Every New Year’s, people get a burst of energy to do something different with their lives. For many, it’s a clean slate — the perfect time to leave the failures of the previous year behind, turn over a new leaf and start fresh. But that’s often easier said than done.
So why do most people fail at following through on their New Year’s resolutions? Maybe it’s because they aren’t sure how to secure them in a local context. Let’s fix that.
Whatever your resolutions are for 2022, whether it’s to read more books, shop local, try new foods or learn a new skill, we pieced together a comprehensive list to help you make the new you in the most Charlotte way possible. Happy New Year!
The most common New Year’s resolution, and the one most people give up on come February, is to exercise more. But you’re not like most people. You’re going to crush it in 2022. Keep your fit fresh with these local clubs, gyms and more.
YMCA OF GREATER CHARLOTTE: The Y offers a variety of equipment, classes and programs for achieving your health and fitness goals, with monthly membership rates based on household income.
NODA BREWING RUN CLUB: Run a 1, 3 or 5 mile loop on Wednesdays and Sundays beginning and ending at NoDa Brewing in north Charlotte, then toast to your fitness victory.
HUSTLE HOUSE: This Uptown gym offers 50-minute total body workout classes in the form of group, resistance-based High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). A second location is opening soon in SouthPark.
Put down the holiday cookies and step away from the processed snacks. If one of your goals is to eat cleaner, there are tons of local meal prep companies and healthy food options around Charlotte. It’s not always willpower, but knowledge that keeps you going.
GET FIT FOODS: Healthy home-cooked meals made fresh and available for delivery or pickup at locations in Montford, Ballantyne, Plaza Midwood and South End.
VIVA RAW: An organic, cold-pressed raw juicery located in The Market at 7th Street in Uptown that also delivers.
PLANT JOY: This veg-centric concept at Camp North End that offers locally sourced, nutrient-dense, organic vegan goodness.
LIVING KITCHEN: Everything made at this South End restaurant is 100% organic, plant-based and locally sourced.
GET IT TOGETHER
This is the year you finally get it together, whatever that means for you. And it’s OK to ask for help. There are people out there whose job it is to help others reach their fullest potential in life, in their career and in their business.
PERFEQTA: Latesha Byrd is a recruiter turned career coach and talent development consultant who helps her clients navigate the workplace and companies build safe spaces where inclusivity and equity thrive.
HELLO VELOCITY: Through one-on-one coaching, group coaching and workshops, Brittany Canaski empowers ambitious millennials to get unstuck now to avoid the midlife crisis later.
CARRIE WREN: Life coach and yoga instructor Carrie Wren helps clients establish healthy relationships, develop self-confidence, cultivate self-love, revamp their wellbeing and create once-and-for-all transformation in their lives.
QUEEN CITY ORGANIZING: Lisa Dowdy is a professional organizer who can transform any room in your home so it’s more functional and Pinterest-worthy.
LEARN A NEW SKILL
If you’re someone who does the same shit every week and the monotony is getting old, throwing a new skill into the mix could be the jolt your life needs. We could all use a new hobby.
SKILLPOP: Created by Haley Bohon in Charlotte in 2015, SkillPop offers a variety of expert-led classes from beekeeping to breadmaking, interior decorating to social media and even ukulele fundamentals.
CHEF ALYSSA’S KITCHEN: Hands-on cooking classes teach cooks at every ability level how to make seasonal, flavorful meals at home.
BAREFOOT ARCHERY: An introduction to archery with basic instruction in equipment usage and safety followed by practice on the indoor range, located in lower South End.
DECLUTTER YOUR HOME
You don’t have to wait until spring to realize you have too much stuff you don’t need. There are plenty of organizations around the city that will lighten your load and find new homes for your once-loved items. Maybe your studio apartment isn’t really that small after all.
FURNISH FOR GOOD: A nonprofit that curates and showcases well-loved home furnishings for individuals and families who need them most.
