It’s a new year. Lie back. Take a breath. I had a good 2017 personally, but I know a number of people who had a rough one. It was a year filled with national tragedies and marred by division. Let’s hope that 2018 is a year where we heal our nation and where we resolve, as always, to be better people. I mean, if you’re better, you are going to make those around you better, which is going to have an impact on everyone that those people touch. Imagine, you here in Portland, Oregon can have a positive impact on people around the world. The world is a beautiful place.

    Maybe this year you’ll resolve to lower your carbon footprint. Resolve to use the bike lane on your way to work. Portland is full of them. Or, resolve to walk the three or four blocks to Zupan’s. Maybe spend your weekend hiking. Reuse your plastic bags. Maybe resolve to take the Max or Tri Met to work, or for a night on the town. Reducing your carbon footprint in Portland is easy and can have a lasting impact on this planet and on your waist line.

    Resolve to support local businesses. Whether you at to enjoy some fine dining at a local establishment, or you want to try out that ma and pop grocer or the local bookstore instead of hitting up Amazon or Safeway. Helping local business owners is good for the local economy and is a way of showing people that you care about your local community, which is something that we Portlanders pride ourselves on.

    Resolve to do something new or to check out new places. Whether you take a staycation to check out a new hotel, a new park, a new bed and breakfast, a new camping location, or you venture further down the Coast, up the mountain, or out the Gorge, new experiences are important. Portland, Oregon and its surrounding neighborhoods and cities are rich with new experiences to be had. You just have to know where to look (and this space is a good place to stay informed).

    Resolve to donate to charity. Whether it’s with your time, serving meals at the local homeless shelter or sending time with the elderly, giving of yourself is one of the greatest feelings that there is and, of course, the impact is enormous. If you don’t have time, find a local charity, like the Oregon Food Bank or the Oregon Humane Society an offer up your hard-earned money to make life better for all the residents of Oregon, human or otherwise.

    Portland, Oregon makes it so easy to resolve to do new things, to give of your time and money, and to help others out. Resolve to do something this year that will impact others. You’ll be richer for the experience.

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