A Strong Resolve

Posted by Kim Leonard

You know what really browns my bananas?  The whole concept that we’re destined to see our New Year’s Resolutions come crashing down around us by the second week of January.  I mean, really?  With that kind of rhetoric it’s no wonder we can hardly stick with them.  We’re doomed before we’ve even waved our guns in the air at midnight and started arbitrarily shooting them off in the name of celebration!

When I was a kid I called them “New Year’s Revolutions”, which is probably more apropos for the caliber of intentions we set out for ourselves in wee hours of the new year.  Quitting smoking or losing weight take more than just the same old “I’m gonna…tomorrow.” routine.  They take complete changes in lifestyle and commitment from your friends and family to support them.  We’re almost a week into the new year and if you’re already looking at your resolutions as insurmountable tasks I challenge you to recommit yourself to them right now.  Do it.  With more conviction than that, are you kidding me?!  Are we making a concentrated effort to better ourselves or are we just appeasing tradition for a few moments?  Let’s really turn that weak resolve into a revolution to start off 2014.

Of course, and you totally saw this one coming from a mile away, I’m going to tie this into downtown.  You knew it would happen.  So sit back (or stand up and do squats) and learn how Downtown Fresno can help you stay on track in your quest for self actualizing awesomeness.  Let’s start a revolution!

Revolution: Get Healthy!

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This is one of the top resolutions made every year because it encompasses so many things, losing weight, dropping unhealthy habits like smoking, excessive drinking or inability to look at cupcakes without them ending up in one’s mouth.  It’s also a pretty big deal when you get down to the nitty gritty of it- when you commit to a healthy lifestyle you’re buying back time for your lifeline.  Luckily, there are so many ways to support your health in Downtown.

  • First, stop by Raizana for some of their detoxifying Puretea or Chaiteasfaction.  Both of these teas will get your body ready for action!
  • If dropping pounds is on your list drop by 1244 Fulton Mall to talk with Alex about Herbalife, or lunge down to 80/20 Nutrition Bar on Broadway.
  • Take the stairs- we know of some great ones just under Van Ness in the Mariposa underpass!
  • Walk a mile- the Fulton Mall is a half mile from Tuolumne to Inyo so put on your shoes and get steppin’!  Once you reach the end, ceremoniously step off the curb, turn around and head back.  Easy!
  • For a good kick-start to an exercise program, lace up a pair of skates at the Downtown Fresno Ice Rink, open until January 20th.
  • The Market on Kern will be back in April, and it’s the perfect opportunity to load up on all of the healthy foods that go into fueling your healthy body!

Revolution:  Lose the Stress!

If you find yourself wondering if the world is spinning faster than ever before, your “to-do” pile is bigger than your “duh-done” pile and you find your shoulders in your ears from all of the tension you carry- you’re not alone.  Between the recession causing folks to work harder than ever to make ends meet, our digital and mobile devices meaning we’re on call wherever we are at any time and the pressure to stay competitive in their given field there isn’t a lot of time left in the day to catch one’s breath.  We oftentimes end up going to bed thrashed from our mundane ho-hum day to day and we wake up exhausted instead of refreshed.  All of this can have negative effects on our job performance, our families and our health.  When you resolve to find ways to de-stress you’re doing everyone a favor from your employer to your cats.  Here are a few of our favorites.

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  • Coil Yoga, located at 764 P St has earned a reputation for being the best place to restore balance to your life in Downtown Fresno.  The space is warm and inviting, just walking through the doors helps you to breathe a little deeper and feel calm.  For the month of January you can even get an unlimited one month pass for $99, which can be activated at a later time.
  • Downtown Rooftop Yoga  is a donation-based, pop-up yoga practice on Friday mornings at the Pacific Southwest Building in Downtown Fresno with a mission to create a community of mindful, downtown yogis and yoginis who honor and support one another while healing and empowering themselves.
  • Sheer Bliss Spa is just across the hall from Coil and is the ultimate in healing relaxation.  Book a massage, facial or purchase products to bring the bliss home with you.  I went for the first time last month and it was the most amazing hour I’ve spent in a long time.
  • Take an art walk.  Create a playlist that will completely elevate your mood and wash away stressors, pop in the earbuds and let the public art collection in Downtown Fresno take your mind off of everything.  The same can be said for a mural bike ride.  Both public art and murals are listed on our website so you can come up with a route beforehand or just explore and see where it leads you.

Revolution: Go Green!

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I know I can’t be the only one that is feeling the effects of the dry winter air, heavy with a sooty haze.  Yup, that didn’t happen on it’s own.  Without getting into a debate about climate change, I will say this- we’ve all contributed in some way to the degradation of our planet.  All of our electronics, cars, junk mail we don’t recycle because we forgot to bring the blue bin from the curb and the wastebasket is here right now- that all adds up.  Even our food choices can make an impact on water and air pollution.  This is where we’ve arrived as a species, we flip out about someone letting the tap run while brushing their teeth but demand our public spaces have maintained fountains or at the very least, our neighbors have grass that is more green than brown, for the love of God.  It can be hard not to be contradictory because we need an iPhone to keep up with everything that is expected of us, but we’re also expected to waste less and care more about “the Earth”, whatever that entails.  Luckily, going green is all about small steps- no need to build a hay bale and tire home off the grid in a field with solar panels, water purification and a full garden with all organic heirloom produce right from the get-go.  You can change your habits one by one and still make a huge impact.  That’s why greening up has become a popular resolution for many.  Here’s how to make a difference in the size of your carbon footprint right here in downtown.

