New year's resolutions
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7 New Year’s resolutions every cottager should make

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‘Tis the season for reflecting on the year that was. But along with the typical resolutions to eat better and get to the gym more, we’d like you to think about some promises that might actually be a little easier to keep—and will make your time at the lake a little more enjoyable.

1. Reserve a few guest-free weekends this season. We get it—you like to entertain, and there are some guests you feel obligated to invite. But trust us—you’ll be a much better host if you take some time to recharge your batteries every couple of weeks. After all, you’re supposed to be getting away from work, not creating more for yourself.

2. Get that project—whatever it is—finished. Stain the deck, paint the shed, replace your boat bumpers—whatever you’ve been putting off, get it done as soon as you open up the cottage in the summer, then spend the rest of the season basking in the warm glow of your accomplishment.

3. Try something new and fun with the boat. Tired of your old waterskis? Check out our list of new water fun that will perk up your next cruise around the lake.

4. Sit back and enjoy the cottage more. Whether it’s on your deck early in the morning or by the lake as the sun goes down, make the effort to slow down and live in the moment. Cottage season is over all too soon, and making memories can be as easy as remembering to look around and appreciate where you are.

5. Get involved in your cottage community. Go to a cottagers’ meeting, a Friday-night public singalong, or a Saturday afternoon community corn roast. Not only will this create a sense of community (meaning more people keeping an eye on your place when you’re not there) you may just make lifelong friends in the process.

6. Relax your housekeeping standards a little. Is it really important that your kids make their bed every day? That you sweep up every speck of sand as soon as it appears? (That’s a losing battle anyway.) Do your best to make your peace with a little bit of mess. If it gets really cluttered in the cottage, why not just head outside—you shouldn’t be indoors anyway.

7. Find a new hobby. Paint-by-numbers, wood carving, knitting—anything creative that will get you out of your work-week head and into actually making something with your hands can be incredibly therapeutic. If you spend all week making things, try writing for fun—you never know what will show up on the page.

What’s a cottage resolution you’d recommend?