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY RESTORE: Home items donated to the ReStore on North Wendover Road help fund home construction and repair for local families.
FOCUS ON SELF CARE
If you haven’t been already, taking care of yourself should be a priority in 2022 and for good reason. Engaging in self care can reduce anxiety, depression and stress; improve concentration and energy; and minimize anger — contributing to an increase in overall happiness.
CHARLOTTE MEDITATION: Guru Ranjit Deora started Charlotte Meditation in 2004, combining the art of meditation with science of the mind in a peaceful studio setting in Myers Park.
NODA YOGA: Studio instructors encourage exploration over what poses should look like, using yoga as a way to connect on a deeper level with mind, body and breath.
TRUE REST FLOAT SPA: Float in a pod of salt water — a zero-gravity environment that allows the mind and body to completely let go, relax and reset.
ELEMENTS MASSAGE: A SouthPark massage studio offering deep tissue, Swedish, sports, trigger point, prenatal and stretch massages with options for add-ons like Himalayan salt stones.
ENJOY THE OUTDOORS
It’s a beautiful world out there. All you have to do is open the door and walk outside.
BEST LOCAL TRAILS ON THE CAROLINA THREAD TRAIL: A list of the 10 best Charlotte-area trails, each one a part of the vast Carolina Thread Trail, and each featuring its own unique activities.
GET INTO MOUNTAIN BIKING ON THE CAROLINA THREAD TRAIL: Some of the best mountain biking trails near Charlotte, plus expert tips and equipment to get rolling.
FLORA & FAUNA ON THE CAROLINA THREAD TRAIL: A comprehensive guide to the plants and animals that inhabit the Carolina Thread Trail network in the Charlotte region.
BOOZIN’ ON A BUDGET: RULES OF THE CATAWBA RIVER FLOAT: What you should know before taking a float down the Catawba River.
‘KEEPING THE RIVER’ PODCAST SERIES: A three-part podcast series powered by OrthoCarolina and hosted by Dr. Keith Cradle, founder of Camping with Cradle, that tells the story of the Catawba River, ranging from its 10,000-year history as a life source for settlers to how it impacts the lives of millions of people living along its basin today.
READ MORE BOOKS
With so many shows and movies to stream, it can be easy to forget about books. But unlike binging a TV show for six hours straight, you won’t feel like an unproductive waste of space after finishing a good book.
BOOK BUYERS: Plaza Midwood’s funky and eclectic Mecca for bibliophiles selling used books, DVDs and CDs that will be moving to the Eastway Crossing Shopping Center in February.
I’VE READ IT IN BOOKS: Located inside Tip Top Daily Market on The Plaza, I’ve Read It In Books is Charlotte’s newest progressive bookstore with Black and BIPOC titles, LGBTQIA+ titles, alternative political philosophy, music, local authors, and zines.
PARK ROAD BOOKS: A Best in the Nest Reader’s Pick three years in row, Park Road Books is the cornerstone of independent bookstores.
CHARLOTTE MECKLENBURG LIBRARY: Get a library card and rent books for free at dozens of branches around the county.
There’s no better feeling than helping improve the community in which you live. Luckily, there are countless nonprofits in Charlotte already doing this great work through a variety of avenues. They could use your help.
SHARE CHARLOTTE: A one-stop shop to engage with 400-plus nonprofits around Mecklenburg County.
BLOCK LOVE CHARLOTTE: Founded by Deborah Woolard, the organization disperses clothing, food, tents, sleeping bags, toiletries, socks, shoes, and whatever else is donated to Charlotte neighbors every Sunday. They also serve dinner for residents in the Uptown area every evening of the week, and breakfast each Tuesday and Sunday.
Check out this in-depth list of ways to get engaged in the community.
DRINK LESS ALCOHOL
We’ve all heard of “dry January,” but what’s the point if people just go right back to bar hopping on Feb. 1? If drinking less in general is on your list of New Year’s resolutions, you’re gonna need to get creative in a city that’s got a brewery on every corner.
