With a new year starting, we look to the future and make new goals for ourselves. For the month of January, we created blog posts to help you succeed at your New Year's Resolutions, while also supporting local downtown businesses. It's a win-win! Now, we've put together a master list to help with all your goals for 2021!

We want you to succeed with your New Year’s Resolutions!

 

Making goals for ourselves helps us track our progress and feel a sense of accomplishment. Our resolutions don’t have to be big, grand things that can feel like they are just out of reach; they can be small yet important desires that make us feel good about ourselves and our lives.

During the month of January, we wrote many blogs about how downtown businesses can help you with your resolutions, whatever they may be. Now as January comes to a close, we wanted to create a master list of sorts and to say you got this!

 

Staying Active

This is one of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions out there. So many people want to feel healthy and happy in their daily lives, and having an active lifestyle can help with that greatly.

But having an active lifestyle doesn’t necessarily mean hard workouts. It can also be taking a bike ride or a brisk walk. So we put together some suggestions for how to stay active and some shops that will help you on your journey, including:

 

GIANT VICTORIA opened in 2017 and is locally owned and operated by a team of knowledgeable and friendly staff. They have everything from helmets to accessories to bikes, including high-end mountain and electric models. Also, half of their stock is from the brand, Liv, which is dedicated to the female rider.

 

ROBINSON’S OUTDOOR STORE has been a locally-owned business for more than 80 years, starting in 1929 as a bicycle shop/repair. Now they have a wide selection of products to help you stay active and enjoy the beauty of the natural world. From hiking to climbing to fly fishing, they have got you covered.

 

RUNNING ROOM is the place to go for all your running and jogging needs. Not only do they have a huge selection of running shoes, including those designed for trail running, racing, and stability, they also sell accessories like watches, insoles, and safety/visibility gear.

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Reading More

Reading is a wonderful past-time. Whether you’re a fan of non-fiction, romance, comics, or literary fiction, books can hold such potential for imagination and inspiration. They can teach us about ourselves and the world around us. They can make us laugh and cry and everything in between. It is worth making time for them.

Remember that, when in doubt, booksellers always have recommendations to share! To start you on your literary journey, we have put together a list of downtown bookstores, including:

 

RUSSELL BOOKS is a family-owned and operated bookstore on Fort Street. They stock new and used titles, as well as calendars, notebooks, cards, and more! They have something for everyone in their large collection, including genre fiction, books for children and youth, travel guides, and cookbooks!

 

AVALON BOOKS AND TREASURES is a shop full of character and charm. It has a beautiful collection of BC-made jewelry, art, and candles, as well as a large section of new and used books. The shop also provides the community with spiritual products, crystals, and psychic readings.

 

LEGENDS COMICS & BOOKS opened its doors in 1992 and have an extensive collection of new and vintage comics and graphic novels. Whether you know exactly what you need, or are just discovering the world of comics and graphic novels and don’t know where to start, they’ve got your back!

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Taking up a New Hobby

A hobby can bring much joy and fulfillment to life. It can help us realize our passions, many of which we may not have the opportunity to be paid for. When looking to find a new hobby, think about what makes you happy, what you enjoy doing, and what gives you a sense of accomplishment, and start there. Or try something totally new and exciting, and maybe you’ll discover something wonderful that you never thought you’d like.

To get you started, we put together a list of a few great hobbies you can do right here in downtown Victoria, including:

 

Kayaking

Want a new way to explore our fair city? Try kayaking! There are many downtown businesses that will help you get out on the water, including MECVahalla Pure OutfittersOcean River Sports & Adventures, and Victoria Kayak. They have everything you’ll need, from paddles to kayaks to safety/visibility gear! Ocean River and Victoria Kayak also offer tours if you want to give this fantastic activity a try before you outfit yourself for a solo excursion. It’s also a great form of exercise for your arms, legs, and core!

 

Collecting vinyl records

Vinyl Records have become quite the hot item in recent years. Many people say it is the best way to listen to the music you love. If you’re looking to begin or expand your record collection, there are some great spots to check downtown. You’ve got Ditch Records and CDs on Fort Street, Lyle’s Place on Yates Street, and The Turntable in Fan Tan Alley! Come on down and see what treasures you can find!

