes, accessories and services with Vancouver School Board Continuing Education class Bargaining 101. Revealing the tricks, tips and strategy to everyday bargaining, instructor Ken Walker shows you how to make your money go far and maximize your savings, and he’ll reveal what retailers aren’t telling you, from where to go and when to shop.

Try Underwater Hockey

The NHL season may officially be underwater, but if you’re determined to keep hockey alive, why not take your hockey game off the ice and into the pool. Like the original on-ice version, hockey players are divided into two teams and must maneuver the puck with sticks into goals at either end of the rink. The catch? Players are underwater, wearing masks and flippers, and the rink is the bottom of a swimming pool. This unique take on the classic game is a challenging and fun way to get active and try a new but familiar sport.

Credit: Flickr / VancityAllie

Get Some Avalanche Safety Training

Enjoying our winter wonderland can come with some serious risks, and staying safe in the face of potential avalanches requires serious skills. Avalanche survival courses are the smartest choice for skiers, boarders, snowmobilers, and anyone who roams mountain ranges, especially those who take a particular liking to backcountry powder. Canada West Mountain School offers basic and custom Avalanche Safety Training courses on either Mount. Seymour or Whistler. So play it safe in 2013 with one of their comprehensive courses.

Credit: Etiquette Page

Up Your Etiquette

A great first impression can make all the difference, whether you’re vying for a dream job or going on a first date. And while etiquette may seem dated – knowing the difference between a salad fork and a dinner fork can save you the embarassment of asking your future employer or your mother-in-law which one you should use. Etiquette classes cover everything from dining, to dressing and handshakes, and will give any budding professional the confidence, style and finesse to move up in the world. Fine-tune your manners with the help of etiquette expert Margaret Page and start your new year off with a promotion.

Credit: Flickr / John Biehler

Simulate Flight

The ability to fly is one of the top-five superpowers most desired by humans. And while we usually leave the aerial acrobatics to the likes of Clark Kent, you can at least mimic the sensation of flight in a vertical wind tunnel. Safer than skydiving and accessible for everyone from kids to adults, this exhilarating experience will literally blow you away. Let go of gravity in one of Fly Zone’s controlled wind tunnels this year.