10 ALCOHOL-FREE DATES TO GO ON IN THE CHARLOTTE AREA: A list of creative, alcohol-free dates in the Charlotte area for those who have no interest in grabbing a drink.
CHANGE YOUR LOOK
New Year, who dis? If you’ve been considering switching up your look or going for a bold style you always thought you couldn’t pull off, there’s no better time to experiment than the turn of the year.
BOHEMIAN STYLEHOUSE: An eco-friendly, certified green hair salon nestled in the heart of Oakhurst that believes in inclusivity.
STORMY MICHNIAK – BISHOPS: A stylist at Bishops in Midtown who is known for giving clients the vibrant, colorful hair of their dreams.
BORIS AND NATASHA: The funky clothing boutique recently relocated from its longtime home in Plaza Midwood to a space between Hattie’s Tap & Tavern and Tip Top Daily Market on The Plaza.
Finding a creative outlet can do wonders for your mental health and happiness — whether you want to get into the arts yourself, appreciate works created by others or just catch more performances in the new year.
THE LIGHT FACTORY: Located in Plaza Midwood, the Light Factory Photo Arts Center engages with the community through the creation, exploration and sharing of photography.
BLUMENTHAL PERFORMING ARTS: Official ticketing provider for the best in performing arts entertainment for Charlotte and the Carolinas.
GOODYEAR ARTS: An artist-led, nonprofit residency and events program in Camp North End that presents free and public performances, exhibitions and multidisciplinary events.
MINT MUSEUM: An art museum with locations in Uptown and Eastover offering different visitor experiences. Admission is free on Wednesday evenings.
AR WORKSHOP: Art studio in Eastover offering instructor-led DIY classes that includes all of the tools and materials.
Everyone complains that Charlotte is all restaurants, bars and breweries. If you’re one of them, then stop shopping on Amazon and make a promise to support locally owned retail shops in the new year.
BERRYBROOK NATURAL FOODS: Founded in 1972, this snug spot in Dilworth offers nutritional supplements, groceries, organic produce and cruelty-free health and beauty aids, plus juice, smoothies and deli eats.
PAPER SKYSCRAPER: An independently owned gift shop that’s been in Dilworth for over 30 years.
THE CORNER: Packed with NYC bodega snacks, hypebeast collectibles and tees made by local designers, there’s more than meets the eye at this small, unassuming spot in a Huntersville mixed-use community just north of Highland Creek.
THE CULTURE SHOP: Specialty grocery store in the Belmont neighborhood selling cheese, sandwiches, wine, beer, housewares, gifts and provisions.
TRY NEW FOODS
We saw a lot of new restaurants open in 2021 despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic and supply chain woes. If you haven’t tried anywhere new recently, put these places high up on your to-do list for the new year and keep an eye out for more to come in 2022. We live in Charlotte, after all.
EMMY SQUARED PIZZA: Growing New York chain serving up square-shaped, deep-dish, Detroit-style pizza in Plaza Midwood and South End.
CALLE SOL LATIN CAFÉ & CEVICHERIA: Casual Plaza Midwood restaurant that focuses on Latin American cuisine from Cuba to Peru, based on neighborhood dining spots in Tampa and Miami.
MIZU: An Asian-inspired wood-fired seafood restaurant atop SouthPark’s Hyatt Centric hotel by O-Ku chef Michael Chanthavong.
ROMEO’S VEGAN BURGERS: This popular vegan food truck made headlines in November when co-founders Tigo B and Lamont Heath announced they would open a brick-and-mortar location, which they’ve since done on South Boulevard.
Supporting Black-owned businesses is more than just swiping your credit card. When you support Black-owned companies in Charlotte, you’re helping create more opportunities for meaningful savings, property ownership, credit building and generational wealth for Black communities.
