Taking some time to clean your local beaches this year is a doable and rewarding resolution to make.

Taking some time to clean your local beaches this year is a doable and rewarding resolution to make.

Behest of the West: Resolve to make this Coast all it can be in 2017

The holiday season is behind us. Goal setting season is here.

The presents are opened, the Tofurkey’s eaten and the champagne’s cheered.

December’s celebrations have become January’s hangovers and we’re rolling out of our beds, or off our friends’ couches, into a new year.

The weariness we’re feeling in the wake of our prolonged, and perhaps excessive, cheeriness  makes it tough for our understandably squinty eyes to see our town’s collective sleepiness as an advantage in disguise. Your neighbourhood will never move slower than it is right now and you’ll never have a more welcoming window for reflection.

February will put us under Valentine’s frantic romance before we’re pulled into the excitement of March’s Pacific Rim Whale Festival, which will fill our calendars and kick off our head-spinning tourist season where we’ll compete for waves, dollars and spots in the sun. The Joneses aren’t going anywhere this week though, so we need not fret about keeping up right now.

This is the one time we’ll have all year to ponder the promises we’ve been meaning to make to ourselves and refresh our resolve.

The holiday season is behind us. Goal setting season is here.

A lot of you are rolling your eyes at that prospect and I hear your huffs about resolutions being arbitrary and lame.

We’ve been living in front of screens long enough to be accustomed to berating social media feeds and the obnoxiously abundant clickbait they clutter our minds with. Be better quick schemes, disguised as resolution ideas, have us so saturated in visual noise that we’ve become cynical to the point of stubborn exhaustion.

There’s also the fact that a lot of us have tried and failed to change ourselves already. We’ve set goals  just to watch them evolve into failures and that has us hesitant to open our doors and welcome back the guilt and self-doubt those failures brought us.

I’m resolving to rely less on my television to raise my kids. I’ll call that a resolution and feel bad in July when I realize I forgot all about it. I’ll likely ponder my failure over a cigarette—a pastime I’ve resolved to quit every January this decade.

Goal setting can be an awfully futile, deflating process and there’s a seductive argument to make for avoiding aspirations altogether and living failure free. You don’t need to be a gymnast to understand the difficulties of getting back on the horse.

A little effort can lead to a lot of fun though, and there could be a benefit to thinking outside ourselves for a moment.

Forget about quitting smoking and losing weight for the time being and put getting married and having kids aside for now. Do those things at your own pace and keep their intimidation factor off your resolution list. There are already people in your life pressuring you to do all that and the ever-present meddling they refer to as support belongs in a different conversation.

There’s other, doable, bettering to focus on.

This Coast could be more perfect and no one’s more equipped than us to instigate whatever improvement we want to see. It doesn’t have to be about you to be your resolution and don’t ever feel lame for being optimistic about the change you could create.

Too much garbage on your local beach? How about resolving to bring a bag and pick some up once a month?

Not enough opportunities to engage in whatever activity you enjoy? Why not strike up a club, or get a society going, to stir up some more social engagement in your town?

Angry at your local government? Resolve to attend a few council meetings this year or write a few letters to your district office. Roughly 99 per cent of the time, it’s surprisingly advantageous to raise a ruckus others can hear, rather than silently stew in private disapproval.

Welcome to 2017 West Coast. Let’s make some noise this year and make this Coast all it can be.