If thoughts of New Year’s Resolutions and unrealistic goals have already got you feeling the January blues, why not brighten up your day by planning some surprisingly fun, canal-boat themed resolutions? Here are some of our best ideas to float your boat, and get you back into the flow of things for 2017.


Fitness or weight-loss plans are among the most common New Year goals, but combine them with life on the canals and they could become more enjoyable! If you want to try cycling, walking, or canoeing; the towpaths and waterways offer 2000 miles of the great outdoors to enjoy. Even in a city your local towpath can be an oasis of natural calm, populated with geese and ducks. Remember,if you’re planning to buy a canal boat this year, narrowboating can also involve healthy activities such as walking, jogging or operating the locks.

Get Out More

Keep an eye on the Canal and Rivers Trust events page. See ‘The Red Balloon’ at The Puppet Theatre Barge in London or go to a winter works open day to see the working of the inside of a lock. On the Shropshire Union visitors are invited to see first-hand the works taking place to restore and repair Audlem Lock. Take a look inside the drained lock and walk along the bottom of the lock chamber up to the temporary dam next to the by-wash weir. There will also be refreshments for sale and the opportunity to speak to the Trust’s experts and volunteers. There are plenty more events around the country on different dates.

Eat Healthily, Drink Less

Bear with me; this could also be fun! Simply resolve to discover new places to eat beside the water. As well as the ubiquitous canal-side pub,think outside the box and discover quaint rural tea rooms or slick city wine-bars with watery views. In Little Venice there is a café on board a boat and further afield you could track down the Cheese Boat, Vareska Slovakian Kitchen or Rawlings Cakes among other floating businesses. Meet a friend in an unusual location and then resolve to select a healthy option from the menu.

Do Good

A “double-win” might be picking a resolution that involves doing good for someone else. So, for example, rather than just resolving to lose weight, you could choose to lose weight in a sponsored event for charity.

Waterways charities that would appreciate you volunteering your time include The Canal and River Trust, the Inland Waterways Association and your local canal restoration project. You could turn up to a working party or help from your armchair by donating cash on line. Many charities hold fund raising events such as sponsored walks. If you’d rather be on a boat than on the towpath find your nearest community boating project and train with the NCBA in topics like boat handling, rope work or leadership.

Get Organised

This is a great time of year to buy a book about time management, and a diary or a calendar: Consider using online calendars with pop-up reminders.

Need to sell a boat this year? Check out our best tips on how to present her for sale and this article on why Boatshed can present your boat for sale more effectively. Want to buy a canal boat? Check out How to Buy a Boat: The Ultimate Guide.

If you’re passionate about boats why not make 2017 the year you start a new career? We have some worldwide opportunities available.

Whatever your mission for 2017, chase away the January blues by getting in touch with Boatshed today and finding out how we can help you.

Peggy Melmoth

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