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The time of year is approaching when many of us decide to take action and change our lives for the better by making New Year’s resolutions. Offering a chance to start afresh, the New Year’s resolution is notoriously difficult to maintain. However, there are ways of encouraging yourself to commit to improvements you wish to make in your lifestyle. Getting out into the local community or engaging with a new area is the perfect way to add a little motivation to your goal-setting experience, and Wiltshire is the perfect place to do so. With countless activities, groups, venues, and beautiful natural landscapes to choose from, Wiltshire has many opportunities to achieve any New Year’s resolution.

Get fit

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Getting fit is possibly the most popular New Year’s resolution made by people around the world. Whether you’re looking to get in shape or simply boost your energy levels, increasing the amount of exercise you do is certainly going to improve your health. But many people make the mistake of joining expensive schemes or undertaking dramatic diets in January when, in reality, the best fitness resource is on your doorstep: the great outdoors. Wiltshire in particular boasts many opportunities to get fit and active, from kayaking along the Kennet and Avon Canal to hiking a trail such as Mid Wilts Way to the Ridgeway. Another option, as Visit Wiltshire suggest, is joining a local event such as the Wiltshire Wildcat. Getting outside is the perfect motivation to commit to getting fit, and taking part in community activities will spur you on further!

Eat healthily

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Eating healthily needn’t be a drag, but for many people who set this as a resolution, it ends up becoming so. Visit one of Wiltshire’s many healthy cafes and restaurants and make healthy food into something to enjoy. There are countless options to enjoy healthy food in Wiltshire such as “slow food fast” at Egg-e-licious in Swindon, with its healthy grilled meat or vegan wraps and Glove Factory Field Kitchen in Bradford-on-Avon, which offers “fresh salads and dips, roasts with delicious soups” and much more,.

Travel more

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People are increasingly realising that travel is one of the most enriching activities to engage in. Travel provides a new angle on life as you can enjoy new surroundings and people. However, at a time when most of us are trying to be frugal, you don’t need to go far to experience the wonders of travel. Whether you’re venturing from a different area of the UK or are simply looking to take a weekend trip for a change of scenery in a different town, a Wiltshire cottage holiday is the perfect way to recharge after the busy festive season. Relax in style in a gorgeous period cottage with modern furnishings, and put your feet up by the fire after a refreshing walk in the stunning Wiltshire countryside and you’ll feel like a new person!

Spend more time with family

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If you are resolving to dedicate a particular day a month to doing something with the kids, or if you simply want to make more time to catch up with a loved one, spending time with family is an important aspiration that many people attempt to put into action at New Year. Wiltshire has a bounty of family activities for quality time, from Longleat Safari Park to Swindon Ice Arena, Salisbury Mystery Treasure Trail and beautiful walks at Larmer Tree Gardens (which even has a fairy door trail for the kids!) Alternatively, if you want to catch up with a parent or sibling, why not take them out for a delicious afternoon tea?

Reduce stress

Stress is one of the major problems that many of us face in our daily lives. As Lifehack say, stress “may be an unavoidable side effect of our hectic modern lifestyles, but it can be effectively managed with the help of useful, unconventional and easy to practice tricks for stress management.” Changing your lifestyle can help to alleviate stress by taking more time to focus on your own wellbeing. If you’re left a little frazzled after Christmas, a soothing Wiltshire walk may be all you need to rebalance. There are plenty of beautiful routes to take, from circles around Stonehenge to a stroll by Wootton Rivers. Alternatively, why not treat yourself to a rejuvenating message or retreat at a Wiltshire spa? For those looking for long-term stress reduction, Mindfulness Wiltshire offer specialist 8-week courses for Mindfulness-based stress reduction, and Wylye Valley Meditation run group sessions where you can learn to rebalance with like-minded people.

Become more cultured

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If you feel like you’ve been spending too much time on the sofa over the Christmas period, it’s time to inject a little culture into your life. Whatever forms of art, music, and entertainment you enjoy, there will be plenty of chances to feed your passion in Wiltshire. Perhaps you’d like to make more time to visit art galleries in the area? If so, there are plenty of stunning venues, such as Katharine House Gallery in Marlborough, which is full of modern British pieces. If you are more of a theatre-goer, and this is a passion you’ve been neglecting of late, why not take a look at the line-up at venues such as Swindon Wyvern Theatre and Arts Centre for fantastic family shows or the Theatre Royal Bath for high-end performances of classics such as The Woman in Black and Swan Lake? Taking in culture, from the beautiful architecture of Bath to a local concert, will inspire you and lift your spirits throughout the New Year.

Learn a new skill

Nothing can give you a new lease of life quite like learning a brand new skill. At New Year, many people aim to learn to do something they’ve always thought they would enjoy, and in Wiltshire there are many groups and locations where you can foster and develop your new skill. Perhaps you’ve been meaning to learn a new language. The University of Bath offers a variety of evening classes that are open to the public in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, Japanese, and Arabic allowing you to practice your skills for your dream trip. If you’re interested in learning something a bit different such as martial arts, there are many classes available across Wiltshire, such as Tiger Martial Arts, which has centres in Bath, Trowbridge, Melksham and Chippenham. Or, for art lovers, why not nurture your creative side with a range of art workshops in Wiltshire? The options are endless!

Meet new people

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It’s easy to get stuck in a rut of seeing the same people every day. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with cherishing relationships, it’s can be beneficial to expand your horizons every now and then. Meeting new people can give you a fresh perspective on life, as learning about their experiences and beliefs can be inspiring. In Wiltshire, it’s easy to meet new people, with plenty of social groups dedicated to shared passions. If you’re a keen walker, you might enjoy Wiltshire Ramblers, or if you’re into performance, there are many drama groups in Wiltshire to flaunt your talents. Keen readers can find many book clubs to spend an evening discussing favourite plot lines – simply enter your postcode on Reader’s Circle to find a group near you.

Give back

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One of the most valuable resolutions you can make for the New Year, or at any time, is to donate time to a charitable project. Not only will volunteering markedly help a worthy cause, it will also give you valuable new skills, allowing you to meet new people and give you a real sense of purpose.

Whether you have a little time or a lot, there are plenty of local charities in Wiltshire that you can support. If you’re an animal lover, you might relish the opportunity to help Wiltshire Wildlife Hospital, who care for injured and ill wildlife. If you’re passionate about improving children’s lives, you could consider researching Children’s Chance, who are a charity that “aims to give children and young people whose families are going through hard times, or who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, the opportunity to do things that would otherwise be denied them.” For those who feel strongly about the protection of the environment, there are plenty of sustainability charities in the local area. People with a creative flair may be interested in supporting Music Alive, who aim to improve access to music for disabled people. Whatever you believe in, there is a charity in Wiltshire where you can put your time and skills to use.