6 New Year’s Resolutions Inspired by Our Favorite Stories

What better inspiration for New Year's resolutions than the local people who inspired our editorial team to include them in Seattle magazine in 2011?

1. Be a Good Neighbor
From cultivating public vegetable gardens to literally building bridges, our “Love Thy Neighborhood” story discovers five ordinary Seattleites making big changes in their communities thanks to a little elbow grease and a lot of passion. May 2012 be the year that I make a difference in my own natural habitat...

2. Run a Tighter, Greener Ship
Thanks to the hardcore greenies in Seattle who forge ahead with dramatic home renovations like those in our Super Eco Homes story, I am inspired to ratchet up my awareness for the carbon footprint, water waste and unnecessary toxic chemical use I can control. So what if I can’t afford to install a revolutionary grey water system in my home like the Humble family? There’s always plenty of small, everyday choices I can make to help protect the environment. One totally achievable first step suggested in the story? No more toxic cleaners under the kitchen sink. Consider it done.

3. Eat Differently
I won’t pretend Seattle mag's restaurant coverage always takes calorie counts into consideration. I think we conceded the “7 New Mantras that Will Make You Thin” department to O Magazine a long time ago. However, we are careful to ensure that the restaurants we cover approach food creatively and responsibly. So, on those nights you have a little to extra to spend, trust our food critic Allison Austin Scheff to introduce you to locally-sourced menus that will truly inspire you to think about food and ingredients a little differently. Start off with the Best New Restaurants of 2011.

Or, follow contributor and forager extraordinaire Langdon Cook, whose every walk in the park is like a trip to Mother Nature’s produce aisle, including this recent excursion, in which he discovers a natural (and free!) alternative to Emergen-C.

4. Dream Bigger and Louder!
Ever since our “Big Idea” and “Idea-Sharing Explosion” stories revealed the revolutionary ways some Seattleites are thinking about technology, food, public space and more, it seems that, with personal passion and imagination ignited, some ideas are just too good for the greater good to keep to oneself.

5. Support Local Arts
The world needs more people like Charlie and Benita Staadecker, local arts philanthropists. While I may not be commissioning any original works from the Seattle Symphony this season (weird, they just don’t seem to be interested in trading work for free magazine subscriptions...), I am inspired to spare what little of my "allowance" I can to ensure that great art keeps getting made (and enjoyed) in this great town. After all, if I can afford $8 a month for Netflix, I can afford tickets to a local matinee play or concert once in a while.

6. Let Your Geek Flag Fly
If I learned anything from the recumbent-biking, patent-making, blog-writing experts we featured in our “Nerd Issue” this year, it’s that there’s no harm in accepting one's inner geek. In fact, once in a while, there’s profit to be gained from it! Or, at least a new community and evenin this casepubic recognition for that coveted specialized knowledge. So, stop hiding your obsession for...whatever it is you obsess about, be it gardening or gadgetry. Shout it loud: I’m a Geek, and I’m proud!

Happy New Year, Seattle!