  • Go locavore for one day a week at Peeve’s.  You can either plop down on a bar stool a-la Norm and stay from breakfast to dinner and eat food that hasn’t travelled very far to get to your plate or you can grab everything you need to make a spectacular meal at home.  What’s so special about local food?  Well, greenly speaking, it hasn’t been shipped as far so it has taken far fewer resources to get it in your gullet.  If you buy beef that maybe came from California but maybe not, the ground beef in your Hamburger Helper used a lot more fuel to make the trip to your plate than something from say, Selma.
  • Give your wardrobe a vintage twist.  We live in a culture of excess in that we don’t think twice about buying a dress that we might only wear once and then discard. Instead of hitting the mall, next time be kind to the planet (and the people on it- a lot of clothing is still made by people who don’t earn a living wage!) and check  our Misc. Trading Co., Vintage Voola, Yoshi Now and all of the other great thrift stores in Downtown!  Hint- you’ll save a ton of cash.  There’s a reason Macklemore’s Thrift Shop was such a big hit.
  • Make a lot of noise in favor of BRT, particularly to your council-member.  Right now our public transportation could use a revamp and Bus Rapid Transit is being decided on right now.  Help beef up our transit situation by making it known to Council that you’d love to see BRT happen in Fresno.  Don’t have a clue what any of this means or how it could be eco-friendly?  Read this blog that will tell you exactly what’s so cool about it.

Revolution: Support the Arts

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Remember when you were young and you could justify going to hear live music 4 nights a week because you were able to sleep it off until 11 AM the next day without any repercussions?  Ah, the good old days. You know, even if your bedtime is closer to 9:30 than you’d like to admit when staring your 21 year old self in the face, the local music and art scene is still thriving.  Just because you work the old 9-5 doesn’t mean you have to completely bid adieu to discovery of new bands, performing groups or artists.  Even if it isn’t at the frenetic pace of two or three venues a night, making time to support the local scene is really important, not just to the performers but to your own sense of place as well.  Think about it- the more cool things you know about your hometown, the better you feel about it.  Get out and support the arts, not just for you but for Fresno.

  • Art Hop.  This bedtime friendly once a month art adventure is a promise to yourself that you can keep.  Think about it- multiple venues open at once, live music and of course, art.  Art of all kinds!  Big art, teeny tiny art, the kind of art you smile and nod and go “mmm” to but secretly don’t get.  It’s all out there at Art Hop!  You can park in a central location and walk to several stops, you can find yourself among friends or networking and end up spending an entire night in one place with a stack of business cards by the end.  The clencher- it’s all between 5-8 in the evening.  You can toss back a few dixie cups of wine and cubes of cheese and party just like you used to without having to call in hungover!  All while being part of Fresno’s growing art scene, you trendsetter!  Brilliant!
  • Open Mic Nights at Peeve’s and Frank’s Place are a nice, laid back way to discover new talent and they happen only once a month at each location so you’re not committing to multiple nights a week.
  • Children’s Musical Theaterworks is a wonderful way to see some of the brightest young stars in town.
  • Keep tabs on all things entertainment with our events calendar and never miss a great show again!
  • Music Festivals like Fuse Fest and Catacomb Party make it easy to get all of your kicks in one or two days!

Revolution:  Level Up.

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Ultimately, New Year’s Resolutions are all about self improvement.  Opportunities are plentiful, you just have to be ready to take the next step.

  • Get to know Fresno’s history.  Take one of our Yellow Umbrella Tours, drop in to All Things Fresno or pop over to the Veterans Memorial Auditorium.  While you’re there be sure to visit the Legion of Valor museum.
  • Learn something new.  Geekwise Academy is part of Bitwise Industries‘ plan to conquer the California tech market one geek at a time.  Courses are 6 weeks in length and designed to be entirely fluff-free so students will be ready to go to work as web developers in no time at all!  The best part, it’s a tech hub in the mural district so you don’t have to go to Silcon Valley to be on the cutting edge.
  • If you like to be part of multiple academies at once, consider signing up for the Downtown Academy too.  A project of Fresno’s Leading Young Professionals, or FLYP, Classes meet monthly for a year and cover topics that are relevant to downtown revitalization.  You even get a field trip out of the deal- sweet!  Plus, you’ll come away from it an informed citizen and advocate for downtown.
  • Get a job!  We have a new staffing agency in downtown, WarpHire.

I know that seems like a lot, but trust me.  You’re worth all of the work that goes into a New Year’s Revolution.  Happy 2014!

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