January is over, Sanford, so here’s the big question: how are you doing on those new year’s resolutions?

If the answer is “not so great”, don’t worry, we’re not here to lecture you about spoiling your diet or trading those three workouts a week for three Netflix binges a week. In fact, if it makes you feel any better, research shows that most people give up on their resolutions by February, which inspired us to give you something a little different in this blog post– Sanford-Centric resolutions you can actually keep in 2018.

The key here is to incorporate these goals and resolutions casually and painlessly into your routine, savoring the opportunities to deepen your relationship to your town. So there’s no calorie counting, no buddy system required (though most of these are definitely fun to do with a buddy!), just a few ideas for increasing your involvement with the place you love and feeling great while doing it.

Volunteer Your Time Every Month with a Sanford Organization

Sanford Resolution: volunteer your time

Credit: Benevolence Photo

There are so many amazing volunteerism opportunities in the Sanford community, this is an easy resolution to keep. As you look ahead in your calendar each month, be sure to check out what organizations and events need an extra hand or two, and block out the time as soon as you can. Most volunteerism is only a two hour or so commitment, but those hours can make a serious difference to the organizers!

A few ideas for upcoming volunteerism: try helping out at a monthly clean up with Keep Sanford Sparkling or pour beer and talk to dogs all day long at Pints ‘n Paws.

Officially Join a Sanford Organization

If you start to click with an organization, take it to the next level by becoming a member. This is such a fantastic way to meet fellow Sanfordites and network! You can learn so much about historic architecture and preservation by attending meetings for the Sanford Historic Trust, the same organization that traditionally hosts the Historic Tour of Homes (link to last year’s event!) and provides the historic lampposts throughout the district. Another excellent organization making a difference is the Woman’s Club of Sanford, which hosts several traditional fundraisers that help with various causes in the community, including an independent educational scholarship for young women in Seminole County.

If your interests are more event-specific, offer up your time as a committee member or even a board member!

Visit Sanford’s Museums

Sanford Resolution: visit the Sanford museums

Credit: Sanford365

This is something a lot of us talk about doing, but then never actually do. Let’s change that in 2018 by taking a trip to our two great museums in Sanford, the Sanford Museum and the Goldsboro Museum, where you’ll see history up close and personal. Both museums have excellent exhibits full of local artifacts and important historical documents, as well as extremely knowledgeable staff who tell stories about the people and places of our town throughout the ages. If you really get on a history kick, visit the Museum of Seminole County History, which is also located in Sanford!

Walk the Riverwalk once a week

Sanford Resolution: walk the Sanford Riverwalk

Credit: Sanford365

Alright, maybe we don’t have to give up on all our fitness goals just yet. Try integrating a stroll (or jaunt, if you are really trying to break a sweat) down the Riverwalk into your routine once a week, whether it’s early in the morning before work or after dinner to digest. You’ll tune into all of the tiny changes on the waterfront as you become super familiar with the route, and come to appreciate the small things that make Sanford a beautiful place to live.  

Bike every street in the Sanford Historic District

Sanford Resolution: bike the Sanford historic District

Credit: Benevolence Photo

This one is quite personal for me, since we’re now a one-car family living 20 blocks from First Street! I’ve decided to only take the car when absolutely necessary, and it’s given me a great opportunity to bike much more often. You see so much more when you’re on a bike than when you’re in a car, and it’s the absolute best way to check out all of the beautiful historic homes. Each avenue has its own personality, and you’ll love getting to know them as you pedal!

If you don’t have your own bike, the folks at Pedal Driven Co on Park Ave can help! (And what a good place to start your biking route.)

Support local Sanford businesses once a week

Sanford Resolution: Support local Sanford business

Credit: Benevolence Photo

This isn’t a hard one, relax! Many of us support local business at least once a week, but if you really want to show your commitment this year, try getting specific with your #supportlocal goals. For instance, vow to rotate your happy hour splurge to a different bar every week, or indulge in a progressive dinner the next time you eat out, having cocktails, appetizers, entrees, and dessert in four different restaurants!

Buy every single gift locally in Sanford

Sanford Resolution: buy gifts in Sanford

Credit: Thistle and Grain’s Instagram

Every year comes full of birthdays, anniversaries, engagements, retirements, new babies, and “just because” moments, which all add up to a lot of presents! Make a commitment to purchase every gift for every occasion locally this year. Downtown Sanford now boasts three excellent shops just overflowing with gift options (Boxelder, Rosie Lee and Magpie’s), but don’t limit yourself– you can also find very personal and specialized gifts at Maya Books, Washburn Imports, and Pedal-Driven Co. Sanford has plenty of local makers as well… consider having a custom gift made by a local woodworker or artist (like Thistle and Grain, who made these lovely Sanford wooden ornaments!)

And of course, you can never go wrong with a gift certificate to a Sanford favorite like Wondermade, Hollerbach’s, or Celery City Craft!

Shop at the Sanford farmers market every week

You buy groceries every week, right? Why not stop into the Sanford Farmers Market each week and see what you can cross off your list? I’ve been to the farmer’s market every Saturday in January so far, and I have to say, I’ve found some great stuff! We’ve gotten delicious farm fresh eggs (that don’t even have to be refrigerated), French bread and scones from Olde Hearth Bread, and produce. We’ve even begun an herb garden with $1 plants from the market, which I’ve promised to keep alive all year! One of my favorite purchases so far has been fresh pasta from Chalten Argentinian Food, a vendor that also sells homemade empanadas and chimichurri. Don’t forget that you can also stop at the Goldsboro Farmers market every Friday afternoon if you can’t make it on Saturdays.

Sanford Resolution: shop at the Sanford Farmers Market

Credit: Sumalee Eaton

Sanford Resolution: shop at the Sanford Farmers Market

Credit: Sumalee Eaton

Support the arts in Sanford

Sanford Resolution: support the arts in Sanford at the WDPAC

Credit: Sanford365

Never hurts to add a little culture to your life, and Sanford has some great resources to do so! Perhaps set a goal of attending a show at the WDPAC once a month, or even think about becoming a season ticket holder. The Sanford Artwalk coincides each month with the Food Truck Fiesta, so why not make it a third Saturday ritual to enjoy the arts at each stop, and then round up a few dishes to enjoy with friends on the street afterwards?

New Years Resolutions in Sanford

I hope this gives you some inspiration to involve yourself more fully and deeply in our community this year. Take these ideas and run with it! Sanford is your oyster and 2018 is your year, y’all.