 

Jewellery Making

Jewellery making is another wonderful form of artistic expression, plus you get to wear your creations when you’re done! Whether you’re looking to make earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, or you need some help getting started, definitely check out Argentum Jewellery School & Supply! They run classes in the traditional art of silversmithing. Also, Bamboo Beads & Bling and Beadworld, who carry huge selections of beads, pendants, findings, threading materials, tools, books, and more!

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Eating Well

This is another very popular New Year’s Resolution. People want to feel good and eating well is a huge part of that. Food is our fuel and when we eat well, our systems run smoother, better, and for longer.

These wonderful downtown restaurants want to support you in your resolution of eating well by serving farm-to-table, vegetarian, vegan, or plant-based foods! But also remember that it’s okay to treat yourself every once in a while!

Our list of some of the fantastic downtown restaurants with healthy menu options include:

 

REBAR MODERN FOOD is located in the historic and charming Bastion Square and serves unbelievably tasty vegetarian comfort food. With a varied menu for both lunch and dinner, you will be delighted with your choices. Fresh juices and smoothies, espresso, and desserts made from scratch are also available and fantastic! They have a cookbook full of favourite recipes too if you want to bring the deliciousness home!

 

BE LOVE RESTAURANT is a vegetarian restaurant, offering plant-based organic cuisine to support mind and body health. They use mindfully-sourced and seasonal ingredients to create their fantastic menu. Though the restaurant isn’t open for in-person seating right now, they are open for pick-up and online ordering! They have also launched The Variety Store, where you can buy chef-made groceries including condiments, sauces, ferments, pickles, provisions, stocks, soups, breads, and cakes.

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Learning a New Skill

Learning new things keeps our brains active and our lives interesting. Whether you are looking to expand your knowledge in a personal capacity or to gain new skills for the professional world, there are thousands of options to choose from.

To help you begin your quest, we have put together a list of some ideas for things to try and new skills to learn, including:

 

How to dance

Dancing is an exhilarating and freeing way to exercise and have fun. It’s also great for your brain to learn the various steps to the beat of music! Regardless of age or skill level, there are several dance studios downtown that offer classes across many different dance styles, from hip-hop to jazz to tap and beyond! Check out Raino DanceNegma Belly Dance, and Vibestreet Dance for more information.

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The art of calligraphy

Feeling artistic? Want to write beautiful letters? Why not try and learn to do calligraphy? If you’re looking for beautiful cards and paper to carry your beautiful writings into the world, you should go to The PaperyMunro Books, and Russell BooksSpellBinding Journals make lovely hand-made books for sketching and writing, which are sold at The Papery, Monk Office, and the gift shop at the Royal BC MuseumSimply the Best has a beautiful collection of pens to choose from and to help you practice your new skill.

 

Social Media Marketing

Being comfortable with social media can be so important, especially for businesses. Knowing how to market yourself, your products, and your business can make a huge difference in getting employment and having a successful business. Pacific Design Academy has a part-time course in Social Media MarketingSprott Shaw College has a Sales and Digital Marketing programAlacrity Canada offers a Digital Marketing Bootcamp to which you can apply as a business or an individual.

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Focus on Self-Care

Modern life moves so fast that it can be hard to catch up, but we all need to take a break and slow down sometimes. Taking a break is great for our physical, emotional, and mental health, and is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

We can do much to reduce our stress levels if we take some time to take care of ourselves, with techniques such as sleeping more, drinking more water, and eating well. Whether that means getting a new mattress, buying a reusable water bottle, or shopping for local farm fruits and veggies, the little things help us in big ways!

We’ve also put together a list of activities that can help you relax, unwind, and recharge, such as:

 

Relax in the tub

This is a wonderful activity to help you relax and take some time for yourself. Whether you like bubble bath, bath salts, or bath bombs, downtown businesses have what you need to soak away the stress. Nezza NaturalsSaltspring Soapworks, and Hudson’s Bay have all got lots of options for scents, colours, and holistic effects. The Body Shop has a large selection of bubble bath and bath bombs in delicious fruity scents. Lush has Bath Bombs, Bubble Bars, and Bath Oils. They also all sell other great beauty and self-care products!

