When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, many people focus on restraint: cutting out certain foods, certain activities – like watching too much Netflix – and exercising unrealistic self-control to be “better”. No wonder hardly anyone sticks to them.

This year, get the most out of it by setting goals that inspire you to learn, explore, experience, try and taste new things. Do more of what you love, rather than less of something you regard as not good enough.

Here’s a few New Year’s resolutions to be proud of in 2019.

Try a new cuisine
Learning about another culture’s norms and values is a sure-fire way to get some perspective. Becoming well acquainted with a cuisine will guarantee that insight, without having to leave Melbourne. Why not pledge to tasting something new each week, or deep dive into another country’s customary fare once a month? Try traditional meze, cinnamon tea and authentic pide on the Turkish Foodie Trail in Brunswick, or learn about the Mediterranean lifestyle on a walking and sampling tour of Queen Victoria Market. No matter how you look at it, there’s no excuse not to when this city’s international offerings are world-class.

Turkish Foodie Trail
Mediterranean Walking Tour

Discover a new favourite artist
Melbourne’s comedy, arts and music scene plays a strong game on the international stage. The latter alone nurtures homegrown talent as much as visiting international artists, and most are guaranteed to play live at Richmond institution the Corner Hotel. Commit to getting along to one gig every month. In the first few months of 2019 you can see the likes of Yellow Days, Mitski, Laura Jean, C.W. Stoneking and The Whitlams. Best part is you can get along for as little as $20 for some acts.

Corner Hotel tickets

Push your limits
Learn to surf, sign up to a marathon, or skydive for the first time. Whether you just want to try something once, are in need of an adrenaline rush, or in the market for a new hobby, tell a friend you’re going to sign yourself up for something that pushes the limits so they can help keep you accountable. Better yet, take them along for the ride. Surfing at Ocean Grove, with a post-wave restorative yoga session, is a smooth introduction to the salty outdoors. Otherwise, rock climb up Mount Macedon and then abseil down its volcanic rocks for a thrill.

Ocean Grove surfing and outdoor vegan cooking class
Mount Macedon rock climbing

Learn something new
Mastering a new skill is always rewarding, whether it be in the kitchen, at a museum, or in a classroom. This year, learn about Melbourne’s Art Deco history or master coffee-making (easier said than done). Proud Mary Coffee Roasters Aunty Peg’s location is home to their Collingwood Coffee College. They often run workshops and programs to help everyone, from novice to expert, grow their bean repertoire. It makes for a great place to nail the illusive latte art, develop a sensory palate, and brew well at home.

Proud Mary’s events
East Melbourne Art Deco walking tour

Give back
Volunteering your time is one of the best ways to stretch your philanthropic muscles. It’s the step between good intentions and commitment that often lets us down though, with excuses at the crux. Ditch paper cups for the year, head to your local soup kitchen every week, donate the kitty of a themed games night to a cause, and round up warm clothes from colleagues for the less fortunate in time for winter. There are plenty of organised events to jump on board with, too. One making a substantial environmental difference is The Koala Clancy Foundation. They’ll have you travelling to the You Yangs and Western Plains to get your hands dirty in helping protect the koala’s habitat.

Koala Clancy Foundation's events

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