5 New Year’s resolutions you can fulfill in Long Beach

Have you written your New Year’s resolutions yet? If not, it’s not too late.

The start of the year typically ushers in opportunities and motivation to eat better, clean out your closet, contribute to your community or all the above.

Whether it’s deciding on a new exercise routine or making it out to that beach cleanup you keep swearing to sign up for, here are five resolutions you can fulfill in 2023 without having to leave town.

1. Exercise and wellness

This is probably the most common New Year’s resolution out there, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Luckily, Long Beach has loads of gyms, yoga studios and other places for wellness practices such as meditative and restorative classes.

Tristan Mercadel, senior membership advisor over at Iconix Fitness in Belmont Shore, said people were already flocking in to sign up for January memberships in the days after Christmas.

“It usually starts right about now,” he said Thursday. “People are done eating like crazy and drinking like crazy. And they may have one more night, but we’re definitely starting to see that switch in energy within the community.”

Like many other gyms, Mercadel said Iconix typically waives certain start-up fees for new members as they sign up for the new year.

It’s to “help urge people to get back into the gym and treat themselves a little bit better—give back to themselves,” Mercadel said. “So, we want to encourage that for people. We make it a little bit easier.”

More information about joining Iconix can be found here.

Other local start-up membership offers can be found at 24 Hour Fitness, 3030 N. Bellflower Blvd., where initiation fees are waived and the first month is free. At Crunch, 4280 Long Beach Blvd., you’ll find the same deal.

If you’re looking to break a sweat while flowing into a new wellness routine, studios like Ra Yoga, The Hot Room and Purple Yoga all offer new student discounts and packages.

And for those looking to take it easy on the wallet, Yogalution offers donation-based classes as well as free classes on the bluff. Every day, including holidays, class begins at 11 a.m. on the corner of Ocean and Junipero on the grassy stretch overlooking the ocean.

2. Eat or grow food locally

Another popular resolution people often make is the goal to shift to a healthier, greener diet. You might consider hitting one of Long Beach’s six farmers markets—listed here—to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.

You can also order a fresh box of fruits and veggies from Long Beach Farms. Their regular sized box is $28 and includes 8 to 12 goodies such as carrots, potatoes, leafy greens, culinary herbs and even flowers. Order your box here. For more information on how to find locally grown goods, check out this list from Long Beach Fresh.

But what if you could tend your own vegetable garden? The Long Beach Community Garden allows residents to purchase their own garden plots for $160 per year. Plots are 600 square feet and membership fees cover water, manure, mulch and disposal of garden waste and trash.

“It’s just a piece of heaven,” said Carol Meyer, treasurer of the community garden, which encompasses 9 acres.

Those who rent plots at the Long Beach Community Garden are encouraged to donate 10% of their vegetables to the organization’s food bank. Courtesy Long Beach Community Garden/Carol Meyer

LBCG was founded 40 years ago and has resided within the city’s nature center for 27 years. It’s one of nine community gardens in Long Beach and is among the largest community gardens in Southern California, Meyer said.

The nonprofit also has an orchard of more than 100 trees. Fruit is given to members, while a portion is donated to the organization’s food bank program, which distributes to the Long Beach Rescue Mission and other organizations serving the homeless in the city. Although three garden plots are dedicated to the food bank, members are urged to grow a row of vegetables to donate, Meyers said.

“Just being outside in the dirt, and the fact that it’s just this quiet place where everybody is interested in growing their own vegetables and knowing that those vegetables have no fertilizers, no GMO, I mean everything is just really fresh,” said Meyer, who’s been with the garden for a decade. “It’s also the fact that you have that community of 300 people with a like interest. You create a lot of friendships.”

Check to see if you are eligible for a garden plot here.

3. Appreciate art in Long Beach

No one ever said New Year’s resolutions had to be about dieting and working out. You can activate your right brain by indulging in a bit of art and creativity within one of Long Beach’s many museums and galleries.

The city happens to be home to one of the only museums in the nation dedicated to modern and contemporary Latin American art: MOLAA, which was founded in 1996. The museum currently houses seven different exhibitions—from the works of 90-year-old active artist Fernando Botero, of Colombia, to a group exhibition that explores the iconography and cultural symbolism of the Virgen de Guadalupe.

General admission is $15, but students and seniors pay $10, while children under 12 years old can enjoy free entry. Stay up-to-date on MOLAA’s exhibitions here.

Right across the street, you can visit the compact but richly vivid Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum. Docents take visitors on a historical journey of the art and wisdom of the Pacific Islands people of Oceania. General admission is $5, while tickets cost $3 for seniors and students. Children under 12 may enter for free.

Residents can also visit the Long Beach Museum of Art, which overlooks the ocean, and the Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum, located on the campus of Cal State Long Beach.

4. Give back to the community

Now that we’ve covered wellness, fitness and local art appreciation, let’s take a look at some do-gooding to consider adding to your list of 2023 resolutions.

The end of the holiday season doesn’t have to place a cap on the giving spirit. There are several Long Beach nonprofit organizations that will be on the lookout for helping hands in January.

If it’s food insecurity you’re hoping to lend yourself to, you can prepare and serve meals with the Long Beach Rescue Mission. The rescue mission provides meals, shelter, clothing and even spiritual guidance to folks experiencing homelessness and those in need. Volunteers are needed to help distribute and prep meals, as well as help tutor in their learning center, work in their thrift store or serve as a mentor. Fill out a volunteer form here.

Remember that beach cleanup you mulled over? Every third Saturday of the month, volunteers can participate in a 30-minute beach cleanup at Rosie’s Dog Beach with Justin Rudd. Register here.

Do you love kittens? Who doesn’t. The Little Paws Project is always seeking volunteers to help run its kitten nursery. Sign up here.

Read about more ways to volunteer around the city here.

5. Clean out your closet

Make Marie Kondo proud and start your decluttering process. The new year is a great excuse to dissect your wardrobe and start pulling out what you haven’t worn in five years.

The good news is, you can also turn this jump start on spring cleaning into a way to help others.

Christian Outreach in Action’s Clark & Atherton Mercantile accepts gently used clothing to distribute to people experiencing homelessness as well as low-income families and seniors. Clothing donations are accepted Wednesdays from 1 to 3 p.m. at 515 E. Third St.

Out of the Closet, a thrift store at 3500 E. Pacific Coast Highway, accepts clothing donations. Residents can call 800-558-8220 to schedule a free donation pickup, according to the city. Proceeds from those who shop at Out of the Closet go directly to people living with HIV and AIDS.

The American Cancer Society Belmont Shores Discovery Shop accepts donations of gently used clothing, shoes, jewelry, housewares and furniture. All donations are tax deductible and proceeds support the society.

There are also four Goodwill locations and one Salvation Army donation center you can donate to in Long Beach. Here’s a list of more places to donate used clothing in Long Beach.

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