 

Practice mindfulness

Deep breathing is one of the best and easiest ways to calm ourselves and to feel centred. Another great way to help ourselves relax is to meditate. We are lucky to have many yoga studios downtown, including Ashtanga YogaMA YogaMokSana YogaOxygen Yoga & Fitness, and Quantum Yoga Club. They all have classes that will help you stay active, feel connected, and breathe deeply. Bodhichitta Buddhist Centre on Blanshard Street also has online courses in meditation and freeing your mind from worries.

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Puzzle!

Clear the table. Put a little music on. And you’re ready to do a puzzle! The PaperyMunro Books, and Oscar & Libby’s all have beautiful choices of designs, from flowers to scenery to people and more! If you’re looking for a puzzle to share with kids, Kaboodles Toy Store sells lots of great ones with pictures like construction trucks, dinosaurs, and outer space! Paboom Home Imports has some lovely smaller puzzles if you don’t want to make a big time commitment. If you’re looking for puzzles themed after video games, movies, and comic books, check out the selection at EB Games!

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Become a Plant-Owner

Plants can calm the mind, help us feel productive and healthy, and be beautiful additions to any home or garden. Having growing things in our houses makes the space greener and helps clean the air by increasing humidity and creating oxygen. Even having a floral arrangement can brighten up a room immensely.

We’ve put together a list of some of the businesses that will help you on your way to being a novice or expert gardener, including:

 

CAPITOL IRON began in 1934 as a scrap business and the company dismantled nearly 100 ships by 1971. Since then, the store has grown into a hardware store, which also sells clothing, camping equipment, barbeques, and gardening essentials. From seeds to planters to soil to tools, they have everything you need to harvest your green thumb! They also have planting charts for veggies, flowers, and herbs so you know what to plant and when.

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BROWN’S THE FLORIST has an interesting and empowering history. It started as Fairview Esquimalt Greenhouse Ltd by Mary Ann Brown in 1970 and become Brown’s as we know it in 1912 when the business was bought by William and Elizabeth Brown. They sell cut flowers, plants, and gift baskets for any occasion. Whether you’re looking for greenery, flowering plants, or gardening accessories like soil or pots, this is the shop for you!

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Refreshing your Space

With the pandemic still a part of our lives, our home spaces have become so important. There are stresses in our lives now that didn’t exist a year ago. Our homes need to feel comfortable and safe for us and giving your home a make-over can refresh and reinvigorate your space!

If you have things to donate or consign for decluttering, or if you want a brand new little something to jazz up the room, downtown businesses want to help you! So we’ve put together a list of some of the fabulous businesses that can support you in refreshing your space, including:

 

WOMEN IN NEED (or WIN) assists women in our community to have a voice and to have access to healthy and financially sustainable lives for themselves and their families. Our donations make a huge difference in women’s lives through the many Transformational and Self Sufficiency Programs that WIN offers. Whether the donations are monetary, furniture, or goods, everything counts! If you have good-quality items that need to find a new home, donating them to WIN is a great idea!

 

UPCYCLE CLOTHING COLLECTIVE is a curated consignment shop, featuring contemporary, everyday, and vintage fashions. Located on Fort Street, they would love to see and sell your good-quality clothing, jewellery, and things for the home. To consign with them, make an appointment to drop off your items and you will get 40% of the sale price when your items sell! It’s never been easier to refresh your space, support local, and make a little money yourself!

 

INSIDEOUT HOME STORE began in 1998 and continues to pursue the desire to help people choose home furnishings that complement their unique styles. They sell pieces of high quality that feature exceptional style and artful comfort and that are inspired by comfortable island living. They partner with other small businesses across Vancouver Island, Canada, and the US, and believe that bolstering local economies is vital. They also provide a selection of consultations and design packages if you need help getting started!

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Good luck with your goals for 2021! And remember that downtown Victoria has got your back!

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