It's 2017 and many of us are screaming "new year, new me," by setting New Year's resolutions.
Each year, Nielsen ratings releases its top 10 New Year's resolutions after conducting a consumer survey across the United States.
Staying fit and healthy topped the list, followed by resolutions such as getting organized, spending more time with loved ones and the desire to travel more.
While the resolutions may be general, locally, Hampton Roads offers plenty of resources for you to follow through and accomplish your resolutions in 2017.
It topped Nielsen's list, so it must begin ours. Once January rolls around, gyms get packed, but many look for alternative no- judgment zones to get fit or stay fit in the new year. Local running clubs are a great alternative that allow Hampton Roads residents to train for 5Ks, marathons or just run with other people, while staying or getting healthy. If fitness is a resolution for you in 2017, consider joining a running club such as the Peninsula Road Runners (Hampton), Colonial Road Runners (Williamsburg), Crossfit Hampton Roads Running Club (Yorktown) or the Peninsula Track Club, which serve the Virginia Peninsula and surrounding counties.
Inspire Arts Collective dance classes
To start and continue a New Year's resolution, it typically takes a little inspiration, and gyms tend to be crowded throughout January. Those looking to get fit in 2017 without going to a gym can turn to Inspire Arts Collective, a dance studio that offers regular weekend classes to get people up and moving.
Dance options range from women's empowerment classes, ballet contemporary fusion, beginner hip hop and advanced hip hop. The studio only offers classes on Saturdays and Sundays, working around busy weekday schedules.
Located at 2603 W. Mercury Boulevard in Hampton inside the Performing Arts Connection building, Inspire Arts Collective offers single classes start at $12, but people can also purchase class packages. Info: inspireartscollective.com.
Good Life Kitchen
Located in downtown Gloucester, this small restaurant serves up healthier versions of home-style favorites. The restaurant was started by Lorraine Walsh in September 2015. Walsh wanted to provide healthy and quick alternatives to going through a drive-thru.
Typical menu items include salads, sandwiches and curry chicken salad, a Best of Gloucester 2015 winner. Good Life Kitchen also offers catering and cooking classes with themes like "Dinner in Tuscany" and a focus on meal prep.
The restaurant is located at 6558 Main Street, Gloucester and is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday. More info: goodlife.kitchen or 804-684-8480.
Here's a place where you don't have to feel too guilty about grabbing something sweet. Located steps away from Duke of Gloucester Street, LOKAL has a menu of locally sourced food and a rotating selection of gelato.
Beyond gelato, the menu features a small breakfast and lunch selection with items like smoothies, paninis (that can be vegan friendly), salads and soups. The restaurant also hosts meditation and yoga classes throughout the year.
LOKAL, located at 445 Prince George Street, Williamsburg, is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. More info: facebook.com/lokalfood or 757-229-1464.
Nothing brings a family together like being locked in a room for an hour, trying to solve clues in order to escape. Now becoming a popular activity across the country, escape rooms are filling every corner of Hampton Roads, requiring groups to work together in order to solve puzzles and unlock codes using common sense, logic and teamwork in a themed room before time runs out.
Visit escape rooms such as Room Escape Williamsburg (1215 Mount Vernon Avenue Suite E Williamsburg), The Lock In (707 Mariners Row, Suite 103) or Escape Room Virginia Peninsula (4410 E Claiborne Square #212, Hampton) with your family to bond and get in on the escape room craze in 2017.
Outdoor fun in Williamsburg
Finding family fun that does not cost a lot can be hard. Mini- golf, however, is a family activity that costs less than $10 per person and is great for members of all age groups. Test your skills, while competing in light competition with your family by mini golfing at Pirate's Cove in Williamsburg (2001 Mooretown Road, Williamsburg). Info: piratescove.net.
For families that are more on the extreme side and are willing to spend a little more, GoKarts Plus (6910 Richmond Road, Williamsburg) is the perfect place to enjoy some quality time. Inside the park, all-you-can-ride wristbands are $30 per person, and include go cart rides on their various tracks, kiddie coaster rides, blaster boats, bumper cars, cartoon train rides and more. Info: gokartsplus.com or 757-564-7600.
Ollie's on Mercury Boulevard is a hot spot for bargain hunters across the area. The large department-esque store is a unique spot because it offers brand name merchandise ranging from books to home goods at up to 70 percent off the big- name store prices and has closeout sales on their inventory. Some of Daily Press staff's favorite items to get from Ollie's are blankets, pillows, art supplies and $2 best-selling books. The store is located at 4019 W. Mercury Boulevard in Hampton. Info: ollies.us or 757-224-3100.
Thrifting (Hilton Village)
If you are looking to save money this new year, Hilton Village is the place to shop. Thriving thrifters go to Hilton Village to find both hot and hard- to- find items at a low costs, inside the shopping area's large selection of thrift stores. Some standout stores include The Yard Sale, Act II Consignment, Chelsea's Closet, Village Thrift and Rooms, Red Feathered Nest and Blooms and More.
