Seven New Year’s Resolutions To Start Your Year Off Bright

Fireworks at Island Park

Are you ready to embrace the new year? We are, too! If you’re welcoming 2018 with a resolution in mind, Willamalane has a few ideas for how we can help. Let’s break it down by resolution:

1. Volunteer

Willamalane has a robust volunteer program with options for all interests! Want to get your hands dirty? Join a park work party. Love interacting with people? Volunteer with the Adult Activity Center or take on a role at a special event. Please email our volunteer coordinator Mavis at for details.

Some of our upcoming events for which we need volunteers:

  • Humans vs. Zombies, Jan. 12. Paint your face like a zombie, play with children in the dodgeball game and help staff with event support.
  • Ivy Pulling Party, Jan. 27. Help remove invasive plant species from our trees and shrubs at Eastgate Woodlands.
  • Valentine’s Soiree, Feb. 10. Decorate for the event, then help with refreshments, crafts and more.
  • Spirit of the Mill Race 8K, Feb. 24. Help with event support, course marshaling and assistance with our after race pancake feed.

If you love volunteering and crave the coast, join us for this special volunteer trip and hike:

SOLVE Oregon Beach Cleanup and Sweet Creek Falls Hike: All ages. Join the leagues of Oregon citizens volunteering to clean up our beautiful coast in one massive effort this spring. Spend a morning improving habitat and removing trash, then enjoy an afternoon hike at one of our favorite spots. Learn the names of spring wildflowers and explore the many waterfalls at Sweet Creek.

2. Get In Shape

Fitness instructor Jessica Auxier teaches Core de Force, PiYo and P90X. We offer free trials of all group exercise classes!

This is one of the most popular resolutions people make, so we are offering great variety of ways we can help:

ALL-ACCESS Fitness Pass Special: Ready to take the plunge into a fitness membership? We’re offering a stellar deal on our ALL-ACCESS Fitness Pass: Sign up now through Jan. 31 and get your first month for $20.18! This includes unlimited access to our most popular fitness activities, including swimming, water fitness classes, group exercise classes and fitness center workouts.

Group Exercise Classes: While we’re on the subject of group exercise classes, did you know Willamalane has over 30 to choose from? Our brand-new offerings include Saturday Cycle, Pilates, Women’s Weight Training, Flow Yoga and Zumba. We offer one free trial class for each group exercise class we offer! Try one or try them all — we’ll help you find your perfect fit.

Slim Down Springfield: Ages 18+. Slim Down Springfield is back for your 2018 life plan! This 8-week weight loss challenge will help you explore, create and meet your goals for a healthy lifestyle change.

Healthy Weight Loss for Life: Ages 18+. This workshop covers the ins and outs of making sustainable lifestyle changes to lose weight. Learn how to switch out bad habits, make the most of your nutrition and study the role exercise plays in life-long health.

Best Fit Fitness Coaching: Ages 18+. Get guidance on creating your own fitness plan with fitness coaching or a fitness evaluation. Meet with one of our trainers to assess your level of fitness, talk about goals or find out how you can modify exercises post-injury.

3. Organize Your Home

Many folks promise themselves to take on some new year cleaning, letting go of items they no longer need and want to make room for a fresher space or new belongings to love. We’re offering two classes this term that deal with decluttering and organization:

Declutter and Organize Your Home: Ages 18+. Doing a seasonal cleaning, downsizing or just overwhelmed? This two-part class provides tips and tools to make your house easier to maintain. In the first class, review techniques for organization and strategies for getting rid of “stuff.” Take home these ideas and put them to work before the second class where you can get feedback and continue the process.

Less Clutter, Less Stress: Ages 50+. Recent natural disasters and the material loss they wrought bring us to confront the excess in our lives. This interactive class will explore the clutter in our homes and lives — what it is, why it happens and how it affects us. Understanding helps us to release our grip on stuff.