CLT BLACK OWNED: CLT Black Owned has compiled a registry of Black-owned Charlotte businesses to make it easier for consumers and other business owners to show their support.
GET BACK OUT THERE
The pandemic has been tough on relationships. But if 2022 is the year you feel ready to meet the love of your life, make new friends or just socialize with others in person, then all you have to do is make the first move.
CHARLOTTE BUSINESS GROUP: One of the area’s premier organizations for starting, growing and maintaining local personal and business relationships.
CAROLINAS MATCHMAKER: Professional matchmaking service by matchmaker, relationship expert and dating coach Laurie Berzack.
NETWORKQUEEN: Women’s networking group founded by WCCB-TV Reporter Alexandra Elich that meets for mixers and offers career advisement.
LISTEN TO LOCAL MUSIC
This city has so many talented artists, bands and musicians and they play pretty much every day at bars and venues around the city.
SOUNDWAVE: LIVE MUSIC IN CHARLOTTE: Find live music playing near you through Queen City Nerve’s Soundwave — Charlotte’s most comprehensive music listing.
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR FINANCES
Don’t let the new year kick you in the ass from the get-go. If you’ve got financial troubles, make a plan to tackle them head on (and stick to it) so you can enjoy your life and plan for the future without a dark cloud looming above.
ALLIANCE CREDIT COUNSELING: Provides personalized education, counseling, and support programs that reduce and avoid the burdens of financial crisis, debt stress, bankruptcy and their consequences.
START A NEW TRADITION WITH FRIENDS
It can be difficult to maintain friendships as an adult given how busy everyone is these days, but if you make a weekly plan to meet up, then you don’t have to worry about scheduling. Plus, it’ll give you something to look forward to.
HAZY SUNDAYS AT PETRA’S: Probably Will and Ray Krol take over the back deck at Petra’s in Plaza Midwood every Sunday evening.
BONE SNUGS N HARMONY AT SNUG HARBOR: Snug Harbor in Plaza Midwood hosts a karaoke party on Sunday nights.
KARAOKE AT HATTIE’S TAP & TAVERN: Karaoke every Thursday night at Hattie’s in the Plaza Hills neighborhood.
DRAG MINGO AT LEGION BREWING: Music bingo in the Plaza Midwood taproom with appearances by local drag queens.
SURVEY SAYS AT CATAWBA BREWING: Charlotte’s version of Family Feud every Monday night at the brewery in the Belmont neighborhood.
BECOME MORE INVOLVED
There’s a lot going on in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County and doesn’t it suck when you’re the last to know? If you want to have a say in decisions that affect your daily life, or at least have something to talk about at the water cooler, then you have to get involved.
CMS BOARD OF EDUCATION: Makes decisions that affect educators, district employees, taxpayers and students.
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS: Makes decisions that impact Mecklenburg County residents and business owners.
CHARLOTTE CITY COUNCIL: Decides on matters that affect those working and living within city limits and shape the city’s future.
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DO SOMETHING OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
A comfort zone is a safe place with minimal risk, where you feel comfortable and your abilities aren’t tested. So, what happens when you break out and push yourself in unfamiliar ways, to do things that you wouldn’t normally do? You grow, that’s what.
COMEDY ARTS THEATER OF CHARLOTTE: Theater in lower South End offering six-week courses in improv that cost $250.
FIND YOUR MUSE AT THE EVENING MUSE: Weekly open mic night at the live music venue in NoDa.
BLOOM MOVEMENT ARTISTRY: Studio in Montclaire South offering group classes and private lessons in aerial acrobatics — silks, lyra, sling, straps and dance trapeze.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 and its variants are still going to be around in 2022. If you’ve been holding out against getting the vaccine, it’s now been available for almost a year, it’s approved by the FDA and no one has turned into a government-controlled cyborg.
COVID-19 VACCINE LOCATIONS NEAR YOU: Find the nearest place to get vaccinated based on your zip code
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