According to a quick and dirty Google search, only eight percent of Americans keep their New Year’s Resolutions.
That sad statistic ends here! Chief reasons that resolutions aren’t kept (also discerned from a thirty-second Google search) include making them too vague (be specific!), not breaking them down into do-able small steps and not celebrating your successes along the way.
So in the spirit of hoping that you will keep a few of these “Portland Style” Resolutions, we’ve made them precise, easily do-able and bite-size (as well as fun and frugal, of course). And you can always go back to #1 (more happy hours) to celebrate your accomplishments!
#1. I RESOLVE TO TRY OUT MORE PORTLAND HAPPY HOURS
The upside to this resolution is that it will get you out of the house, trying out new restaurants/bars and you will have fun (they are, after all, called HAPPY hours, yes?).
Aalto Lounge (3356 SE Belmont) could possibly win the “cheapest happy hour in town” award (if you have other suggestions, PLEASE let us know). From 5 to 7 pm daily (not even horrible hours!), you can get three different cocktails (or jello shots) for $2 each (that’s not a typo). And – are you sitting down? – a grilled cheese sandwich WITH tomato soup, also for only $2! For $4 (or $6 if you want to go crazy with two cocktails), you’ll have a full tummy and a buzz. And comfort food on a cold wintry day. Best deal going.
Pepino’s (914 NW 23rd or 3832 SE Hawthorne) offers margaritas and mojitos for a frugal $3 during their 5 to 6:30 pm, Wed thru Sun, along with $3 and $4 eats.
Check out our happy hour blog for more options.
#2. I RESOLVE TO GET TO KNOW PORTLAND BETTER – BY WALKING
The vague and nearly ubiquitous “Exercise More” pops up on many of our NYR lists. We are substituting the very specific and entertaining resolution to check out a Portland area neighborhood WITH YOUR FEET. You’ll learn more about your town (maybe even some history!), you’ll see interesting sights, find new places to eat and shop – and you’ll be able to cross that “exercise more” item off your NYR list!
Metro (our regional government) published a great little book a few years’ back called “Walk There! 50 treks in and around Portland and Vancouver.” While the book is out of print (you can occasionally find used copies at powells.com), you can check the 50 treks out online at this link.
And, oh yeah: bring an umbrella.
#3. I RESOLVE TO BUY LOCAL, WHENEVER POSSIBLE
Why would this rise to the level of a Portland-style NYR? Well, first of all it’s the reason why your car sports a “Keep Portland Weird” bumper sticker. The entire “Keep Austin Weird” and “Keep Portland Weird” concept originated because a few folks in Austin, Texas wanted people to spend their money at locally-owned businesses. (If you’ve been to a suburban strip mall with its AppleBee’s, McDonald’s and Kohl’s, you understand how weird “shopping local” can seem.)
And here’s why it’s good, not just for local businesses, but for YOU: When you buy locally you, of course, support your neighbors and strengthen your community – and what is good for those around you is typically good for you. Besides, what goes around, comes around.
For instance, supporting local farmers markets will result in a much-improved diet for most of us while, simultaneously, keeping local farmers in the black. FYI, Portland Farmers Market re-opens on Jan. 7 (9 am to 2 pm). Which leads us to Resolution #4 …
#4. I RESOLVE TO LEARN TO COOK A FEW MORE “DINNER PARTY ACCEPTABLE” DISHES.
This is a (very indirect) corollary to #3. Once you bring home all of those lovely vegetables and fruits, you’ll need to know what to do with them. The possibilities are endless for ways to learn to expand your recipe repertoire: checking out cookbooks at your local library or going online for recipes and videos that utilize those veggies are just two possibilities. Then invite some folks over. And start a revolution – or at least a conversation (on to #5!)
#5. I RESOLVE TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE
We’re not going to get “All Crazy Political” in this blog – but they don’t call our fair city “The People’s Republic of Portland” for nuthin’.
As we all know, beginning on Jan. 20th, we will enter uncharted territory in the grand experiment that is America.
If you are stuck in the denial stage of grief, it is time to move on to ACTION. (To be completely honest here, action is not one of the traditional five stages of grief but we hereby declare that it is for purposes of resolutions for the year 2017!)
Here are a few FREE things to do to jump start your (much needed, much appreciated) Year of Making a Difference:
Women’s March on Portland. This event will take place on Jan. 21, the day after the inauguration. Similar marches will occur in D.C. (The Big One) and in cities all over the country. It is titled a “Women’s March” but EVERYONE is welcome. The march begins at noon begin under the Burnside bridge at Tom McCalls Waterfront park- in the same space that Saturday market occupies.
Nasty Women Get S**t Done PDX. You don’t have to be female to join this passionate group of inclusive individuals who formed the week after the election results. There are currently over 1,500 members and they have great ideas and amazing energy!
There is also a local “NOT My President” meetup group that you could consider.
What else can you do? The possibilities are almost paralyzing, truly. You can google “ways to resist Donald Trump” or just about any other similar phrase and find countless suggestions for actions steps to take. It doesn’t (for the most part) cost anything to get involved. The important thing is to do SOMETHING – and to stay informed.
#6. I RESOLVE TO READ FRUGAL PORTLAND’S ARCHIVES FOR LOW-COST, COOL ACTIVITY IDEAS
You’ll never be at a loss for fun, frugal stuff to try out as long as we are here. Keep reading this blog and check our archives out here for additional ideas.
Happy New Year!