January is the time of year to reflect on making some changes. Yes we may have gained a few pounds over the festive season and most of us will have had a few too many drinks. But January may as well be the time to think about making other changes. There are so many things you could do and so many outlets in the borough. Here are just a few thoughts:

How about taking up a new hobby?

Join a club or take a class. The Adult Learning centre up the Avenue in Sunbury offers a myriad of classes: upholstery, Bridge, pottery, languages and fitness to name but a few. Try your hand at art, either through Adult Learning or with a private artist like Wendy Clouse. Or learn an instrument. Check out the Riverside Arts Centre where you will find private tutors.

Join a club of like minded enthusiasts such as photography or dance. A friend discovered the joys of Ceroc at a weekly club in West Byfleet (www.ceroc.com). Yes, I will be trying that myself!

What about Volunteering?

We have mentioned Sunbury Neighbours, who always need drivers or duty managers. It is not a huge commitment and gives you the feel good factor of having genuinely helped someone in need. Give them a call and see if you can help: 0795 682 2546. There is a website where you can search for volunteering opportunities near you, so why not have a look: www.do-it.org and put in your postcode.

Get Outdoors

Maybe you want to have fresh air but lack the motivation to get yourself moving. If you are young and fit then how about Surrey Young Walkers? (www.surreyyoungwalkers.org.uk). They meet very regularly, arranging walks from 3 miles stroll to a 20 mile strenuous hike. They are aimed at a 20-30 year age group. If you don’t make it into that age group any longer, then Spelthorne Council run both walks and cycle rides every week which are free to join. Call 01784 446433 for more details of their programme.

And what about the wonderful allotments we have on our doorstep? That will give you camaraderie, exercise and fresh air, as well as fresh produce. What could be better?!

Or if you fancy pushing yourself a bit why not try the Saturday morning Park Run at Hazelwood. Starting at 9am, what a great start to the weekend. All you need to do is register once then turn up and it is FREE:
http://www.parkrun.org.uk/hazelwood

How about making lifestyle changes?

We can’t escape the news of how our excess is ruining the planet. Every time I shop and see how much plastic goods are wrapped in I feel what a huge problem this is. We have heard of a couple of wonderful shops recently where you take your own containers and refill them. Born from Necessity in West Molesey (8a Buckingham Avenue) or The Refill Larder in Teddington (122 High Street, Teddington). What a brilliant idea. We all need to do our bit and this makes it easier.

And how about decluttering your wardrobe? The local charity shops are always looking for good quality items they can sell. At the same time, the throw away society we live in has been highlighted in the fashion industry which is now recognised as one of the major polluting industries of the world. So recycle instead. Rather than going to the low cost fashion shops of Kingston, buy a good quality item from a charity shop. You help the planet, your wallet and a charity.

So, this January, think about what changes you can make to improve both your life and the life of someone else.