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Kick-start those new year resolutions with our guide to making changes to your life in London.  WORDS: Tom Sturrock

Jump feet-first into 2010 by making some long-promised improvements to your life.

If you want to travel more, learn to cook, get fit or pick up a language, get cracking and make this year one of accomplishment.

Of course it can be hard to know where to start, so here are some suggestions on how to kick off the year with a sense of direction:

Get fit

Do it because: You’ve over-indulged during the festive season or are sick of sitting at home every night during the London winter.

Get started: Gyms are the obvious solution, and there will be various new year deals on offer to tempt you through the door, but if
you want to actually play sport, your options include touch (, cricket (, netball ( and Aussie rules (

Find love

Do it because: You’re sick of hanging out in pubs with your mates, whingeing about the opposite sex. Or maybe you just want something ‘casual’.

Get started: If you can stomach online dating, check out Alternatively, the capital is crawling with speed dating firms. The big one is, which also organises a stack of singles events.

Sort out your finances

Do it because: You live beyond your means and are sick of existing on bread and soup for the final week of every pay cycle.

Get started: Cut out unnecessary expenses. If your issues are more deep-seated, you might need – a free counselling service that offers money management training. Or rent 
out your spare room to a dosser for extra cash on

Change jobs

Do it because: Maybe you’ve built up enough experience in London to do the job you really want, or perhaps you just need a change.

Get started: Be sure to log on to for available positions, but if you feel you need some advice, the government has a free service. Check out

Learn to cook

Do it because: You can only subsist on toast and takeaway food for so long. Cooking is a great skill once you know how. It’s fun, healthy, and will save you money.

Get started: There are plenty of cooking courses in London, so your choice depends on whether you’re a novice or can already boil an egg. Go to for a broad selection.

See more of London

Do it because: You’re new in town or have been working so hard you barely manage to leave your postcode.

Get started: Get out of your comfort zone and explore a new part of London – maybe the East End, Greenwich, Richmond, Angel, Camden or Hampstead – or that famous landmark 
you haven’t yet seen. See for more suggestions.

Learn a language

Do it because: You’re tired of visiting Europe and having to get by with crude sign language, or you think being able to speak Spanish will help you pick up.

Get started: Booking on to a language course is a great way to meet people, fill your evenings and learn something new.

TNT is running five-week Learn The Lingo courses beginning throughout January. See

Pamper yourself

Do it because: Run down? Tired? Sick of not feeling your best? You need ‘me time’, and the best way to get it is to pay someone else to make you feel better.

Get started: There are literally thousands of options for pampering in London. The Thermal Spa Experience at Spa London’s Bethnal Green outpost doesn’t only have 
a Turkish bath, it’s also got a hammam, aroma-infused shower, ice fountain and Kneipp hose to cool the extremities. See

Travel more

Do it because: The great advantage of living in London is being able to nip across to Paris or Berlin for a weekend. If you haven’t made the most of that, 2010 is the time to start.

Get started: Closer to home, take a road trip to a new part of the UK. Easy city breaks are Edinburgh, Liverpool and Cardiff; regions are Peak District, Lake District and Cornwall. See for more ideas.

Be Greener

Do it because: You’re an environmentalist who is desperate to reduce your carbon footprint, or you just want some greenery in your grey apartment block.

Get started: It starts at home. Grow your own vegetables in your backyard, or just some herbs on your window sill. If you want a bigger project, see for a gardening collective in your area.

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