10 New Year’s resolutions every cottager should actually stick to this year

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It’s time for resolutions! And while you may be focusing on your weight, or your finances, or simply going to bed an hour earlier every night, you shouldn’t neglect your cottage. That’s right — your favourite place on earth could use some resolutions too.

Luckily, we’ve got 10 right here, along with the DIY instructions to make sure you can actually keep them.

Finally quit mowing your lawn

Having a cottage is a lot of work — why would you add more by trying to maintain a lawn? Give up the mower once and for all with these five alternatives to grass, and take that extra time to enjoy more time lounging on the dock with a good book.

Get up early and take the perfect sunrise picture

We know, we know — the bed is cozy and it’s a pain to get up in the morning. (After all, the best thing about weekends and vacations is sleeping in.) But get up at the crack of dawn on a sunny day, and you’ll be rewarded with a gorgeous sunrise. While you could just sit and enjoy it, here are some tips for taking the perfect sunrise picture. While you’re at it, set up the coffee maker to brew the perfect cup of coffee just to make the early morning a little less painful.

Fix the screen door

Ugh. It bugs you every time you open it, but you just haven’t gotten around to fixing it yet. Good news. Most screen door fixes are actually pretty simple, and we’ve got instructions to help you tackle some of the common ones.

Finally figure out your succession plan

What’s going to happen to your cottage after you’re gone? It’s much, much better to figure that out in advance. You’ll save future generations hassle and heartache by determining a succession strategy now. Fortunately, we have some tips that will help keep the peace and save you money.

Perfect your j-stroke

If you’re a canoeist, you know that a j-stroke will help your canoe stay straight and help save energy while you paddle. But how do you actually do one? Take a look at this video, and by the time canoeing season rolls around, you’ll be ready to practice on the open water.

Paint a cottage sign

A cottage sign can be a charming, whimsical piece of decor — but it can also be an important safety feature, allowing guests and emergency services to identify your house quickly and easily. But just because it has a serious purpose doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Here, we show you how to paint a great cottage sign — it’s an easy afternoon project, perfect for a rainy day.

Finally fix your road

OK, there’s something kind of romantic about bumping down a dirt road, but that washboard surface gets old after a while, and no one wants to break an axle on what should be a fun weekend away. Take a look at how to fix these common cottage road problems, and check one more thing off your to-do list.

Master a signature cocktail

Wouldn’t it be great if you could greet your guests when they arrive at the door with your very own, practiced-to-perfection, cottage cocktail? Whether it’s a salty dawg, a simple gin and tonic or one of these nifty Canadian-themed cocktails, a cocktail that you can call your own definitely ups your hosting prowess.

Get up on water skis

It’s no fun watching water skiing from the dock — and it’s even less fun to get dragged around on your face under water. Take a look at these easy tricks, and pretty soon you’ll be flying around the lake with the wind in your face. Hint: if you do fall, remember to let go of the handle. Just saying.

Learn to play a new board game

No one’s knocking cribbage, or Scrabble, or Monopoly, but you might just find your new favourite game if you try something … well, different. These modern board games are a great place to start — or simply ask each new guest to bring their favourite game, and see what appears.

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