Community December 9, 2020

Easy, Fun Ways to Start the New Year Right

2021 is the fresh start we’ve been waiting for; it’s a new year full of hope and possibility. Want to really make it a year to remember? Here are some fun, easy ways to do just that, right here in Kitsap County.

Enjoy the View

We all get caught up in routines and sometimes that means we take things for granted, like this beautiful place we call home. Bundle up and take a walk on a trail you haven’t been on in months (or ever). Really enjoy the sights and sounds around you.

“I love feeling like a tourist in my own town,” says Cherie Kesti, Branch Manager/Mortgage Consultant for Penrith Home Loans. Kesti enjoys walking along Poulsbo’s marina and through the park. Another great spot in North Kitsap is Point No Point Park and Lighthouse in Hansville. Broker Bonnie Chandler highly recommends it saying, “It’s a favorite beach walk of mine.” Chandler also notes that the lighthouse there is the oldest on Puget Sound. For a more expansive place to take it all in, head to Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park. “I always feel refreshed and renewed after visiting the Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park,” says Broker Valerie Gallagher. “This spacious park is a gift to the community with nearly 3,500 acres & 60 miles of trails!”

While you’re taking it all in, try to remember what it felt like to experience this place for the first time. Or, if you grew up here, remember the joy of sharing this place with a visitor. Focusing on those positive feelings can go a long way, boosting your mood and helping you refuel.

Actually Unplug

If your daily life involves a lot of screen time, take a day to fully unplug. Turn off your laptop, your TV, and yes, even your phone. It can be hard to do but so worth it. See what it feels like to spend time with those you love without any devices. Play a board game, write those holiday thank you notes, work on a home improvement project you’ve been meaning to finish. Whatever you decide to do, you may be surprised how often you instinctively reach for your phone throughout the day. Taking a break can help you step back and see where you really are on the usage spectrum. You may decide you want to limit your screen time as a new year’s resolution. If nothing else, a day off from electronics will help you appreciate them more.

Share Your Love of Books

Whether you’re an avid reader or have fond memories reading childhood favorites, make this a year to remember by sharing your love of books. Dust off some old stories that others could benefit from and donate them to your nearest Little Free Library. If there isn’t one near you, start your own! It’s a fun project, especially if you have kids. They can help you design it, decorate it, and fill it with all kinds of books for the neighborhood to enjoy.

Starting or adding to a Little Free Library also calls for a visit to your local bookstore. After all, you’ll have to pick up something new to read to fill those empty spots on your bookshelf. We love local bookstores like Poulsbo’s Liberty Bay Books and Eagle Harbor Book Co. on Bainbridge Island. If you struggle to find the time to sit down with a good book, we suggest downloading the free app called Libby. You can borrow ebooks and audiobooks on it by connecting it to your Kitsap Regional Library card. It’s easy to use and offers thousands of books for free.

Create a Gratitude Jar

Here’s a simple yet meaningful activity to do with your family. Get a large jar and decorate it with the word “gratitude” on it or purchase a gratitude jar like this one. Throughout the year, you and your family members can add notes to it: things you’re thankful for and moments you enjoyed. At the end of 2021, sit down together and go through all of these little notes. It’s a great way to reminisce and regularly practice gratitude throughout the year. To get in the habit, pick a day each week to do it as a family, like on Sundays after dinner. That way, it becomes part of your routine. Additionally, be sure to put it in a prominent place with pens and blank notecards so anyone can quickly jot something down and add it to the jar. The easier you make it, the more little notes you’ll have at the end of the year to enjoy.

Here’s to a wonderful new year ahead!