For many, a new year, means unloading old stuff — literally.
Getting organized is a New Year's resolution for many, but in order to achieve it, Mary Francis Ballard, owner of local organizing business Orderly Places explained that it is easier said than done, requiring discipline during the decision -making process.
"Start with a sorting process, and as you go through the items in that space, you have to decide whether they are trash, could be donated, something you could sell, something that belongs somewhere else, or something you want to keep," Ballard said. "The things you should keep are things that you use and the things you have space for. Then, organize the things you keep into specific homes."
Ballard said that generally people's spaces should be safe and accessible enough to find things quickly. She went on to say, if you want to get organized, most people must get rid of the items that are causing conflict in those areas.
"My No. 1 rule is every item you own must have a permanent and specific home. That means that whatever the item is, it always goes back in the same place and is never replaced."
For those worried about empty space in their homes, Ballard said empty space is good for many reasons.
"Empty is visually good, it allows for the addition of objects in the future, and it makes things appear organized," Ballard said.
In addition to owning Orderly Places, a business which sends associates go out to help clients get organized, Ballard is the author of "Orderly Places" and a public speaker. Her January speaking engagements include stops at the Tabb and Yorktown libraries.
Info: orderlyplaces.com, 757-806-4008 or email@example.com.
Donate old items
Sometimes getting rid of clutter is hard, but donating those extra items to a good cause it can make the process a little better. A great way to declutter and get organized this year is to pack up the clothes you don't wear, the toys you or your children do not play with and other items that are overflowing in your life to places such as Goodwill or Habitat for Humanity ReStore, where they will take the items off your hands to be sold for a fraction of the cost.
Find a hobby
According to Nielsen ratings, people across the United States listed reading more as a top resolution. Here in Hampton Roads, local book clubs fill the area, local libraries offer a wide array of books, and used book stores also help people read more while supporting a small business in the process.
Used bookstores include Paperbacks Ink (9716 Warwick Boulevard, Newport News), Blue Crab Books (7330 George Washington Memorial Highway, Yorktown) and 2nd & Charles (12747 Jefferson Avenue, Newport News).
•Local book clubs: Yorktown Book Club is an adult book discussion group that meets on the last Tuesday of each month from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Yorktown Library. Contact the Yorktown Reference desk at 757-890-5207 for more information.
•Food for Thought: An African-American authors book and dinner club. Contact Cynthia at 757-838-6203 for more information.
•BookClubEtc. meets the third or fourth Saturday each month at 3 p.m. in member homes or restaurants. Contact Jennifer at 757-846-3579 or email for more information.
•Local libraries in Hampton, Williamsburg and Newport News offer an array of book clubs for different age groups and genres. Go to your local library's website for a full listing.
•For those looking to read on their own or to just catch up on the latest news about books, every Tuesday, the Daily Press' books section includes book reviews, features on local authors and more.
Taking up arts and crafts in 2017 is made easy at Starving Artist Studio. The studio offers classes and projects for beginners who just want to make art a hobby in 2017. Located at 157 Herman Melville Avenue in Newport News, the studio offers pottery painting, canvas painting, board art and class fusion, which combines different forms of art, such as pottery, glass and painting, to create one beautiful piece of art.
The studio takes care of all the supplies for classes and walk- ins. Canvases cost $35, and pottery pieces are typically around $20 to paint.
"Any time they come in we educate them on painting pottery and walk them through how pottery paints work. We have classes that we offer, and they can sign up for an event, such as canvas painting night, glass fusion projects, and walk them through step by step. We give them all the supplies," said backroom manager and canvas instructor Madison Bealer.
Bealer recommends beginners who are looking to make art a hobby in the new year to start with simple projects such as painting pottery or canvas painting with acrylics because they are "more forgiving" mediums. Info: starartiststudio.com or 757-594-0518.
There's a lot of hidden, and not-so-secret, gems around Hampton Roads. New and old restaurants, adventures on the water and favorite shopping spots — we're here to find them. The Daily Press will be launching a "12 hours" series in 2017 to highlight many of the communities in Hampton Roads. Find out more about this series in January.
Yes, we know traffic is a pain. Traffic jams are endless while our patience, not so much. Here's to making a destination out of your journey.
•Jamestown-Scotland Ferry: Traveling between James City and Surry counties, this ferry travels across the James River. Vehicles are permitted.
•Elizabeth River Ferry: A 150-passenger ferry traveling from downtown Norfolk to Portsmouth. Make sure to bring exact change for the quick and scenic ride. Costs $1.75.
•Miss Hampton II Cruises: A three- hour tour that travels to the Battle of the Monitor and Merrimac and Fort Wool and provides close- up views of Norfolk Naval Base. More info: misshamptoncruises.com or 757-722-9102.
•Tangier-Onancock Ferry: In addition to chartering between the mainland and Tangier Island, this ferry service also rents private charters year- round. More info: tangierferry.com or 757-891-2505.
Black can be reached by phone at 757-247-4607. Joseph can be reached by phone at 757-374-3134.