New year, new you! January isn’t just the best month to start fresh, it’s also a perfect time to seek out something new on Cape Cod. Here are your best bets for exploring this month—and keeping those resolutions.

Get organized.
Decluttering the closet seems like a lovely idea, almost as lovely as stuffing all the boots, ski poles, baskets of junk mail, broken gadgets, gift wrap, dusty candles, and plastic bags right back in there and shutting the door. Take heart and inspiration at the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod's annual Winter Art Exhibit at Cotuit Center for the Arts (January 6–February 10), where local artists’ interpretations of this year’s theme, “Animilia,” will give you a moment to step back and reflect on the bigger picture. Artwork will be inspired by the entire Animal Kingdom, across sea and sky and the seven continents, and will be displayed at a kid-friendly four-foot eye level (for those little ones who have yet to grasp the concept of “personal space”).

Eat right.
Any diet or nutrition book will tell you: Go for mindful indulgences. Each bite counts at the 5th Annual Awesome Chili Challenge (Saturday, January 25, noon to 5 p.m.) under the heated tent at the oceanfront Popponesset Inn, where you can sample the area’s best chili (professional & amateur categories) and help determine the winning recipes. More to feel good about: The event benefits the Falmouth Service Center and Boys & Girls Club of Cape Cod––and live entertainment by the Grab Brothers Band, dancing, free food from Estia, and raffle prizes make it all even more splurge-worthy. Come Monday, the office vending machine bags of sour cream chips and hard-as-bricks cookies will never seem less tempting.

Travel more.
Americans are famous for ignoring their vacation time, either because it’s more stressful to miss work or because a single week seems mighty short when book-ended by all that bag-packing, airport-ing, line-waiting, hotel checking, trip-planning, and kid/spouse whining. Expand your horizons instead when Cape Symphony presents “Passport to Hungary” (January 27–28), a special concert where the orchestra is most definitely the diva. This musical journey takes you overseas to celebrate the rich melodies, colorful folk music and cultural flavors of Hungary.

Get outdoors and exercise.
A few things will happen at the Cape & Islands Orchid Society’s Annual Orchid Show (January 20–21) at the Emerald Resort in Hyannis. 1) You’ll hit your daily steps by perusing the marketplace and stunning displays that are as beautiful (yup, we said it) as being in the actual outdoors. 2) These orchids will inspire your love of nature, thus motivating you to get outdoors and exercise. 3) You’ll buy one to take home, become obsessed, and return next year for advice on how to solve its many, many problems. It will be worth the trouble. Back to step one, repeat forever.

Try something new.
If you’re a New Englander, you like routine—including the same dish at the same restaurant every time you head out. Shake things up by venturing somewhere new, whether it’s the eatery your summer visitors raved about or the neighborhood spot you never knew was right around the corner. January, when cabin fever is high and crowds are low, is the perfect time to explore some new restaurant options.