The Top 10 Canadian New Year’s Resolutions:
1. Lose Weight
Canadians typically resolve to lose weight in the new year. Not that we’re a hugely overweight country of people, however, we’re not exactly a skinny bunch either, so after all that indulging over the holidays, well, most Canadians figure they could do with shedding a few pounds. Fortunately, we have plenty of healthy options to help. Even the Canadian government has created the Canada Food Guide https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/ with lots of great tips, resources and recipes to help.
2. Get in Better Shape (Exercise More)
A lot of us Canadians are fitness fanatics. There is probably one gym, fitness, or yoga centre situated at least every 2 blocks in Vancouver alone. Many condo buildings include gyms and even swimming pools to help us out in our fitness quests. Then there are all the various sports many Canadians partake in…ice hockey, street hockey, ball hockey, skating, hiking, biking, kayaking, jogging, and the list goes on, and on, and on. Many towns and cities have their own public recreation centres where you can go swimming, play tennis or join one or more of the various fitness classes they offer. Some (like the one near me) even provide personal trainers you can hire by the hour to help you out with your fitness goals. So needless to say, a lot of Canadians enjoy their exercise and resolve to exercise even more.
3. Spend Less
Considering that the average Canadian has a TON of personal debt, (apparently Canadians owe $1.75 for ever $1 they make in disposable income) a lot of Canadians resolve to be more frugal in the new year. According to the latest statistics, one good thing that has come out of the global pandemic of 2020 is that Canadians have been spending less. The debt-to-income ratio in 2020 fell to $1.58 per household. Even though much of this frugality was forced upon us, perhaps shopping, and eating out less often is one way to work on this new year resolution.
4. Travel More
A lot of Canadians love to travel, myself included, even within our own country. It’s no wonder as there is just so much to see here! With 10 provinces and 3 territories, well, our country is as diverse as it is huge. Islands, coastal waters, lakes, prairies, mountains, and tundra all encompassing 9.985 million square kilometers, now that’s a lot of country to see! To get around, we have many options. Planes, trains ( https://www.viarail.ca/en ), cars and buses (mainly in Ontario and Quebec (https://www.greyhound.ca/en/ticketsandtravel/default.aspx ) are all available as well as Ferry services to the coastal islands (such as https://www.bcferries.com/ and https://www.marineatlantic.ca/ ). Bon voyage!!
5. Quit Bad Habits (or lessen them)
Not that Canadians are huge drinkers, but most of us love having a frosty cold beer on a hot summer day and yes, many of us have a “brewski” here and there in the winter as well. Besides the big iconic Canadian brewing companies, various Craft Breweries have popped up in many cities all over Canada each with their own versions of the liquid amber. As well as beer, Canadians also love their wine, and many wineries exist right here in British Columbia as well as Ontario. Canada is known for its Ice Wine and is perhaps the biggest producer of Ice Wine in the world. Due to the lower yields and complexity of processing, Ice Wines tend to be a bit more expensive than table wines, but the taste is well worth the cost. So, while we may not want to quit this indulgent habit all together, we could perhaps resolve to cut back (just a little!).
6. Spend more time with Family and Friends
Canadian families are as diverse as its many cultures. Some of us have very small families while others have huge families. Some of us have many children, a couple of children, no children, and some of us our furry children (like my dog, Gracie!). For some of us, our friends are our family. For some Canadians our family lives close and for others, they live far away, sometimes even in another country. But nowadays with WhatsApp, Skype and Zoom, our family and friends are as close as our phones and computers. One thing that 2020 has taught us is that nothing can replace the precious time that we get to spend with our family and friends, even if they drive us crazy from time to time.
7. Learn Something New
Most Canadians love to learn. Schools, lessons, classes, workshops and demonstrations of all sorts and kinds abound in many topics including, Art, Music, Languages, Sports, Cooking, etc. and they are found all over the place in towns and cities everywhere. If going out to a class or school isn’t your thing, you can find teachers and tutors who will teach you online as well. A friend of mine recently decided to begin learning German, so she started using Duolingo (https://www.duolingo.com/ ) and gives a report on her progress every few weeks. Not only does it help you to learn many different languages, but it’s free as well! No matter what it is you want to learn, you can find someone here to help whether it’s joining in on a class or learning online. You can even find classes for your dog!
8. Read More
Reading is something a lot of people are fond of all over the world and Canada is no exception. With all the popular Canadian authors around, finding a book to read won’t be a problem at all. One of the most famous authors in Canada is Margaret Atwood. Her award-winning book “The Handmaid’s Tale” was made into a film in 1990 starring Natasha Richardson and Robert Duvall, as well as a television series starring Elizabeth Moss beginning in 2017. Other famous Canadian authors include Mordecai Richler (The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz and Jacob Two Two), Farley Mowat (Never Cry Wolf), Michael Ondaatje (The English Patient), and Yann Martel (Life of Pi). If you’re resolving to expand your children’s love for books, some Canadian authors you may want to check out are Phoebe Gilman (Something from Nothing), Paulette Bourgeois (The Franklin the Turtle Series), and of course Robert Munsch, author of the much beloved tales of The Paper Bag Princess, Love You Forever, and a pile of others. With all these great stories (and more!), this is one New Years Resolution that shouldn’t be a problem.
9. Get Organized
Just like many others at this time of year, Canadians too vow to get organized and stay organized. To get organized, many Canadians will sell or donate their unwanted objects. There are online markets such as Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist that help a lot when it comes to finding someone to sell your stuff to for a minimal price. Canadians also like to donate unwanted items and there are many thrift shops and charity organizations such as the Salvation Army and the S.P.C.A. located all over who are happy to take them. For many of these places all you need to do is give them a call, book a day and time then place your items outside with the organizations name on them. They will send a truck to where you are located and pick up your donation. To make donating even more convenient, sometimes you need to look no farther than the nearest corner as some of these organizations have set up donation bins to make dropping your items off as simple as possible. They are usually item specific and mainly for either clothes or books. If you have household items or electronics that are either broken or in poor condition, there are recycling stations set up all over where you can take them and drop them off. With this new year’s resolution, you’ll not only get organized, but you can help out other less fortunate people and the environment as well.
10 Change Jobs or Careers
For some Canadians, the new year seems as good a time as any to change jobs or careers that they are no longer satisfied with. Some have been long time office workers who wish for the freedom of entrepreneurship, and some are just tired of the same old, same old, and begin looking for a fresh start at something new. If looking for a new job is your new year’s resolution, there are plenty of online resources to help you out in your search.
The government of Canada has a great website https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/home listing many jobs and piles of information to help you out in your search.
As well, each province provides its own job search website such as: British Columbia https://www.workbc.ca/ , Alberta https://www.albertajobcentre.ca/ , and Ontario https://www.ontario.ca/page/jobs-and-employment to name just a few, as well as other popular job search sites such as Indeed https://ca.indeed.com/ and Workopolis https://www.workopolis.com/en/ .
So, there you have the Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions Canadians pledge to uphold in the coming year. We often start the New Year off with good intentions and while some of us stick with our resolve for the entire year, others…well…it’s the thought that counts, right?
Happy New Year!!!