4. Grow Your Garden

Could this be the year your thumbs become green? These classes and free lectures will help you grow a thriving garden:

Natural plants in pots, green garden on a balcony. Urban gardening, home planting.

Get all the information you need to grow a thriving garden this year!

Get Your Garden in Gear Series: Ages 18+. Optimize your gardening techniques, learn how to identify the beneficial insects in your garden for organic, natural pest control, and plant some perennial vegetables that will keep producing for years. Register for all four classes in this series and save!

Time to Garden!:  Ages 18+. OSU Extension offers this free lecture including information on seeding, cool and warm season crops, fertilizer 101 and planting strategies for interplanting and succession gardening. Both in-ground and container gardening will be addressed.

Pruning Roses: Ages 18+. When is the best time to prune your roses? How do you do it? What tools do you use? Discover these answers and more from certified OSU Extension Service Master Gardener specialists.

Be a Good Plant Doctor: Ages 18+. Understand some of the differences between fungal, bacterial, viral, nutritional, winter and insect damage on plants in your garden.

5. Learn a Language

¿Quieres aprender español? (Do you want to learn Spanish?) How about Mandarin Chinese or Italian? Try these classes for beginners and begin to explore new languages and cultures:

Spanish: Ages 18+. Learn Spanish step by step through music, videos, recipes, games and lots of fun activities. Instructor: Vania Fenner.

Italian: Ages 50+, beginning to intermediate. Enjoy an introduction to the language and culture of this ancient land. Focus on basic grammar, conversational skills, useful vocabulary and phrases for the traveler.

Chinese: Ages 18+, For the beginner with little or no experience in Mandarin Chinese. Instructor Jen Jen Hwang-Shum teaches various ways of writing and communicating the language. Or, get creative with Chinese Brush Calligraphy!

6. Build a New Skill or Hobby

Create stone cabochons for unique jewelry in our Turning Rocks into Beautiful Jewelry class.

Now is a great time to try something completely new. Maybe one of these classes could become your new favorite hobby:

Photography: Ages 13+. This four-week course with professional photographer Joshua Rainey will include basic technique, photographic rules, composition, camera settings, and one-on-one time to help you improve your skills as a photographer.

Oil Painting: Ages 18+. Express yourself through experimentation with oils. Focus on color, composition and perspective while learning techniques, developing creativity and keeping a sketchbook.

Drawing:  Ages 18+. Gain confidence and skills with various drawing media, including pencil, charcoal, ink pen and colored pencils. Discover the joy of drawing through exercises ranging from doodling and sketchbook techniques to lessons on value, composition and perspective.

Floral Arrangement: Ages 18+. Love flowers? This hands-on design class will teach you basic styles and techniques of flower arranging. Create a new fresh arrangement each week to take home.

Jewelry Making: Ages 18+. This creative experience covers everything from rock identification to fitting your polished stone into its setting, and all steps in between, guided by Springfield ThunderEgg Rock Club instructors.

Sip & Stitch:  Ages 21+. Want to try knitting, crochet or  other craft projects? Would you like to meet other crafters in the community? Bring your work-in-progress or try something new in our monthly meet-up!

7. Stop Smoking

If you have a cigarette habit you’d like to kick, the new year can be a great time to start. As you consider cessation options, why not try hypnotherapy? We can help you learn more:

I Can Help You Stop Smoking: Ages 18+. Twenty years ago, Carolyn Higgins was a closet smoker. She tried everything to quit smoking, but nothing worked. Then she did three hypnotherapy sessions and became a nonsmoker. Today, she is a hypnotherapist with a 90 percent success rate in helping people become nonsmokers. You can quit smoking even if you don’t think you can. Come and learn how.


Still not sure which New Year’s resolution will work for you? We have a class for that, too!

New Year’s Resolutions… What Works?: Ages 50+. Each year nearly half the population makes New Year’s resolutions, but fewer than 10 percent meet their goals. What keeps us from following through, and how can we begin to make achievable goals?

Are you feeling inspired? These classes fill quickly, so sign up today!