First Month, Fresh Start


For many, the month of January signifies a clean slate, a fresh start, and new beginnings. Signing up for a gym membership, refining a diet after holiday feasting, or delving into a self-improvement book are several tried-and-true ways to jump-start the New Year. Of course, you want to start things out on the right foot, right?

For myself, I’ve never been one for big New Year’s resolutions or sudden life-altering changes at the stroke of midnight on the first of the year. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good idea to explore the Downtown Petoskey offerings that help you mark up your slate in a healthy, productive way.

Whenever I walk down Mitchell Street, I’m always amazed at the amount of steam on the windows of Center City Gym – people are serious about their workouts. I, in turn, get my steps in by walking up and down and all around Downtown, heading to jobs, and meetings, grabbing coffee, or buying another book that won’t fit on my shelf. More about that further down. 

Center City Gym, affectionately referred to as CCG, allows everyone to work at their own pace, and they accommodate our schedules, which never seem to slow down. Open seven days a week with extensive hours, everyone  – myself included – could squeeze in a weekly or daily workout. And the best part? No contracts or initiation fees, plus great membership and guest options. Most people think of exercising as a strict regiment, but as long as you get yourself moving by traversing on foot or pumping iron, you’re doing your body a great service.

Now, personally, weights and machinery aren’t my thing. Instead, I opt for more low-impact routines – this is where yoga comes in. Many of you are most likely familiar with Yoga Roots and Healing Arts, but Studio Health and Fitness (part of Willoway Spa) and Aligned Pilates are two other studios in Downtown Petoskey that offer great classes too. I walk and drive by all three of these establishments regularly but haven’t been brave enough to attend a class yet. Maybe 2023 will be the year!

Regardless of your preferred type of physical activity and exercise, you also have to fuel your body properly. I love shopping at Grain Train and finding new healthy alternatives to try. From produce to health and beauty items and supplements to chocolate, Grain Train can be a one-stop shop. Another place to check out if you haven’t already is Northern Apothecary, which carries supplements, herbal remedies, kombucha, and items to help you bring calm to the chaos of life. 

But nothing hushes the chaos for me like a good book. So when I’m not walking to a job, grabbing a warm drink, running to a meeting, or enjoying a cocktail with a friend after work – no dry January for this writer/blogger – then I’m most likely headed to McLean & Eakin with the intent to expand my personal library. Books by Brené Brown, Phillip Yancey, Elizabeth Gilbert, Glennon Doyle, and C.S. Lewis have all served me well on this journey called life as I grow and learn more about myself from year to year. But, just as helpful as self-help books can be, I find that a voyage to the realms of fantasy and sci-fi also do wonders for an overthinker’s mind. Traveling to the worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien, Sarah J. Maas, Jay Kristoff, Gregory Maguire, Neil Gaiman, Hannah Whitten, and dozens of others works wonders on mental health – especially during the days without sunshine.  

So, whether you made a New Year’s resolution on January 1st or not, you can still implement self-care, self-love, and a touch of self-improvement. After all, if we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t be there for others, and I hope this year, we can all be there for our family, friends, neighbors, and even strangers. So, let’s mark those slates up with great local experiences, small business support, and kindness for all!

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